Archive for Uncategorized

Self-regulation is no regulation: Markandey Katju

See on Scoop.itIndian Media
‘Self regulation’ as practised by the electronic media is a ‘ploy’ to escape accountability, Press Council of India (PCI) chairperson Markandey Katju today claimed. While a media council makes sense, the mere inclusion of representatives from broadcast media is not enough. There has to be a more thorough reformation of the PCI, its composition and mandate. For instance, why should a former judge be appointed PCI chief?
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My visits to Chamarajanagar have been rewarding: Shettar

See on Scoop.itPolitics: Karnataka

Chief Minister debunks superstition that a visit to the town heralds downfall

Subhash Rai‘s insight:

In a commendable act Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar visited Chamarajanagar, the apparently jinxed town for any ruling chief minister. It is quite likely that his days as chief minister are be numbered, which might only add fortify the unfortunate myth.

This is no radical act by a BJP chief minister. After all, he visited the town to "celebrate" the "1053rd Jayanti" of a lingayat mutt. In his wholesome praise to the mutts in Karnataka, Shettar conceded that the BJP dispensation in Karnataka has so far doled out Rs. 480 crore to "encourage" mutts "to work further to help the public".

His visit to Chamarajanagar is probably more to do with Shettar’s eagerness to please the Suttur math and ensure some votes for himself than to debunk any superstitution.   

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TRPs fall for Satyamev Jayate, advertisers raise noise

For those who were fooled by the theatrics of Amir Khan this bit of new might disappoint. Satyamev Jayate is actually a “reality show”. It clearly does not stumble into the public service programming genre. 

The cruel fact is: “… Bharti Airtel coughed up a chunky Rs 17-20 crore for the presenting sponsor slot, associate sponsors like Axis Bank, Reckitt Benckiser, Skoda, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson paid Rs 6-7 crore each for the 13-week show. Star has charged Rs 8-10 lakh per 10 seconds for spot rates for Satyamev Jayate while spot rates for KBC were Rs 3.5-4 lakh per 10 seconds.”

And now there are mumurs in the wings. The jingling of the till isn’t loud enough.

Apart from having steered the conscience of all and sundry, can Satyamev Jayate make a lasting impact? Can it make people aware that India sorely lacks public service broadcasting in the real sense of the term?

That way can get the goat of doctors, khaps and murders on a more consistent basis. 

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Ramanujan Affair: Why secular universities succumb to rightwing bullying

Via Scoop.itCommunalism in India

“The recent decision of Delhi University’s academic council to remove A K Ramanujan’s essay “Three Hundred Ramayanas” from its undergraduate syllabi has done violence to the university’s integrity and undermined the independence and autonomy of its academic life. Rather than stand by its own faculty, the university has pandered to right-wing violence. This is a dangerous precedent.” (EPW, 12 November 2011).

Tehelka’s Talwars

There’s one part of Tehelka that’s all investigative journalism and a potpourri of nice articles. Lately there’s another part that’s sound more like the PR arm of about Aarushi Talwar’s parents. At least it seems like that even for a sympathetic reader like me.

Last week we were given the rundown on what the magazine thought of the
case. We had some very touching pictures accompanying it too. The article did have snatches of good journalism and made some forceful points in favour of the distraught parents of the victim. (Let’s not bother about the other victim, if you don’t mind!) But faltered so often to sound like a PR piece for the Talwar couple.
It is actually was a disservice to the couple. That’s assuming Tehelka’s
intent is declare the parents innocent.

The magazine’s crusade sounded even more suspect when it’s managing editor came on national television and called the Talwars advocate by her “pet name” (Becky) and then spews fire and brimstone at a panelist for having a remotely contrarian view than her’s. The lady even confessed to have seen the parent in parties/social gathering and wondered how they where so composed. That’s probably okay. Tehelka shouldn’t be accused of being objective. They’ve preferred to be refreshingly brave.

But I’ve just got the latest issue of the magazine. There are quite a few
pages devoted to the Aarushi case again. While I have enormous sympathy
for Tehelka’s concerns, I wish they didn’t make a fetish out this one.

Delhi and back

This trip to Delhi was different. I didn’t go around like I’ve done on previous trips. This time I stayed at one place, mostly. Mostly because I did take a bus ride from Lodhi Estate to Ambedkar and back to Connaught Place – a Frederick Noronha inspired trip.
The rest of the time was two days were spent discuss journalism. All this thanks to InWent/IIJ.
It was pleasant gathering of many young and not-so-young people. Such occasions provide the opportunity to connect and communicate. I’m back with some new good friends.

Hello world! Again

Hello World, indeed! I trying to upgrade the WordPress version I seem to have wiped the database clean. That’s many years of data “cleaned up”. I’m not sure if I should be rueing this. Maybe it is time to start afresh.

Before I start inflicting the world with fresh insights, I must reflect on how severely I should do that. Let’s see. Maybe as I posts I can start a whole new conversation. A better one, this time, I hope.