Saturday, December 13, 2008

Who took law into their hands? Police or Criminals?

Encounter! It is a familiar word for the people of Telangana and more familiar for the people of Warangal district. The word is so familiar that the irate girls in Warangal screamed that the accused who attacked two young girls, Swapnika and Praneeta by acid and greviously injured, be killed in an ‘encounter’.

Instant justice is what the people were demanding. Instant justice because the people think, would act as deterrent. A similar ‘encounter’ in the month of December last year is still fresh in the memory of the people of Warangal and widely talked about those who were afraid that their young ones might be kidnapped for ransom.

People hailed the actions of the police when they killed three persons accused of kidnapping and killing 11 year old Manisha on Dec 26th last year. The kidnapping spree continued till the Warangal police acted and mowed down the kidnappers. To remind you, there was no single case of kidnapping of children reported after the Warangal encounter. Before Warangal, a five year old boy was kidnapped and killed in Tirupati. Another five year old boy from Hyderabad was kidnapped and abandoned in Khammam district.

I am not surprised at the way people reacted when the accused in the ‘acid attack’ case are killed. I am not surprised at the way Varavara Rao and his fellow human rights activists reacted. But one question that remains difficult to be answered is…Who took law into their hands? Police or Criminals?

When Srilakshmi was killed in Vijayawada, the general opinion expressed was that the culprit Manohar was not sentenced ‘appropriately’ and therefore Lakshmi Sujatha, Ayesha and others. The law could not end the kidnaps. The responsibility was on the civil society to react to the crime of the criminals. The civil society failed. The civil society failed to mount pressure on the governments for proper law’s. The civil society failed to sensitize the politicians and the bureaucrats on the need for a law that protects college going girls and un-married women.

It time to act. Its time enact and Act. Enact and Act that does not give scope for the police to take law into their hands. Enact and Act that instills confidence among the police and the girls that the punishment under its provisions will be deterrent. The Act should send chill down the spine of the criminals that punishment under the law is worse than getting killed in an encounter.

Lets act. Lets stop ‘fake encounters’. Lets stop fake encounters that, by default, get sanction from the public. Lets act for an Act. Andhra Pradesh single women (security and protection) Act, 2009. This is not impossible.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Votes not SMSes can end terror

Funny messages started landing in my mobile and mail inboxs. Funny! Really funny. It looked as if the techno savvy patriots have vowed weed out scrupulous politicians and that it is just an SMS / Mail away.
One text message that I received on 27th evening says "Do not worry about those who have come thru boats... Our forces can easily defeat them. WORRY about those who have come thru votes.... Those are our REAL ENEMIES..." Votes! Whose votes? For me in the first instance it looks like a message sent by a terrorist again. While the forces from across the border were successful in attacking Mumbai, the forces, immediately after the attack have unleashed an attack on the democracy in India through 'text messages'. Pakistan that does not believe in democracy (several coups stand testimony to the fact) wants to create unrest in India and thus harm the strong democratic set up that India has, and therefore the message.

"....those who have come through votes", well, whose votes. Do they mean to say that those all who have participated in the electoral process are terrorists or those supporting the terrorists. Every citizen of India who is above 18 years of age and in mentally sound is eligible to vote. And those who have come through votes should be considered as those elected by the citizens who are mentally sound. We should not be worried about those who come either by boats or votes. Whom we should be really worried is about those who do not vote. It is they who are sending 'incompetent' leaders to the Parliament and the Assemblies. Their absence from voting ensures the victory of bootleggers, smugglers, land mafia, coal mafia, communal and anti-nationals, scrupulous businessmen, tax evaders... and the list goes on.

Telecom companies estimated, a week later that the text message revenue after the attack on Mumbai has fetched them the revenue of more than Rs 2o million. Conservative estimate after converting Rs 20 million into number of text messages puts the number of those who have either sent of forwarded the messages at 40 million (considering the fact that most of the mobile phone operators offer 150-200 free SMs per month and the avg tariff of a text message at 50 paise). Well, how many among these 40 million have voted. I claim, hardly half a million.

