Tag Archives: Bangalore Mirror

A national newspaper goes ‘local’ in Bangalore


The Hindu has unveiled a new hyper-local look in Bangalore with the tagline “Bringing Bangalore Back to You”.

Writes the paper’s editor Siddharth Varadarajan in a front-page note:

“Why you might ask. After all, Bangalore has known The Hindu for its credible, fearless and unfettered reportage. For never dumbing down. For vanguard journalism that brings the world to your doorstep. But Bangalore has evolved, and so have we. So we bring Bangalore back to you….

“We bring the city to you in a chic new design with a fresh clutch of content: sharp investigative stories and new columns in the main edition, and a crosses and mains neighbourhood view of your locality in Bangalore Local, our weekend special.”

For the record, The Times of India leads the Bangalore market, with Deccan Herald a distant number 2, followed by Bangalore Mirror. The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and DNA are all jostling for the fourth to seventh places in India’s most crowded English newspaper market.


Ex-journo ends life owing to “work pressure”

sans serif records the demise of Smitha Rao, a former Times of India and Bangalore Mirror journalist, who had joined Infosys, apparently owing to “work pressure” at the bellwether IT company.

A former colleague who described her as “very bright, high strung, hugely temperamental”, said she kept saying she missed journalism.

Image: courtesy One India

External reading: Infosys manager found hanging

Print or TV, ‘power’ is the new media magnet

There is a new money plant flowering at the feet of media men and media houses, and it’s called a power plant.


Exhibit A: Mail Today, Friday, June 10:

Trivandrum: The chief operating officer of a Malayalam cable TV channel provider, who tried to bribe a senior IAS officer, is cooling his heels behind bars.

Sankara Narayanan (42), of Asianet satellite communications, made an abortive attempt to offer cash to the State power secretary Subbayya on Wednesday night to renew the firm’s permit to use the Kerala state electricity board’s lamp post for the television cables.

Narayanan dropped in at Subbayya’s residence and presented him with sweets, a costly mobile phone and Rs 1 lakh in cash. Realising Narayanan’s intentions, Subbayya locked the front door and called the police.

Exhibit B: Bangalore Mirror, Friday, June 3:

Bangalore: In a dramatic operation, Karnataka power minister Shobha Karandlaje has had two ‘power brokers’ caught by Cubbon Park police while trying to take a Rs 1.7 crore bribe in her name.

The duo had approached the company which was trying to get their Rs 17 crore in dues cleared by the ministry headed by Shobha, with an offer to clear the dues for a 10 per cent cut.

After the firm agreed to the deal, duo made the request to the minister through some journalists, the police said. Investigations have also revealed the role of three journalists, one from a national English daily and two others from a Kannada television channel, who had made the request to Shobha.

Exhibit C: Power plans of DB Corp, Dainik Bhaskar and DNA

When cricket journalists go to Brian Lara’s home

SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: Itinerant sports reporters usually tag along with their compatriots during assignments on foreign shores, partly because of the chummy nature of sports journalists but also because it makes sense, i.e. it is paisa vasool.

Newspapers and magazines pay a decent-enough per diem these days, but it’s never enough to enable each reporter to go out on his own and do stories without blowing a big hole in the expense account. So sharing a cab, rooming together, splitting meals, etc, is par for the course.

Most times, such clubbiness results in identical stories on the same day. Sometimes, it can result in hilarious situations, like it did with three cricket writers covering India’s tour to the West Indies: Bharat Sundaresan of the Indian Express, K. Shriniwas Rao of The Times of India, and Amita Gupta of Bangalore Mirror.

In Port of Spain, Trinidad, the three of them decide to gatecrash into the great Brian Lara‘s home in St. Clair. And, well, each can only hope that their readers do not read the accounts of their partners!

Hear it in their own words:

Bharat Sundaresan: “On Tuesday, I meet the latest in the line of fascinating cab drivers…. Without second thoughts, I ask Clifford to take me to Chancellor Hill, the private hillock on which Lara’s house is located…. It’s around 7 in the night.

“Led by Clifford, we walk up to the main gate. It takes only one press off this buzzer for the light to come on behind the curtains. I hold my breath. The door opens. It’s the man himself….

“‘We’re a bunch of Indian journalists, Brian. We just wanted to come in and see your house and see how the Prince of Trinidad lives,’ I shout elatedly…’Oh, I just had an event at home and the house is in a mess. Or else I would have certainly invited you boys in. Sorry,’ he says.

“‘Oh, that’s all right, Brian. Thanks, anyway,’ I reply.”


Shriniwas Rao: “Oh yeah, he lives on top of that hill, there,” says the cab driver, pointing to one of the many hills that stand between the island of Trinidad and the Atlantic Ocean. “But which hill?” I ask. “It’s a private hill, man. It’s for the super rich,” says a shopkeeper.

“So, I hail a cab and along with a couple of other scribes, ask the driver to show me the Prince’s house…. We press the buzzer half a dozen times. Finally, the lights come on and the door opens at last. “Yeah, who’s that?”

“‘We’re Indian journalists,’ we blurt out in excitement and add embarrassingly… ‘We came to see your house.’

“Lara doesn’t know how to answer that. He’s shocked someone can just walk into his house, ring the bell, wake him abruptly and say he wants to see the house. But he’s kind. To our utter surprise, he actually considers the request for a few seconds and says, ‘I’m sorry but I had an event here and it’s actually quite messy inside.’

“‘It’s okay. Please don’t bother. We’ll come some other time,’ we tell him. Sheepishly, we get back into the cab and Lara walks back in.”


