Tag Archives: India

’50-60% China coverage in TOI, HT adversarial’

A six-month study of India-China coverage in the top-two English newspapers in New Delhi shows that between 50 and 60 per cent of the stories are of adversarial nature, “establishing a pattern of clear negative China coverage”.

The Delhi editions of The Times of India and the Hindustan Times, both of which have correspondents based in Beijing, were surveyed by Debasish Roy Choudhury, who works for the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

“Though a substantial part of their coverage is also neutral, even peaceable, the numerically dominant frames are clearly antagonistic. These frames identify China as an aggressive power… and convey remedies such as arming, border build-up and alliances with other powers. The adversarial frame is propagated through other kinds of stories as well where the general tone is conflictual….

“A closer look at how China is portrayed in top English-language papers can broadly be taken as a proxy for how it is generally portrayed in Indian newspapers….

“English-language dailies do not all follow a consistent line or pattern of coverage on any subject. For example, The Hindu, a hugely respected and highly circulated paper in southern India with an edition in Delhi, and The Telegraph, a comparatively smaller paper but the market leader in eastern India, are noticeably conciliatory and balanced in overall tone towards China, and differ substantially from the China coverage of, say, the Times of India. “

In a story in the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, where he works as a business news editor, Roy Chowdhury quotes the veteran jurist A.G. Noorani.

“Shrill, jingoistic and embarrassing,” is how A.G. Noorani describes Indian media’s China reportage. “Every now and then the media breaks into a patriotic frenzy over anonymously sourced reports of border violations without bothering to explain the intricacies of our tangled frontiers.”

Infographics: courtesy Debasish Roy Choudhury

Also read: Role of the press in India-China relations

China Daily hands back occupied areas to India

Hu, Wen and why China scorns Indian media

Media freedom is what separates India from China

Rupert Murdoch on India, China and democracy

The Hindu had a discernible pro-China tilt on Tibet’

The Hindu‘ and a scribe who was told to ‘shut up’

EPW tears into TV’s ‘hawks, hotheads, hysteria’


The Hindu and ‘a scribe’ who was told to shut up

The pro-China tilt of “the world’s most readable newspaper“, The Hindu, used to be grist for the gossip mills, till one of the warring brothers of the family-owned newspaper himself decided to put it on record. An incident in Delhi on Thursday involving China’s ambassador to India underlines the insinuation some more.

At a function to promote the Xijiang province of China, Ambassador Zhang Yan was asked by a business journalist about a distorted map of India, showing parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as being a part of China. By most news reports, the ambassador asked the reporter to “shut up” and then tried to make peace.

Below are the headlines from some newspapers:

The Times of India: “Distorted map puts China envoy in spot”

Hindustan Times: “China gets map wrong, envoy yells ‘shut up'”

Indian Express: “China envoy in row over India map”

The Pioneer: “China envoy tells scribe to ‘shut up'”

Asian Age: “Chinese envoy tells a journo to ‘shut up'”

Mail Today: “Envoy snubs journo for raising map issue”

The Statesman: “Spat over India map”

The Economic Times: “Chinese envoy tells reporter to shut up”

The Tribune: “Chinese envoy snubs Indian scribe”

DNA: “Why Chinese envoy told Indian scribe to shut up”

And here is the headline from The Hindu:

Journalist’s bid to disrupt function

The paper’s “special correspondent” goes the extra mile to provide additional perspective to the incident:

“A scribe who had gained entry on the basis of his media credentials decided to take matters in his hand and clambered on the stage protesting the inclusion in the map of “parts of India” in China.

“As chaos reigned and the journalist, joined by another person, continued to give vent to his feelings from the state, Zhang told him to “shut up”. This further inflamed the scribe who was then pacified by Zhang and a senior foreign office official.

“The hour-long disruption left many in the audience stunned and dissatisfied as this was the first time a business delegation led by its governor had come to India. China is investing heavily in the Xinjiang province and Pakistani businessmen, along with theri counterparts from bordering central Asian counrties, have already made inroads into the region.”

Also read: Why China scorns the Indian media

The Indian Express stands up for The Economist

Censorship in the name of ‘national interest’

If a report isn’t ‘wrong’, surely it must be ‘right’?

Chinese hackers break into The Times of India

Never believe anything until it’s officially denied

One paper’s 40% threat is another’s 60% dud

And who’s afraid of the face-to-face powwow?

Manmohan Singh, prime minister of the world’s largest democracy, completes six years in office on May 22 without once being subjected to hard-nosed questioning by an Indian journalist—print, television, radio or internet—in a face-to-face, one-on-one, on-the-record interview.

He will, however, seek the safety of the crowd once again when he addresses the media at a conference on Monday next, May 24, his second interaction in 2,160 days.

India Today editor Prabhu Chawla goes on a short trip down memory lane in his weekly Mail Today column as Manmohan Singh’s media advisor Harish Khare prepares the talking points.