It is easy to send or forward a text message. It is easy to send or forward a mail. You can do it at the comfort of an air-conditioned office. You can do it at the push of a button. But it is 'painful' to vote. It is 'painful' because you have to register as a voter. It is 'painful' because you have to stand in a que, often in scorching summers and chilling winters. Its 'painful' because it spoils your 'holiday'. (The same applies to celebrating Independence day and Republic Day)

Why take some much pain. Why think so much and waste time when you can claim yourself to be patriotic and that too just by forwarding a text message or a mail. My dear techno savvy patriots this is not democracy. A strong democracy (like the America... most of them believe) cannot be built by exhibiting your creativity in writing text messages and mails. A strong democracy cannot be possible if you think its painful to vote. A strong democracy can be built only when you think voting is as simple as a Text message. A strong democracy is possible only when you think voting is pleasure.

Dont worry about those who have come through votes... WORRY ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE NOT COME TO VOTE. They could be helping terrorists. They could be helping Pakistan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why blame politicians!

The democracy in India has never been under so much criticism (I call it attack) as it was post 26/11. The democracy is under attack not from the Junta as it was, very frequently, in the neighboring Pakistan. The democracy in India is under attack from its ‘stake holders’, the citizens of the country that boasts of being the world’s largest democracy.

The vanguards of democracy, particularly politicians, are embarrassed by the ‘lipstick sporting’ women as was criticized by senior BJP leader Mukthar Abbas Naquvi. Versace sporting Congress MP Milind Deora says, “I am ashamed to be a politician”. Equally ashamed is another politician and BJP leader Shaina NC, a fashion designer and well known P3 woman.

Why blame politicians? There is every reason for the stake holders to blame politicians. There is every reason to blame politicians for repeatedly jeopardizing the interests of the stake holders and hold the ‘democracy’ to ransom and again all in the name of democracy. Why will citizens not blame politicians, when they are so foolish to stage a rasta roko to protest terrorist attack on Mumbai. Why will the citizens not blame politicians when they take along film makers to the Taj.

But why blame politicians alone? Are they not the breed that take birth with your help? Are they entering the portals of power, the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas without your consent. Then why blame politicians!

Why blame politicians when those who blame them do not know what it takes to be a politician. Why blame politicians when the ‘Genext’ thinks the Republic Day and Independence Day mean a holiday and good time to spend in the expensive of the pubs that has bartenders dressed up in khadi sporting Gandhi topi. Why blame politicians when national song for those blaming them reminds of AR Rehman and Subha Mudgal.

Does those blaming the politicians know that holiday on the election day means taking ‘pain’ of going to the police station and voting. Does those blaming the politicians know that they are resorting to an act dangerous than terrorism when they think that its painful to vote.

It is not the time to blame politicians. It is time to change the way you see politicians. It is time the change the way democracy functions. It is time change your mindset. Don’t blame politicians. Try to be responsible, if you think politicians are irresponsible. Try to be democratic if you think politicians are demons.

Jai Hind!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Intelligence failure? Whose

Terrorists struck Mumbai. The financial capital, the Indian Hollywood’s night life came to a stand still. The attack left the Mumbaikars shocked and the trauma the rest of India suffered is nothing less. As usual, after every strike, one single question that a typical journalists shoots. Is it the failure of the ‘intelligence’, popularly called in journalistic jargon as ‘intelligence failure’. It can hardly be judged whether the state and the central Intelligence sleuths failed to collect information about such attacks. The intelligence inputs, like weather inputs are universally applicable. I remember during the floods of 2000 in Hyderabad when the weather-men predicted ‘thunder and lightning followed by moderate to heavy rains’. And this was a routine announcement, twelve hours later it was chaos in Hyderabad.

Failure of Intelligence, yes! The INTELLIGENCE has failed. Not the intelligence of the cops who took the bullets of the terrorists on the chest. Not that of the innocent citizens, of various domicile who, before they knew that a bullet from the burst of AK 47 hit them had died. The citizens lost their intelligence. The citizens lost the intelligence to send a message across the border that they are united.

Why will an enemy wait for long and to strike through conventional war to destabilize the country? Why will he wait till the Thackarey’s and sainiks of self proclaimed Senas get into action to do what they want to do? For the Sena’s can anytime be silenced by the democratic process. The intelligence of our leaders has failed. They cannot acknowledge the sacrifices of the men in uniform, without bringing politics into it.

Media calls it Bharat par humla, attack on India, 9/11 of India, 11/26 and the list ends with the number of television channels as every channel wanted to give and ‘Exclusive’ name to the biggest terrorist act in Independent India. Very intelligent?

It time to show how intelligent we are. Its time to show how united we are. Its time to resolve that we will not keep our men in uniform busy ‘arresting’ those questioning / claiming the propriety of Mumbai. Its time to resolve that India is not the fabric made of just the Amar Singh’s, Mulayam’s or the Thackarey’s. Its time to resolve that todays India is the blood, sweat and dream of those who laid down their lives fighting the enemy.