Amit Gupta: “Three of us — myself and two other journalists — were at Port of Spain’s main square. Our cabbie, a man of Indian origin, was so amicable that we could have a free conversation…. Instantly, we decided that we were going to Brian Lara’s house….

“We buzzed about four-five times, there was no response. But my friends spotted another door bell at the big gate too. We decided to take a chance.

“This time someone switched on the light in one of the rooms. The door swung open and it was the great man himself.

“Dressed in shorts and a half-shirt, the man with 11, 953 Test runs asked us: ‘Yes, who is this?’ One of us answered: ‘We are a bunch of Indian journalists who have come to see your house.’ The small pause gave us hope that the legend would ask us to come in. That was wishful thinking. ‘It’s a bit of a mess inside. I had an event here, so may be some other time,’ Lara said.

“We didn’t insist otherwise. After all we had no business knocking his door. But our evening was made. Brian Charles Lara opening the door for us.  Imagine something like this happening with foreign journalists at Sachin Tendulkar’s place. Just no chance.”

Photograph: courtesy Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday

Why a ‘serious’ Reuters journo reads a tabloid

Although India’s print media market is booming, be it in English or the languages, the truth is that it is still the broadsheets that get bowels moving in the morning.

Despite the best efforts of managers, there is a palpable resistance to smaller sized newspapers, regardless of whether they want to call it a tabloid, Berliner or a compact.

The Daily is dead, Mid-Day is struggling, and Mumbai Mirror still rides piggyback on The Times of India in Bombay while Bangalore Mirror comes free with ToI in Bangalore.

Although the brand-wallahs are in thrall of the 5F formula (food, fun, film, fashion, forecast, fornication), most discerning readers, especially journalists, turn their noses at them.

Only Mail Today and Mint seem to have gained some editorial acceptance but at huge cost.

Robert MacMillan, a journalist who works for Reuters in Bangalore, says most people, who hear that he reads the Bangalore Mirror that comes free with The Times of India in that City, exclaim: “But it’s a tabloid!”

In other words, size instinctively colours perception of news sense, although the broadsheets may be guilty of the same crime as “redtops”, which is to dumb down to the lowest common denominator.

It need not necessarily be the case, writes MacMillan, who hails from Jersey City:

“In the case of the Bangalore Mirror, I find plenty to chew over in the morning. The headlines are a little New York Post/ New York Daily News, but there’s a reason people read those papers. More importantly, they’re jumpy and flashy because they often herald good journalism — the kind of stuff that people want to read. No doubt, they likely contribute to the tired “India! Ancient yet vibrant and modern!” PR campaign that has entranced my U.S. media colleagues.”

Link via K.K.

Read the full blog: Don’t hate mate because I read Bangalore Mirror

Guess what I bought my girlfriend on Feb 14?

Ordinary mortals buy roses for their beau on Valentine’s Day. Sons of the soil buy TV news channels.

Well, that’s what Bangalore Mirror, the tabloid from The Times of India stable is reporting.

Former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, son of the former prime minister and “humble farmer” H.D. Deve Gowda, already runs a general entertainment channel called Kasturi through his legislator-wife Anitha Kumaraswamy.

HDK is now reported to have bought the struggling 24×7 Kannada news channel, Samaya, for Rs 60 crore, as a “gift” for chhoti memsaab, the former movie actress Radhika.

Kumaraswamy told Bangalore Mirror, “Samaya channel is up for sale, and I am in talks with its owner. We still have not completed the deal.”

When we asked the ex-CM whether he was buying the channel for Radhika, he guffawed and hung up.

Kumaraswamy, a former film producer, no longer makes the pretence of keeping his relationship with the actress secret. The two have appeared as a “couple” in religious ceremonies.

Kasturi channel has already begun running “Coming Soon” promos of its news channel—tentatively titled Newz24. The rumour is that a former print journalist reported to be close to Kumaraswamy and currently heading a news channel is likely to take charge of the news channel operations.

Samaya, launched by Karnataka MLA Satish Jharkiholi, has been struggling since launch. Former Suvarna News editor Shashidhar Bhat recently joined the channel but what happens to him under the new owner will be breaking news.

The change of ownership of Samaya is only the latest evidence of a massive shakeup in Kannada media which has seen Vijaya Karnataka editor Vishweshwar Bhat join Kannada Prabha and Suvarna News editor Ravi Hegde join Udaya Vani. Tourism minister N. Janardhana Reddy—one of the infamous Reddy brothers—recently launched a news channel called JanaSri.

Read the full article: HDK is buying a news channel for his party—and for Radhika

Image: courtesy Bangalore Mirror

The light goes out of Selvan Shiv Kumar. RIP.

sans serif records with a heavy heart the passing away of photojournalist Selvan Shiv Kumar in Bangalore today. He was in his early 40s and had been ailing for some time. He is survived by his wife and son.

Shiv Kumar had worked in The Times of India, Deccan Herald, Hindustan Times and DNA in Bangalore, Delhi and Bhopal, covering the hunt for Veerappan and the manhunt of Rajiv Gandhi‘s killers among other assignments.

In July 1997, Shiv became the first Indian photojournalist to be selected for the Reuters Foundation Willy Vicoy fellowship for the fall term at the University of Missouri, USA. As photo editor of the newly launched Bangalore edition of DNA in 2008, Shiva was responsible for a five-days-a-week picture page.

He was photo editor of Bangalore Mirror at the time of his demise.

Last active on his Twitter account in May, one of his tweets reads:

“Photojournalism has lost its sheen of spontaneous pictures to the present day of posing and the subject looking into the camera.”

Read his profile: Light Stalkers

Visit his blog: http://shivselvan.blogspot.com

View some of his pictures: Flickr