Narendra Modi seems to have changed his outlook towards the media. According to sources, the PM is now telling his cabinet colleagues and bureaucrats to interact with the media and convey the work accomplished by his government in the last 18 months. His colleagues are however, continuing to stay away as they are wary of a fallout should they speak what is not in the script. » The Ministry of Finance is now on YouTube. The channel was officially launched yesterday with an aim to strengthen the online presence of the ministry by Arun Jaitley. It will feature videos of major schemes, meetings, events and press conferences exclusively related to the Ministry. » Actor Irrfan Khan has joined the bandwagon on the intolerance debate. Expressing that shutting one’s mouth is not a healthy sign of a growing society. “I find it very strange when few people say that actors should act and they should not express their opinions on issues. Everybody has the right to speak their mind and concerns” he said during the NDTV Indian of The Year Awards.
General V.K Singh has lashed out at the Media ‘presstitutes’ again for incorrect reportage. This comes in after a video surfaced on the internet showing Vijay Pal Tomar touching the feet of Amit Shah while felicitating him after he was re-elected as BJP President on Sunday. The media however, mistook the individual for V.K Singh to which the latter responded by saying that it was a case of “mischief by presstitutes.” » Donald Trump will “most likely” not participate in Thursday night’s FOX News-Google debate. Citing the participation of “lightweight” Megyn Kelly, Trump went on to poke fun at FOX news and said “Let’s see how much money FOX is going to make on the debate without me.” » A teacher of Mulluvaady Government Primary School in Pennagaram, Tamil Nadu has been suspended for defamatory posts on Facebook against the CM and local officials. The teacher posted a snap shot of an alleged interview of the 1980s, supposedly given by Ms. Jayalalithaa to a Tamil magazine, on his Facebook page.
The New York Times reported that Al Jazeera America is shutting down this April. Started in 2013, the channel has had consistently disappointing ratings since the beginning. The board’s decision stems “from the fact that our business model is not sustainable in the U.S. media marketplace”, said chief executive Al Anstey. » Fortune Magazine apologized for its January edition cover mistake. “Neither the artist nor the editors had any intention of parodying a particular deity or of offending members of the Hindu faith. It is clear that we erred and for that, we apologize”, wrote Alan Murray, magazine editor. » PPR Worldwide, integrated marketing and comms agency, launched its South Asia operations with three offices in India. With offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, PPR South Asia has Vandana Sandhir as captain of the ship. Vandana, previously with Genesis Burson-Marsteller, has more than two decades of PR experience with particular expertise in brand management and crisis comms. » Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar appreciated media efforts in making the world a “global village” with quick transmission of information from all over the world. “Media is responsible for bringing awareness and giving right direction to the society”, he added.
Culture Machine’s latest addition to their Unblushed series featuring Kalki Koechlin was released yesterday. A scathing monologue on the society and media, ‘The Printing Machine’ garnered top views on YouTube as it trended on Twitter too. Talking about acid attacks, gang-rapes and the constant objectification of women, Kalki comments on the appalling media reportage. “The video is one of the most simulating denunciations of a culture that may be going morally dumb, one newspaper edition a time” is what director Akanksha Seda had to say. » Narendra Modi is all set to launch his latest pet initiative ‘Start-up India’. To be held in Delhi on 16th January, the event will have a delegation of 40+ top chief executives, founders of start-ups, venture capitalists and angel investors from Silicon Valley in attendance. The PM will also be seen highlighting the initiatives for a start-up ecosystem in the country as the event will be telecasted live in over 350 districts of India. » Arnab Goswami, for a change, received much appreciation for calling out the ‘hypocrisy’ of Indian liberals who returned their awards stating ‘increasing intolerance’. He targeted documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, stating that he had gone ‘missing from the channel’ after the whole issue. Patwardhan’s riposte states he will return to Times Now if Arnab stopped ‘barking’. Read the entire Facebook post here.
The Chennai flooding has also affected media operations. Along with operations temporarily halting for TV news channels Puthiya Thalamurai and Jaya News, The Hindu too could not print its Chennai edition for the first time in 137 years. The Times of India faced similar problems, unable to print any of its 4 editions in Tamil Nadu; leaving people hungry not just for food but for information and updates too. » Chetan Bhagat’s tweets became the butt of jokes again as he criticized Delhi government’s #DelhiOddEvenLogic. Kumar Vishwas known for his sense of humour, lashed out at Bhagat with his poetic words. Read the entire tweet drama here. » Breaking diplomatic deadlock, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Janjua decided to hold talks in Bangkok about the crucial topic of Jammu & Kashmir. According to reports, both sides indicated “softening of attitudes” leading to further bilateral engagement in the coming weeks with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s travel to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia Conference on December 9th. » In a first since 1920, The New York Times on Saturday published an editorial on its front page. Calling for stricter gun regulation laws in the USA with an editorial titled ‘The Gun Epidemic’, the move came in after the recent shootings in Colorado and San Bernardino which claimed several innocent lives.
Pavan Duggal, Supreme Court advocate, and President of cyberlaws.net writes an interesting piece on social media misuse and the India cyber law. “Due diligence has to be the only mantra for all the social media users”, says Mr. Duggal. » Prominent writer Nayantara Sahgal has returned her Sahitya Akademi Award bestowed on her in 1986 – in protest against ‘rising intolerance’ in the country. The niece of India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru, Sahgal said the recent killing of rationalists MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare prompted her to return the government honour. » A dozen rallies rattled life in Kolkata, leaving citizens helpless and wondering if alternate modes of protests could be adopted. Trinamool Congress, CPM, Congress and BJP — all parties admitted that rallies and processions do bother the public. However, Trinamool and Congress decided to blame the media and traffic cops stating that lack of management and haphazard coverage caused the chaos.
West Bengal civic polls saw some violence but it seemed to only have been for the journo clan. As many as 20 mediapersons, both from electronic and print media, were abused and beaten up by offenders, who might have been brought by CPM according to State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim. » Crime against journalists is rearing its ugly head again. In the third incident in four months, Hemant Yadav, a TV news reporter, was shot dead in the Chandauli District of UP on Saturday night. The offenders’ motive for murder is still unknown. » Increasing FDI in News Media is back on the table. Sources in the Finance Ministry confirmed that the government is working to smooth details for 49% FDI (increased from 26%) in the news media sector. The issue of editorial control is still being discussed. » Move over HD, it’s now time for Ultra-HD. ITV Network, in collaboration with European network TERN, is set to launch Insight, India’s first Ultra-HD factual entertainment channel. “Insight goes beyond simple viewer interaction to incentivize and reward audience engagement”, said Mariam Zamaray, chief executive of TERN (Television Entertainment Reality Network). » Digital India’s leaders are digitally challenged themselves. Check the full account of Chief Ministers’ savviness here.