Salutes to the Martyrs. Writing this piece with the confidence that I am safe because You (men in uniform) are there.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Is the Chief Justice right?

Supreme Court Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan has commented that the newspapers are irresponsible when it comes to reporting 'Rape'. In Mumbai, last week, he said that, ethically, the newspapers should not divulge any details pertaining to the victim. He also said that the newspapers are not revealing the name of the victim but are giving enough clues to the readers to know who the victim is.
The Chief Justice is right and there is every reason for him to comment because the newspaper he reads with great respect every morning (did) does it. The Hindu, the newspaper that is known for responsible reportage of incidents such as 'rape' in its edition on Saturday, 25th October, 2008, published a photograph of the victim allegedly raped in Kandhamal on August 25 this year. The nun covered her face with a veil. Very few people outside Orissa knew the name of the nun. The Hindu is largely circulated in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Kerala.

The Hindu and Deccan Chronicle published the photograph like ToI and The New Indian Express, but the two newspapers gave the name of the nun. Is this responsible Journalism?

The telugu newspapers too were irresponsible. Major newspapers including Eenadu and Andhrajyothi too gave the name of the nun.

Justice Balakrishnan is right. Newspapers that do not name the alleged rape victim, cover her face but parents or the relatives standing next to her are exposed. Television channels too do the same. The face of the victim is masked, her name not disclosed but the face, name, village and every other detail sufficient enough to identify the victim are revealed.

Lets be responsible. Lets be sensitive. Lets formulate dos and donts while reporting atrocities against women.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surya Anniversary Blunder

News cannot be so blatantly distorting. In the days when there is a thin dividing line, often invisible, between editorial and news, distorting can be dangerous. Words may be deceptive but numbers are not. Refer to the table is Surya daily dated 22nd October, 2008 page 1. The table gives the details, caste wise, of tickets given by political parties during assembly elections 2004. The basic fact is that the TDP did not contest all the 294 seats. TDP had alliance with the BJP. Congress too did not contest all the 294 seats. The party had alliance with the Left and TRS. The statistics are misleading and sends incorrect message.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Good Job Done by Delhi Union of Journalists

Although all newspapers and TV channels used the same source, the police, they differed in the basic facts reported about the police encounter in Jamia Nagar. THE DELHI UNION OF JOURNALISTS presents a critique of media reporting of the Batla House Police Operation

Extracts from the DUJ report

The Delhi Union of Journalists and its Ethics Council are concerned at the falling standards of reporting as evident in the manner in which the police operation at Batla House on September 19, 2008 was reported by various newspapers and TV channels in the Capital.

We wish to underline that accuracy in reporting facts is the first responsibility of the media. Where facts are disputed, the discrepancies should be pointed out and the sources questioned. Presenting several versions of incidents and using multiple sources of information is an inalienable part of credible reporting.

We also emphasise that uncovering the truth may not always be the job of the media. The media is not equipped to investigate and uncover the truth in severely complicated cases like the incident being examined in the report.

But presenting different facets of events as they emerge is part of the professional responsibility of the media.

In this report we have analysed the reporting of the Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express (Delhi editions of September 20 and 21, 2008). Among the Hindi newspapers we have examined Dainik Jagaran, Amar Ujala, Dainik Hindustan, Jansatta, Punjab Kesari and Rashtriya Sahara; the Urdu newspaper we looked at is Rashtriya Sahara.

We wish to make it clear that we hold no brief for either the police or the suspects, two of whom have been killed and several rounded up. We are not passing a judgment on whether it was a planned encounter or a fake encounter or a police operation gone wrong. We do not know the truth. We are only examining the professional conduct of our co-professionals with a view to pointing out the casual manner in which serious issues have been handled right from the day of the serial bomb blasts in Delhi.

A research team of the DUJ decided to examine the way in which the print media reported the police operation on September 19, 2008, at L-18, Batla House, Jamia Nagar in Delhi in which two alleged terrorists and one inspector of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police were killed. We have attempted in this report to first state the facts as they were reported and then analyse the language employed and the views expressed while reporting and commenting on this highly sensitive and contentious incident.

Analysis of Newspaper Reports dated September 20, 2008

The facts first.

1. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police killed.