Facsimile: courtesy Mail Today

Also read: Doesn’t the Prime Minister trust the Indian media?

The Indian cartoon that’s offending Australians

It takes a particular genius to feel offended by a piece of art instead of the reality it mirrors.

Several students of Indian origin have been clobbered in Australia in an unceasing (and unacceptable) wave of attacks over the last few months; one of them even being killed last week. Yet, the response from both countries is beyond comical; it’s tragic to the point of being farcical.

And for both countries, the media has become a convenient whipping boy.

Instead of telling the Aussies to “rack off, you bloody bonzers“, Indian foreign minister S.M. Krishna buffers up like a slow, dial-up modem, nods in agreement with what he is about to say, counsels Indian parents not to send their children for hair styling and facial courses, and cautions against “frenzied reporting”.

Australia instead of tightening security to reassure students, is happy to take truckloads of journalistson a junket to generate some good PR. Meanwhile, its acting prime minister, Julia Gillard, takes offence, not at the killing of a young man, but at this newspaper cartoon which she admits she hasn’t seen!

Cartoon: courtesy Prasad Radhakrishnan/ Mail Today

Also read: L’affaire Mohammed Haneef

Bolo, Bharat mata ki jai. Bolo, it’s a work of art

Media freedom is what separates India & China

No media debate on Asia is complete with0ut comparing India to China, or vice-versa. Even among middle-class media consumers, there is a barely disguised contempt for the slow pace of growth in democratic India, for all the “obstacles” in the path of progress and development, compared with the frenetic pace in The Middle Kingdom.

But is there a comparison to be made at all?

Is China really in India’s league, notwithstanding the growth rate, the forex reserves, etc? This is a CNN video of its Beijing correspondent attempting to go to Tiananmen Square on 4 June 2009, the 20th anniversary of the massacre, before being engulfed by umbrella-weilding “undercover” police.

As the legendary Atlantic Monthly correspondent James Fallows, now based in Beijing, writes:

“This is the kind of thing that makes you hold your head and say: Rising major power in the world?”

And this, on top of a ban on Twitter and Facebook, and censorship of television stories which begin with “In China today…” or “Twenty years ago in Bei….”

Also read: James Fallows: The June 4 report

T.J.S. George in China: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI

‘India’s freedoms as fragile as its neighbours”

The Hindu’s Islamabad correspondent, Nirupama Subramanian (in picture), has shared the Chameli Devi Jain award for excellence in journalism with Vinita Deshmukh, the editor of The Weekly Intelligent, Poona.

In her acceptance speech, read out in her absence by her sister Vasudha Sondhi, Subramanian said:

“In Pakistan, where I am based, a number of journalists have lost their lives in recent months. For me, reading about journalists getting killed back home, three in Assam in the last four months, is a reminder that despite our democracy, our freedoms are as fragile as they are in our less stable neighbourhood.

“On the other hand, I also saw the power and influence of the media in a frightening close-up a few months ago, when tensions between India and Pakistan climbed a peak after the attacks in Mumbai…I believe there is only one way for journalists to look at India-Pakistan relations, and that is through the prism of peace…”

Colombo correspondent of The Hindu before her Islamabad posting, Nirupama Subramanian is the author of the critically acclaimed Sri Lanka Voice from a War Zone, and is a winner of the Prem Bhatia award for best political reporting.

Photograph: courtesy The Hindu

Read the full article: ‘Fashionable to say TV channels work for TRPs, money’

Also read: ‘Journalism is mankind’s greatest achievement’

‘Indian media is large and vibrant, but how free is it?’

India opens another door for FDI in papers, mags

Eighteen years after the liberalisation process began in India, and just months before the general elections, the Congress-led government has decided to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment in facsimile editions of foreign newspapers. Simultaneously, 26% FDI has been allowed in Indian editions of foreign magazines.

The following is the full text of the press statement issued by Rajeev Jain, Director (M&C), ministry of commerce and industry.



On a review of the extant policy on Foreign Direct Investment, Government of India has decided to allow foreign investment in publication of facsimile edition of foreign newspapers and Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs.

The policy for foreign direct investment (FDI) in publication of facsimile edition of foreign newspapers include permitting 100 per cent FDI with prior approval of the Government for the publication of the facsimile edition, provided the FDI is by the owner of the original foreign newspaper whose facsimile edition is proposed to be brought out in India. The policy also specifies that, the publication can be undertaken only by an entity incorporated or registered in India under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956. Also, the publication would be subject to the Guidelines for publication of newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs and publication of facsimile edition of  foreign newspapers issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on March 31, 2006, as amended from time to time.

The policy for foreign investment in publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs includes, up to 26% of foreign investment, inclusive of FDI and investment by NRI/ PIOs/ FII; ‘magazine’, for these guidelines shall be defined as a periodical publication, brought out on a non- daily basis, containing public news or comments on public news; foreign investment shall be subject to the Guidelines for Publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on December 4, 2008.