Tag Archives: Indian Express

How media misuses subsidised land: Episode 324

The misuse of land allotted for media houses is rampant. In Chhattisgarh, several newspapers—including Dainik Bhaskar—have now been slapped with notices for violating the deed under which they were given government land at a concession. An audit found these premises being used for commercial purposes.

The Indian Express reports on six of them:

DAINIK BHASKAR

Audit report: Land given in 1985. A new building, where the paper is likely to shift soon, is under construction. “Construction is on above ground+3 floors, which is illegal. According to the display board of Bhaskar Group at the spot, DB City, Corporate Park, is being constructed, and contact numbers are also mentioned for taking shop/office on lease/rent… the government should cancel the deed and take possession of the land. But the authorised officer did not conduct a ground survey and the Bhaskar Group is being given undue benefit.” The report said the newspaper had taken unauthorised possession of an adjoining 9,212 sq ft belonging to the jail department.

In September 2009, the Raipur administration sent a notice to the newspaper to deposit Rs 7.62 crore by March 2011. Reminder sent in April 2011; amount not deposited.

Present status: When The Indian Express called the number 8962112000 displayed on the “DB City, Corporate Park” billboard, a person who identified himself as Rajneesh Tiwari, marketing executive of Bhaskar Group, said only a few floors in the building would be for press purposes and the remaining would be corporate offices. “Agreements have been signed with several MNCs and they are soon opening their corporate offices. We are also planning a rooftop restaurant.”

Newspaper’s response: “No violation of the land deed.”

Read the full report: Chhattisgarh newspapers get notices

Also read: Power plans of DB Corp, Dainik Bhaskar & DNA

‘Media houses are sitting on land leased at one rupee’

Bangalore journos named in site allotment scam

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‘Corporate sector has a strong say on media’

First, he commented on the “abnormally affluent” Shekhar Gupta in his memoirs Beyond the Lines and then he apologised to the Indian Express editor-in-chief at the book’s launch.

In between, Kuldip Nayar also appeared at Idea Exchange, the Express‘ in-house interaction programme, taking questions from the paper’s journalists.

Maneesh Chhibber, assistant editor: What do you think of the standard of journalism today?

Kuldip Nayar: Well, I’m disappointed. In those days at the Express, there was no check on us. We could publish any story. Whether it hurt A, B or whether it rubbed the corporate sector the wrong way, it didn’t matter. Ramnath Goenka knew certain stories going into the paper were wrong. At night, he would call me and say, after seeing the front page, “Kuldip, woh jo galat story Cabinet ki hai na, us aadmi ko pata nahi hai. Par kuch nahi, jaane do.” He never tried to contradict us. I have a feeling that now you have to pull your punches because the corporate sector has a strong say. I do not find any pressure from the government, but I do see pressure from other forces which is reflected by newspapers.

Unni Rajen Shanker, managing editor: I just want to clarify this: at the Express today, any story that is worth printing will go to print just as it used to. It is still the same.

Kuldip Nayar: Thank you.

Read the full interaction: Kuldip Nayar at the Express

Also read: Kuldip Nayar on Shekhar Gupta, N. Ram & Co

Shekhar Gupta on the Indian Express and Reliance Industries

Prabhu Chawla: No one can destroy Ramnath Goenka‘s Express

Fali S. Nariman: “Courage of the 2 o’ clock kind”

 

When Shekhar Gupta met Abdul Kalam

As the prospect of a “contest” for the President looms between the UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee and the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta writes of the latter in his weekly column:

“I wrote two National Interest articles more critical of Abdul Kalam than any you have seen anywhere…. The second was published when he had been named candidate for president. That Saturday morning I got a call from Brajesh Mishra, then the national security advisor (NSA).

Arrey bhai kya likhte rehte hain aap, Kalam sahib pareshan hain,” he said and asked if I’d go and have coffee with Kalam on Monday at 11 am in his Vigyan Bhavan office.