2. Two young boys, Atif Amin and Mohammed Sajid, killed.

3. Mohammed Saif arrested.

The rest of the facts regarding the police operation at L-18, Batla House, Jamia Nagar, Delhi on Sept. 19, 2008 are uncertain. Although the incident took place in the capital of India and all the newspapers and TV channels used the same source, the Police, even the basic facts are not in place. Every daily newspaper and television channel seems to have its own set of 'facts' and often these contradict each other. Accuracy seems to have been sacrificed in the rush to be first with the news and provide the more sensational coverage. Let us examine how the incident was reported in the Delhi editions of the dailies.

The Time of the Shootout:

The Hindustan Times and Dainik Jagran have given the time as 11 a.m. The Indian Express, quoting a resident, says the first shot was fired around 9.45 a.m. The Times of India report does not mention any time. Mail Today says it began at 11a.m. The Hindi Hindustan report would have us believe that it all began at 10.30 a.m. Amar Ujala says firing began around 10.45 a.m. and lasted till 11 a.m.

The Duration of the Shootout:

The Hindustan Times says the shootout lasted 15 minutes whereas its Hindi publication, Dainik Hindustan, says it lasted 90 minutes. According to the TOI, the entire encounter took 25 minutes. Mail Today says the operation lasted 30 minutes. The Veer Arjun says the shootout lasted between 30 and 45 minutes. Rashtriya Sahara, Urdu, claims that the shooting lasted nearly two hours. Amar Ujala says the encounter lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes. Punjab Kesari claims that the encounter lasted one hour.

Rounds fired:

According to the TOI, 25 rounds were fired by the police and 8 by the 'terrorists'. The Indian Express, the Hindu, Dainik Hindustan, Punjab Kesari and Rashtriya Sahara, Urdu say the police fired 22 rounds. They are all silent about the rounds fired by the suspects. Rashtriya Sahara, Hindi and Amar Ujala say the police fired 22 rounds and the 'terrorists' fired 8 rounds.

Interestingly, the Navbharat Times claims that both the police and the suspects were armed with AK 47s but did not use them!

'Explosive' stuff:

All the dailies reported the police claim that those shot at Batla House were terrorists responsible for several bomb blasts.

The HT quoted Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal as saying that "explosives made by him (Atif – our clarification) and his team bore their signature – two detonators, wooden frame, ammonium nitrate and analog quartz clocks."

In the light of this claim, the list of explosives claimed to have been recovered from the flat occupied by the suspects is interesting.

Dainik Hindustan says one AK 47, two pistols, one computer and important papers were recovered.

Veer Arjun reports one AK 47, .30 bore pistols, cartridges and 21 country pistols were found.

Navbharat Times says one AK 47, two .30 imported pistols, 20 live cartridges, magazine, two laptops, mobile phones and other items were recovered.

Rashtriya Sahara, Hindi says police recovered one AK 47 and two .32 bore pistols, one computer and books.

Punjab Kesari says police found one AK 47, two pistols and one computer.

Amar Ujala says the police seized one AK 47, .30 bore revolver, two laptops, half a dozen mobiles and six pen drives.

None of the dailies report the recovery of any ammonium nitrate and analog quartz clocks. No question is asked about the recovery of these chemicals or equipment claimed to be part of the terrorist group's signature.

How many Policemen were there?

Indian Express reports that Sharma went there along with five officers.
Mail Today reports a 15-member team led by Sharma
Veer Arjun claims 50 personnel led by Sharma landed there.
NBT says a total number of 24 police personnel went there.
Amar Ujala reports that a 22-member police team cordoned off the area under the leadership of Sharma.

The TOI, HT, Jansatta, Dainik Jagran and The Hindu refrain from mentioning the number of policemen involved in the operation.

How many Bullets hit Sharma?

The TOI, IE, HT, Mail Today, The Hindu, Veer Arjun, Rashtriya Sahara, Hindi all say three bullets hit Sharma.

Navbharat Times says four bullets hit him.

Jansatta claims that five bullets hit him in the abdomen, thigh, left arm, upper part of the shoulder and right hip (Anchor story).

Rashtriya Sahara, Urdu reports four bullets hitting him, one each on shoulder, arm, back and right hip.

Rashtriya Sahara, Hindi claims that all the three bullets were taken out during an operation in Holy Family hospital

Amar Ujala also claims that bullets had been removed and quotes Dr. Rajesh Chawla to this effect. It says Dr Chawla was summoned from Apollo hospital. He reportedly told the paper that there was excessive bleeding because the bullets hit the lung and the lower part and after 'bullets had been removed', it was felt that Sharma may survive.

