Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Katju to the rescue journalists?‏


Journalists who reported on the Karnataka Assembly porn scandal are now receiving support from the Press Council Chairman. In a letter to the Karnataka Assembly Speaker, Justice Markandey Katju defended the journalists, and urged that proceedings against the mediapersons involved should be dropped.

He said he felt such proceedings "jeopardise the freedom of the media guaranteed as a fundamental right" by the Constitution of India, and that they "seek to create an impression that it is the media which has brought the House into disrepute, rather than the MLAs involved."

One sided story?
Notices were issued to the Centre, state government and the ministry of information and broadcasting by the Bangalore High Court after listening to the PIL which argued that the electronic media did not show clips of policemen beating up lawyers at the City Civil Court on March 02. The PIL also said that the media persons involved in the incident used provocative language against the lawyers. The PIL was filed by Advocates Association of Bangalore. (DNA)

One sided story?
Notices were issued to the Centre, state government and the ministry of information and broadcasting by the Bangalore High Court after listening to the PIL which argued that the electronic media did not show clips of policemen beating up lawyers at the City Civil Court on March 02. The PIL also said that the media persons involved in the incident used provocative language against the lawyers. The PIL was filed by Advocates Association of Bangalore. (DNA)

Hostage to SP
Even as Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav was promising that goondagiri would not be allowed a 100 journalists were reportedly held hostage in Jhansi by his party's workers. The only channel to pursue the story initially was NDTV 24x7, which asked Yadav what he was going to do about the situation. Thereafter Star News scored by getting footage of the scuffle between the BSP workers and SP workers there, and the news that the journalists had managed to come out. The channel reported that in other UP towns too, such as Ferozabad and Meerut, journalists had been attacked.

Long innings
Working beyond 60 is not the norm at The Hindu; nor is it an exception. MC Sampat worked for 51 years, retiring as Senior Associated Editor at the age of 75 on Feb 28. Others too had long tenures: K Narayanan, Associate Editor - for 55 years. M Pattabiram, BS Padmanabhan, too worked for four decades and more. Now, with directors retiring at 65, employees may have to leave at 60.

On the cheap
In keeping with the high decibel, low cost tradition of its news shows, Times Now skipped doing exit polls itself and focused on analysing everybody else's exit polls. It spent its money instead on animated graphics and biggger panel line-ups than the others. Two major English news channel skipped doing exit polls, NDTV said they stayed away because it was too complicated.

Balancing act
Whatever the actual results turn out to be, News 24 got lucky with its exit polls where its own family politics is concerned. With a brother in the BJP and husband in the Congress, the channel's proprietor-boss Anuradha Prasad was able to placate both with its prediction: 55 seats each for the BJP and the Congress in Uttar Pradesh.

Generous builder
Sanjay Kakade, a Pune-based builder has sponsored Rs 5 lakh in prizes to be given away by Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh to journalists correctly estimating the number of seats to be won by political parties in recent municipal elections in Mumbai. Now, according to the Times of India, he will contest for the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra as an Independent. What is the connection?

Answerable to the House?
On Monday (Feb 27), journalists in Jammu boycotted the assembly and protested against the J&K Assembly Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone's assertion that the media was answerable to the legislature. According to reports, the speaker said, Everybody is answerable to this house and later repeated " they (media) are under my control when a PDP legislator suggested that they were answerable to the Press Council of India. The context was a discussion on the National Conference demand that journalists reveal their source for a particular corruption report.

Advertisers' choice
Why does the 8-page relatively serious Sunday Magazine of The Hindu invariably go without any advertisements in it while the Cinema Plus pull out the same day has almost three pages of advertising? Do advertisers thinks that less cerebral has more readers?

Tireless TOI
Times of India (Feb 27, Mumbai edition) knows how to milk advertisers by giving them newer positions. The page one picture of a crucial moment in hockey has an advertisement from an Internet provider (IP) saying 'We are proud of you' between the picture and the caption. Was the advertiser charged for the space used up by the the headline, the photograph and the caption? Small ad but great impact.

Happy news
The Times of India is indefatigable. On Sunday Feb 26 its wrap around ad did its best to look like a news page, with news items chosen to support the theme of the ad. There was happy news in honour of a toothbrush that protects your smile. On a front page that tried its darnedest to look like a real front page.

Guilty as charged
The ghost of paid news has struck for real in the run-up to the Punjab elections. First, 523 cases of alleged paid were registered against candidates. Out of these 339 were issued notices. Now, in 201 cases candidates have acknowledged that they did pay for news. These candidates have agreed to add these amounts into their expenditure accounts. In 74 cases, candidates have denied the allegations and in 38 cases among these, either the candidates or the media houses have challenged the allegations. (The Indian Express)

On the wrong track
The GOI thinks its media management, rather than the quality of its governance, is the problem. A team of eleven officials from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry are in the UK for a two-week course on media management. The government sent the group to sharpen their skills at the Thomson Foundation, a leading media training agency.The officials will be learning about managing print, electronic, Internet and all other formats. (HT)

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