Photoshopping For Trouble

MediaWatchKnown for their often controversial covers, India Today managed to cross Delhi CM Kejriwal and Majinder Singh Sirsa, general secretary of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee this time. Titled “AAP ki Lalkaar”, the cover featured Kejriwal’s face over a Nihang warrior representing AAP’s Punjab run. While Sirsa took offence over Kejriwal’s clean-shaven form in a traditional Sikh dress, the Delhi CM complained that his image was used without seeking his consent. » After Hizbul militant Burhan Wani was killed on July 8th, the J&K state government imposed a ban on news and entertainment channels to stop ‘dissemination of information’ that could provoke violence. Internet and mobile communication has also been severed. A week later, there have been reports of police raiding newspaper offices and seizing printing plates. Kashmir has had no news print from July 16th, local journalists have also been harassed. Editors Guild of India described the crackdown as “unwarranted muzzling of the media” in their statement issued on Sunday. » Bangalore based Dailyhunt, formerly Newshunt, acquired minority stake in local-language news portal OneIndia. This will help Dailyhunt generate multimedia content, especially short-format audio and video in local languages. Virendra Gupta, Founder & CEO Dailyhunt, will also join the board of OneIndia’s parent company Greynium Information Technologies. » Deloitte, in a report titled ‘Media and entertainment industry – India tax landscape’, terms the Indian media and entertainment industry as  a sunrise sector with rapid growth. The industry is expected to grow at CAGR of 13.98% till 2018. The report is also optimistic about GST, which is not far from reality, addressing most of the key challenges that the industry faces from a tax perspective such as cascading and dual taxation.

Erroneous Outlook

MediaWatch-Image1.12Skipping fact check can lead to some serious consequences. Outlook mistakenly attributed VHP’s Late Ashok Singhal’s comment to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which caused quite a furore in the Lok Sabha. CPI-M MP Mohammad Salim, on the back of the magazine quote, hurled accusations at Singh which he vehemently denied. Outlook has tweeted its apology and corrected the online version of their Nov 16 article. » Freedom of expression is stuff of fantasy in this country. At least that’s what you’ll think when you read about Marathi newspaper Lokmat being driven to apologize for publishing a ‘piggybank’ cartoon with an article titled “ISIS cha paisa” (ISIS money). Muslims in Maharashtra took to the streets and even resorted to vandalism because the cartoon had the Prophet’s signature inscribed on the piggybank. Protest leader, Congress MP, Shaikh Asif Shaikh Rashid said the apology wasn’t enough. » Nepal has blocked Indian TV channels indefinitely, again. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae expressed concern over the growing “anti-India” sentiment in Nepal. “We sense that this is being used for certain objective — political or otherwise”, he added. » India startup stories graduate from a section of the Tech in Asia website to a separate website – Expanding to India, Tech in Asia has also put together an initial team of editorial and business staff here.


enhanced-20577-1445598302-9Mumbaikar Ram Subramanian took to social media to try and put an end to hate politics. Attempting to bring India and Pakistan together, his simple step of changing his profile picture on Facebook and proclaiming his love for Pakistan with the text “#ProfileForPeace No more artists being banned. This is my voice. This is our voice for our Mumbai, our India. Enough of hate politics. #SpeakUp” has moved millions in joining his initiative from both sides. » Sushma Swaraj was all praises for the Indian and African media. “Our media fraternity has bravely shouldered the burden of making our two societies aware of commonalities. The relationships between African and Indian media must be placed on the bedrock of grass-roots empowerment,” Swaraj said at the inauguration ceremony of the Editors Forum. » The NYT Magazine recently asked its readers if they would kill baby Hitler given the chance to travel back in time. It obviously did not take long for #BabyHitler to start trending worldwide on Twitter. With not everyone on the same page, the responses varied from critical to downright hilarious. Have a look.

Media Lights Off

MediaWatch-Image30.9Despite being critical of Nepal’s new constitution, India denies enforcing any ‘blockade of goods’ from Nepal into the country. Protesting the said unofficial ‘blockade’ Nepali Cable TV operators have blocked 42 Indian channels. “The black-out will be indefinite”, said president of the Nepal Cable Television Association. » After Jagannath Bastia, president of Puri Journalists’ Association, brought the matter to PCI’s attention, PCI is ready to start hearing allegations in the cash-for-journalists case. The case is against BJP MP, Pinaki Mishra who distributed Rs. 200 each to journalists at a press conference in Puri last year. Bastia will be in Delhi on October 8, to record his statement. » Retired mediapersons in Tamil Nadu to enjoy increased pension, all thanks to CM J Jayalalithaa. Journalist associations including CJI, expressed their gratitude for the State Government on Tuesday. » Melissa Waggener Zorkin and Pam Edstorm, co-founders of Waggener Edstrom, have taken their names off the door and rebranded the firm to WE. The revamp is part of the firm’s overall transformation, focusing on new partners, growth strategies and talent. Zorkin said that the agency is focused on delivering growth worldwide. In APAC, the firm is steadily growing at 8%, with WE India growing at 15%, and China seeing double that.

BBC’s Alzheimer’s

Trending-Image15.9BBC’s Twitter handle faced severe outrage for forgetting to mention Sania Mirza’s name while tweeting about her US Open Doubles title win with Martina Hingis. Not their first faux pas, BBC is yet to issue an apology. » India took a huge leap towards becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council yesterday. Its negotiating text for council reforms was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Describing the decision as “historic” and “path-breaking” India’s UN ambassador Asoke Mukerji explained its significance. » Former Supreme Court Justice Cyriac Joseph was all praises for the Indian media at ‘Indian Society, Media and Challenges of Human Right: A Dialogue’. “Media creates awareness among people and is playing a role of defender of human rights,” he said.

Indian Express Rebuked

Media Watch - Image 31.8Indian Express reported on Aug 28th about a draft report by the Law Commission of India, which moved to abolish death penalty from the statute books. Though the newspaper further clarified that there may not be unanimity on the recommendation to end death penalty in the final report, which will be submitted to the Government, Law Commission has rebuked IE for incorrect reporting of its views & letting the matter be open for unnecessary speculation preemptively. (Read the full story here). » Journalists from India and Pakistan continued to talk, even after NSA talks were called off. As reported by Rising Kashmir, a conference with journalists from ‘both sides of Kashmir’ took place and the joint statement issued thereafter recommended social media to improve media persons’ interaction. » The Sagar edition from Patrika Group, launched in Madhya Pradesh, claims to have a circulation of 27,500 copies from day one. The 37th edition of the group has been welcomed with open arms, and will cover Tikamgarh, Chattarpur and Damoh.

Sensible, not Sensational Journalism

Trending- Image 28.8It seems like the Indian Media’s newfound fascination is playing ‘Sherlock’ in high profile murder mysteries. However, their golden ticket to TRPs has back-fired on social media. With rumors, speculations, personal accounts, and relationships – anything and everything related to the Sheena Bora murder making news, netizens have taken to Twitter to voice their outrage over the state of journalism and Indian Media. The obsessive media coverage is just unacceptable at a time when there are far more important happenings such as the BSF Jawans losing their lives in a landmine blast in Odisha and soldiers/ ex-army men protesting for OROP. » After a nation-wide “competition” between states, the government has announced the names of 98 towns and cities chosen for its Smart Cities project. Of those shortlisted, 24 are capital cities, 24 are business hubs and 18 are cultural centers (click here for the full list). However, only the top 20 cities will be financed this year with each state getting at least one smart city, which, in PM Modi’s words, translates to “very high quality of life comparable with any developed European city”.