Subsequently post-mortem reports quoted by some of the dailies said that Sharma had been hit by only two bullets and both bullets had exited the body. No bullets were removed from his body.

About Mohan Chand Sharma

Even in paying tributes to Inspector Sharma the papers have reported different facts. HT says that he had "shot dead 75 criminals and terrorists." The TOI says he was "credited with the killing of 35 terrorists and the arrest of 80 others." The IE says that "Sharma's 'kill tally' stood at 75 criminals including 35 terrorists". The Hindu says he was instrumental in "neutralising 35 terrorists and arresting as many as 80 militants." It goes on to say he had 'gunned down 40 gangsters' and arrested '120' criminals. Amar Ujala reports that Sharma killed 35 terrorists and 40 gangsters, nabbed 80 terrorists and 129 gangsters. It says he was involved in 75 encounters.


DELHI UNION OF JOURNALISTS Office: FLAT NO.-29, New Central Market, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-1 E-mail:, Tel: 23413459

Courtesy :

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dont blame Journalists

Like many encounters between the terrorists/naxalites and police, encounter at Jamianagar in Delhi too generated a debate. The debate - the encounter is fake or genuine. Those questioning the encounter have perhaps recalled the scene introducing Abhishek Bachchan in BLUFF MASTER. Nobody to blame, these days journalists write scripts. Scripts that get good 'numbers' and numbers that satisfies their bosses. The action of the police was questioned when the encounters tookplace at an isolated place in the wee hours. Surprisingly the action is also questioned when the encounter takes place in broad daylight and in crowded locality like the Jamia Nagar. Agreed that to Question is what media should teach, but certainly not to question just for the sake of questioning. Questioning by an organisation or group cannot be called irresponsible but questioning by media can be termed irresponsible. Common man may not have access to 'police sources' and therefore raise questions, but media has access to several of the 'police sources' like forensic, ballistic, etc,. And this sources are not just limited to one case or incident. The reporters develop sources to an extent that some of the inputs are shared with them but not their officers or colleagues.

Unfortunately journalists do not have time to understand the perspective of an incident. Who is to blame? The police? Or the Journalists? Read Praveen Swami article "Behind the Batla House shootout" (The Hindu Op-Ed,10th October, 2008) on Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma's injuries.
Dont blame the media if they have written, based on a photograph, to question the claims of the police. The blame has to be taken by the Police. Hundreds of Journalists throng the Police Headquarters in cities like Delhi and Mumbai for News. Senior police officers converse with the Journalists and comment after they leave their office about the journalistic quotient of the reporter.
The police should conduct orientation classes for those reporting crime. Teach them the basics of ballistic and forensic science. Why not examine, evaluate and certifying the crime reporters? Objective and responsive journalism cannot be possible without the partnership of the stake holders.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Terror in your INBOX

I received a mail from one of my friends and this is one of several such prank mails that land in my inbox. The mails speaks about how "People are more dangerous than HIV". I could not resist to write a reply to the mail at this hour. But I thought it as necessary as a responsible citizen.
Here is the copy of the mail that originated, nobody knows from whom and where. The mail id of the person in the mail is nowhere in the chain mail.

Arvind Khamitkar , I.A.S ,
Director of Medical & Research Div,
Dear Friends,
A few weeks ago, in a movie theatre, a person felt something poking from her seat Whe n she got up to see what it was, she found a needle sticking out of the seat with a note attached saying "You have just been infected by HIV". The Disease Control Center (in Paris ) reports many similar events in many other cities recently. All tested needles were HIV Positive. The Center also reports that needles have been found in cash dispensers at public banking machines. We ask everyone to use extreme caution when faced with this kind of situation. All public chairs/seats should be inspected with vigilance and caution before use. A careful visual inspection should be enough. In addition, they ask that each of you pass this message along to all members of your family and your friends of the potential danger. Recently, one doctor has narrated a somewhat similar instance that happened to one of his patients at the Priya Cinema in Delhi .. A young girl, engaged and about to be married in a couple of months, was pricked while the movie was going on. The tag with the needle had the message "Welcome to the World of HIV family". Though the doctors told her family that it takes about 6 months before the virus grows strong enough to start damaging the system and a healthy victim could survive about 5-6 years, the girl died in 4 months, perhaps more because of the "Shock thought". We all have to be careful at public places, rest God help! Just think about saving a life by forwarding this message. Please, take a few seconds of your time to pass along.