“I walked in dutifully, a little bit apprehensive, rehearsing my usual defence. Kalam greeted me most warmly. Inquired after my wife’s health. They were both regular evening walkers in South Delhi’s Siri Fort Sports Complex.

“Then he gave me coffee and asked if I had read his India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium. He gave me a copy and fondly signed it. I was still waiting to hear his complaints. But he instead asked if I would be inclined to know more about his vision, even participate in his project.

“I need brilliant, patriotic minds like you,” he said.

“I made some embarrassed thanks-you-are-so-kind-but-how-can-I type of noises. He refilled my coffee and said more nice things about me, my writing and my views. Then he topped it with: “Shekharji, I have never found anything on which I disagree with you.”

Now this is not the script I had come rehearsed for. But I was now figuring the man had a politician’s tact, thick skin and magnanimity. He would make a pretty solid politician, I said to myself. I was never wrong on that one.”

Read the full article: National Interest

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: What’s so sacrosanct about Abdul Kalam?

No half-truths for New Delhi’s newest paper

Yes, Kumar Mangalam Birla is right: the media is a sunrise sector and further proof of it comes through the launch of New Delhi’s newest daily, the Millennium Post.

The 16-page, all-colour broadsheet priced at Rs 3, boasting the tagline “No Half Truths”, was launched on May 2. (Click here to view the front page of the first issue.)

Millennium Post is published and edited by Durbar Ganguly, a former associate of Chandan Mitra at The Pioneer, and printed at the Indian Express press.

Daipayan Halder, former resident editor of Mid Day, Delhi, is its executive editor.

Adolf Hitler reacts to Indian Express ‘C’ report

Just as the journalistic world was consigning the Indian Express ‘C’ report—the full page, three-deck headline, three-byline story of the coup that wasn’t—to the dustbin of history, the Fuhrer steps in.

Also read: Indian Express ‘C’ report: scoop, rehash or spin?

Indian Express stands by its ‘C’ report

How the media viewed the Indian Express ‘C’ report

Aditya Sinha tears into the Indian Express ‘C’ report

Ex-TOI, ET editor E. Raghavan passes away

sans serif records with deep regret the passing away of Ethiraj Raghavan, an Indian Express stringer who rose to be Editor of the largest selling Kannada daily newspaper, Vijaya Karnataka, in Bangalore on Saturday. He was 61 years old, and is survived his wife Kumuda and their daughter Swathi.

After stints with the Express in Mysore, Bangalore and New Delhi, E. Raghavan, as his byline went, joined the newly launched The Times in Bangalore in 1984.

That newspaper launched with a truncated title to circumvent labour laws in pre-liberalised India later became The Times of India. He later came its resident editor. In the mid 1990s, he shifted next door to be resident editor of The Economic Times, Bangalore, and eventually for all the southern editions of ET, till his retirement three years ago.

After a short spell as editorial consultant to DNA, Bangalore, Raaaa-gha-van (as he sonorously pronounced his name on the phone) returned to The Times group, first as consulting editor to Vijaya Next, a weekly Kannada newspaper launched by TOI, and then as editor of Vijaya Karnataka, that had been acquired by ToI six years ago.

Raghavan was co-author with the academic James Manor, of Broadening and Deepening of Democracy, a study of Karnataka politics.

An obituary in The Times of India, Bangalore, captures the essence of the man:

“You have got to get the drill right… Then things will naturally fall into place.”
That was Raghavan’s standard line on a big news day.
He would pump himself with an extra mug of coffee and call the reporters and the desk into a huddle. Every small news deveopment would be examined.
“Reporters need to overreact. The desk needs to see it in balance.”

Four journalists want to be info commissioners

Ritu Sarin reports in today’s Indian Express that at least four journalists—Satya Prakash, Law Kumar Mishra, Prakash N Bhargava and Sudhanshu Ranjan—are among the 214 people who have applied for the posts of information commissioners at the central information commission (CIC).

Read the full story: All want jobs in CIC