Nothing is impossible in the merry world of Indian journalism.
Big newspapers (and magazines) flick stories from small ones without as much as acknowledgement. Big TV stations conduct whole debates on issues first flagged by newspapers (and magazines) without so much as a by-your-leave.
But at least there’s a word for it: plagiarism. What’s the equivalent in advertising?
In a first, the embattled Hyderabad newspaper Deccan Chronicle has accused The Times of India of stealing its “classified advertisements” and passing them off as its own.
Deccan Chronicle says between January 2013 and June 2013, nearly 1,000 such classifieds which first appeared in DC also appeared in ToI.
DC now has filed a criminal complaint against ToI.
For the record, Deccan Chronicle has been under attack from ToI in the Hyderabad market for the financial sins of its promoter, T. Venkatram Reddy.
Also, for the record, Hyderabad is the one city where ToI has not managed to make great headway. After 14 years of publication, one recent issue of the newspaper in September had 16 in-house advertisements.
Read the full story: TOI-ing with readers
PRESS RELEASE: “T. Venkattram Reddy, president, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), strongly condemns the direction issued vide a circular dated 15 December 2009 by the deputy general manager (P&E) of the Kerala State Co-operative Bank Limited, Kerala, to all senior managers of the bank directing the branch offices of the bank to stop subscription of the Malayalam daily being subscribed and make available Deshabhimani daily, a Malayalam daily published by a major political party, which is in power in Kerala, at their offices.
“This is in gross violation of the spirit of the constitutional provisions and a direct threat to the freedom of the press. It is clearly a restriction imposed by a government bank to curtail circulation and tantamount to promoting and marketing of a newspaper published by a political party in power.
“Freedom of the press cannot be curtailed by administrative guidance or instructions, which clearly lack the sanction of law.”
The latest issue of India Today magazine carries the annual ranking of the 50 most powerful people in the country, and 13 media worthies find a mention.
All but two of them have shown an improvement over last year’s ranking. Remarkably, only one major English newspaper group is on the list.
The brothers Samir and Vineet Jain who run The Times of India group, come in at No.8 (up one place from No. 9 last year); Raghav Bahl of Network 18 is at 15 (up from No.18); Ronnie Screwvala of UTV is at No. 20 (up from No. 24); Subhash Chandra of Zee Network is at No. 22 (up from No. 20); Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi Maran of Sun Networkare at No. 24 (up from No. 31); Ramesh and Sudhir Agarwal of Dainik Bhaskar are at No. 35 (up from No. 37); uncle and nephew Mahendra Mohan and Sanjay Gupta are at No. 39 (up from No. 45); Rajeev Chandrashekhar of Asianet and Suvarna is at No 46 (up from No. 50).
The only media barons whose stock has gone down are Prannoy and Radhika Roy of NDTV who are at No. 42, down 20 places from No. 22 last year.
Missing from last year’s list is T. Venkattram Reddy of Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age.
As always, though, the masala is in the fineprint.
Indu Jain, we are told, no longer visits office. Samir’s daughter Trishala‘s soon-to-be-husband is already ensconced on the fourth floor of Times House in Delhi. Raghav Bahl watches Balika Vadhu. Screwvala has moved into a home in Breach Candy in Bombay that he and his wife Zarina Khote worked on for five years. Subhash Chandra practises Vipassana for 45 minutes every day. Kalanidhi’s “centre of gravity” is his daughter Kaviya. Rajeev Chandrasekhar has Ferraris, BMWs and India’s largest collection of Land Rovers in his fleet, although his favourite is a red Lamborghini.
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