With Regards,
Arvind Khamitkar , I.A.S,
Director of Medical & Research Div, Chennai.

Rather than forwarding irrelevant mails, kindly pass this to every one. Probably ur mail can help some save his/her life
There is no IAS officer who has served as Director of Medical and Research Division in Chennai. There is no institute/centre called the Disease control Centre in Paris.

AND ABOVE ALL HIV DOES NOT SPREAD THE WAY IT IS MENTIONED IN THE MAIL. IF YOU ARE NOT CONVINCED 'NETIZENS' PLS GO TO GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE AND TYPE THE KEY WORDS - ARVIND KHAMITKAR, CHENNAI, DISEASE CONTROL CENTRE, PARIS, HIV, AIDS, CHENNAI... ETC,. and you will get all the details. Please... please.... when the world (www) is available at the click of the button dont ignore and terrorise your friends.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Not such a great profession after all?

Journalists in India are better paid than ever before, but job satisfaction is on the decline. TV news channels with their increasingly bizaare content are an affront to the intelligence of the journalists who work in them. If you can make your peace with dubious ethics, shrieking anchors for bosses and seeking new angles to long-broken stories, you can survive there and earn your six figure monthly salary. Competition has put a premium on low cost news, so at many news channels news gathering for genuine stories is low priority.

In newspapers the problem is not a bald one of practising dubious ethics to earn the ratings, it is the more subtle challenge of working your way past each major newspaper's sensitivities. In the Times of India you learn to watch out for the sensitivities of advertisers and its Private Treaties partners. Occasionally if you get uppity your nose might be rubbed in the mud a bit, just to show you that management is boss. Otherwise, you have the editorial freedom that other newspapers in the city might not have.

The Hindustan Times has seen quite an exodus in recent months of both editors and staffers, and is poised to get two new editorial bosses, the chief editor being a business journalist. Here the problem tends to change with each new editor incumbent, but the basic problem is that the newspaper pretty much has its ideology set. It is pro-Congress and in states where its owners have business interests it is pro establishment, and you are expected to toe the line set by the proprietors. The management is used to calling the shots, even in editorial decisions. If you work there,you have to live with the limitations.

The Hindu had a clear ideological line until the CPM decided to make common cause with the Bharatiya Janata Party, leading the paper to embrace the BJP as well. After years of being pro-UPA and pro Left, its correspondents now cringe a bit when they see the BJP office in New Delhi displaying front page interviews in the Hindu with L K Advani, on its notice board. Earlier you had to be careful about your reporting and editorializing on account of the Left, now you have to watch out for both the Left and the Right. There are editorial decrees on both counts. And these days editorial staff there amuse themselves by counting the letters to the editor on the nuclear deal to see how many pro and how many anti letters will be carried.

The Telegraph in Delhi suffers from low visiibilty and too many people, given the editorial space available. Pressure of space is a problem in every newspaper, you could wait upto a month to see your story in print, or you can see it killed for lack of space. That makes for added frustration. The froth-filled pages in many of the newspapers are growing in number, the pages available for news are not. With newsprint prices high, travel and other newsgathering costs are increasingly being curtailed.

There is a sort of consensus in the profession that if don't mind a paltry salary you can go to Outlook where the atmosphere is not bad, if you don't mind low circulation you can go to the Express, where you can pretty much write what you like, and get paid well too, at least in the Delhi edition. If you don't mind not being read at all, you could go to the Statesman where again you can pretty much write what you want, but getting paid might be a problem.

Courtesy :

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Guys with half baked information and misinformed are spreading incorrect news. Here is one such mail I got from a person who I dont know. The basic fact that proves that the information in the mail in largely incorrect is at the bottom of the mail.
--- On Fri, 12/9/08, rammohan kandlakunta wrote:
> From: rammohan kandlakunta
> Subject: Fw: Who owns India Media
> To:
> Date: Friday, 12 September, 2008, 4:26 PM
> --- On Sun, 3/8/08, saridena rahul
> wrote:
> From: saridena rahul
> Subject: Fw: Who owns India Media
> To:
> Cc:
> Date: Sunday, 3 August, 2008, 7:23 AM
> Dear Friends
> As per your request im hereby forwarding the e-mail to you.
> Lets keep in touch
> regularly and share our views,News together and do something great
> for ourselves, our religion, nation and the world at large.
> thanks & Regards
> rahul
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > *Who owns the media in **India** ?*
> >
> > There are several major publishing groups in India ,
> the
> > mostprominent among
> > them being the Times of India Group,the Indian Express Group, the
> > Hindustan Times Group, The Hindu group, the Anandabazar Patrika
> > Group, the Eenadu Group, the Malayalam Manorama Group, the
> > Mathrubhumi
> group,
> > the
> > Saharagroup, the Bhaskar group,and the Dainik Jagran
> group.
> >
> >
> > Let us see the ownership of different media agencies.
> > *
> > NDTV*: A very popular TV news media is funded by
> Gospels of
> > Charity in Spain
> > Supports Communism. Recently it has developed a soft
> corner
> > towards
> > Pakistanbecause
> > Pakistan President has allowed only thischannel to be
> aired
> > in Pakistan .
> > Indian CEO Prannoy Roy is co-brother of Prakash Karat, General
> > Secretary of the Communist party of India.His wife and Brinda Karat
> are
> > sisters.
> > *
> > India Today *which used to be the only national weekly
> who
> > supported BJP is
> > now bought by NDTV!! Since then the tone has changed drastically and
> > turned into Hindu bashing.
> > *
> > CNN-IBN:* This is 100 percent funded by Southern
> Baptist
> > Church with its
> > branches in all over the world with HQ in US. The
> Church
> > annually allocates
> > $800 million for promotion of its channel. Its Indian
> head
> > is Rajdeep Sardesai and his wife Sagarika Ghosh.
> > *
> > Times group list:*
> > Times Of India, Mid-Day, Nav-Bharth Times,Stardust , Femina,
> > VijayaTimes, Vijaya Karnataka, Times now (24- hour news channel)
> and
> > many more.. Times
> > Group is owned by Bennet & Coleman. 'World Christian Council' does
> > 80 percent of the Funding, and an Englishman and an Italian equally
> > share balance 20 percent. The Italian Robertio Mindo is a close
> > relative of Sonia Gandhi.
> > *
> > Star TV:* It is run by an Australian, who is supported
> by
> > St. Peters
> > Pontificial Church Melbourne .
> > *
> > **Hindustan** Times*: Owned by Birla Group, but hands
> have
> > changed since
> > Shobana Bhartiya took over. Presently it is working in Collobration
> > with Times Group.
> > *
> > The Hindu:*
> > English daily, started over 125 years has been
> recently
> > taken over by Joshua
> > Society, Berne , Switzerland . N.Ram's wife is a
> Swiss
> > national.
> > *
> > Indian Express: Divided into two groups*.
> >
> > The Indian Express and new Indian Express (southern
> > edition) ACTS Christian
> > Ministries have major stake in the Indian Express and latter is
> > still with the Indian counterpart.
> > *
> > Eeenadu: *Still to date controlled by an Indian named Ramoji Rao.
> > Ramoji Rao is connected with film industry and owns a
> huge
> > studio in Andhra
> > Pradesh
> > *
> > Andhra Jyothi: *The Muslim party of Hyderabad known as
> > along with a
> > Congress Minister has purchased this Telugu daily very recently.
> > *
> > The Statesman:* It is controlled by Communist Party of India.
> >
> > *
> > Kairali TV: *It is controlled by Communist party of
> India
> > (Marxist)
> > *
> > Mathrubhoomi: *Leaders of Muslim League and Communist leaders have
> > major investment.
> > *
> > Asian Age and **Deccan** Chronicle*: Is owned by a
> Saudi
> > Arabian Company
> > with its chief Editor M.J. Akbar.
> >
> > Gujrat riots which took place in 2002 where Hindus
> were
> > burnt alive,
> > Rajdeep Sardesai and Bharkha Dutt working for Star TV
> at
> > that time got
> > around 5 Million Dollars from Saudi Arabia to cover
> only
> > Muslim victims
> > which they did very faithfully. Not a single Hindu
> family
> > was interviewed or
> > shown on TV whose near and dear ones had been burnt alive, it is
> > reported
> > *
> > Tarun Tejpal of *<*
> >
> **Tehelka*.com> F%2Ftehelka%2Ecom%2F&isImage=0&BlockImage=0>
> > regularly gets flat check from Arab countries to
> target
> > BJP and Hindus
> > only, it is said.
> >
> > The ownership explains the control of media in India
> by
> > foreigners. The
> > result is obvious.
> >
> > Is this what our country forefathers envisioned in the consitution ?
> > It is one thing the media says they are mouthpiece of such
> and
> > such
> > organization, and talk about it. But another when
> they
> > misuse the freedom
> > given and pose as National Media when they are simply
> paid
> > agents,
> > propagandists. It is time all Indians take notice. In
> the
> > end everyone
> > suffers.
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Thanks & Regards
> > Rahul
> > (M) 9346629169
Facts : NDTV is a public limited company. The details of its shareholders is a public document and is available on stock code 532529

India Today is part of the TV today network which is a public limited company the details of its shareholders are there in

CNN-IBN is part of IBN18 which is a public limited company. The point that it is funded by Southern Baptist Church is baseless the details of its shareholders is available at stock code : 5328000

Vijay Times and Vijay Karnataka are owned by Vijay Mallya.

I stay in Andhra Pradesh and I am not aware of any Congress Minister and MIM leader buying Andhra Jyoti.

Deccan Chronicle is owned by Deccan Chronicle holdings limited. Details of its shareholders are available on, stock code : 532608 and MJ Akbar is no longer the Editor-in-Chief of Deccan Chronicle.

These are just few examples to prove that this is a malicious campaign by those who want to project that Indian media is 'bought over'. Before saying that so and so foreign company has invested one should know the fact that as on today no foreign investor can own more than 26 percent of the equity.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

C&S Digital: Some surprises for Hindi news channels September 09, 08

TAM Media Research has given the Indian media industry quite a bit to chew on by segregating the digital data from the analog one. So far, even as TAM Media Research has been measuring the digital households that have platforms like DTH, cable set-top boxes and IPTV, TAM was releasing consolidated data. exchange4media readers would recall that in the Hindi general entertainment channels’ space, the digital data had some interesting trends to throw. The Hindi news space turns out to be no different.
Hindi General News: One’s loss is other’s gain
The overall C&S data shows three channels competing in the top rung. These are Aaj Tak, India TV and Star News. One look at the C&S Digital data and it is clear that Star News falls significantly behind in digital homes. Needless to say, benefiting from this is Zee News, which even claims the third slot at times amongst the digital viewers.
The story is similar between NDTV India and IBN7. In the overall scenario, IBN7 competes very closely with Zee News to occupy the No. 4 or No. 5 slot at times. In digital homes, IBN7 loses significant ground and moves between the seventh or eighth position, which houses the bottom rung of channels. The benefiter here is NDTV India, which smoothly occupies the No. 5 position in digital homes.
Another player that loses out in digital homes is News24. The channel otherwise has been occupying the seventh position amongst the cable and satellite television homes. It is followed by Samay. Lagging behind these channels are Live India and DD News. Tables turn completely in the digital space for this rung of channels. Live India and DD News score higher amongst digital households, while News24 and Samay fall right at the lowest rung.
On the C&S Digital data, Live India and DD News move at least three notches up.
Hindi Business Channels: Changing leaders
Even as Hindi general news channels have quite a few players with at least 10 significant channels targeting a broader market, the business space still sees only two key players – CNBC Awaaz and Zee Business. On the overall ratings, CNBC Awaaz has managed to stay ahead of Zee Business week on week. CNBC Awaaz, too, scores on the digital data and scores enough to throw numbers better than some of the general news channels such as IBN7, News 24 and Samay. However, Zee Business scores better in some weeks.
A senior media analyst put the digital numbers in perspective and explained, “The overall numbers that we see when we do a simple run on just the C&S target without getting specific with analog or digital includes the numbers of both. When a channel is doing better on the overall and not in digital homes, then it has the opportunity to focus on that area. If they can change the trends there, the overall trends too should see some difference. That said, digital homes are less than 7 per cent of the overall homes right now, and so these are still very small numbers to say anything conclusively.”
However, the digital numbers wouldn’t be so small considering with players like Big TV entering the fray and Bharti DTH all set to join this domain.


Monday, September 8, 2008

On which TV was Chiru on 26 Aug?

Week 35 saw one big event in the political and the television history of Andhra Pradesh. Chiranjeevi announced his political party at a public meeting. Lakhs gathered at Tirupathi on August 26 to witness the event but millions were glued to the television set to watch the first ever live performance of Megastar. The real real reality show was watched on television by the State with all the news channels telecasting the show live.

TAM analysis of the five news channels from 1400 hrs to 1930 hrs in C&S 4+ All Sections on August 26 has NTV on the top with 34.35 GRPs, TV9 at 30.7, ETV2 at 27.38 and TV5 at 9.91, and Gemini News at 3.98 GRPs.