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Media In India/elsewhere
Varsha Bhosle is a nationalist. She openly supported Indian forces in Kargil. She was the first person to contribute in Kargil fund and started whole donation campaign. She was vocal against people who want US to invade India. All these p-sec or anti India media will never allow any nationalist to survive. This is a sad state of Indian media.
Why doesn't Varsha Bhosle post in this forum?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Why doesn't Varsha Bhosle post in this forum?  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
We are in touch with her. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->London, March 6: M.J. Akbar, editor of The Asian Age, has emphatically denied he is the father of Kimberly Fortier’s month-old baby in an interview with the Mail on Sunday.

Akbar, 54, insisted he had not even had a “Clinton moment” with Fortier, the former lover of David Blunkett, who had to resign last year as Britain’s home secretary. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Alas, such a ploy is undermined by his wife, “who was more amused than angry” when contacted by the Mail on Sunday.

Her line, paraphrased, was: yes, he could be a bit naughty at times but, on this occasion, she didn’t think her husband was guilty.

“I’ve only just heard about it,” she told the paper, laughing. “It’s amazing. It’s not that he’s not capable of doing such a thing, but for once I don’t think it’s true.”<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Because channels run amuck

India gears up to set up a regulatory authority to monitor television content

N P Chekkutty

The Central Government has finally woken up to the serious problems posed by the activities of a totally unregulated electronic media, both Indian and foreign, beamed to the drawing rooms across the country round the clock. The situation has been descried as a chaotic Indian sky, and the impact of this almost continuous unmonitored and uncontrolled media invasion among the younger generations is yet to be analyzed and properly studied.

The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has made an attempt to find a consensus on a proper regulatory mechanism for the electronic media, holding a national workshop on the content issues of television channels attended by representatives of all stakeholders in the media scene from all over the country, including content providers, cable operators, journalists from print and electronic media, social activists, women�s groups, etc.

The topics for the discussion at the workshop were mainly divided into three: First, the social responsibility of television media, which examined issues like acceptable community standards for decency; formulation of a watershed policy on such matters, and invasion of privacy of individuals by the media. The second part dealt with the question of adequacy of existing laws for regulation of broadcast content and how to rectify the shortfalls. In this section, the government welcomed suggestions on changes in the existing Programme and Advertising Code prescribed under the Cable Act, introduction of a classification/rating system for television programmes; insistence on pre-certification of films/film trailers/film songs/ music videos, etc, by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) prior to telecast; strengthening of the existing enforcement mechanism and how to tackle the question of control vs creativity in television content.

The third part of the discussion was on impact of television content which focused on issues like coverage of natural calamities /disasters and accidents; depiction of sex and violence on TV; harmful impact of programmes  and advertisements depicting children; portrayal of women in TV advertisement, telecast of movies rated A by CBFC and telecast of liquor and surrogate liquor  advertisements, etc.

The workshop, held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on February 16,2005, saw an informed and fruitful debate which was described by the I&B Minister Mr. Jaipal Reddy as a very fruitful exercise, the first of its kind in the country at his media briefing on the workshop.

The workshop came to a broad consensus on seven major issues with regard to regulation of the electronic media operating in the country and those from outside beaming to India. These points are:

a)                 The content providers and distributors, ie, the cable TV channels and cable distributors, must exercise restraint and self-regulation as to the sensitive nature of the content they provide, especially with regard to the non-news segment which have been seen as having a harmful impact on the younger generation.

b)                 The provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 need to be strictly enforced so as to prevent the distribution of content harmful to society such as vulgarity and violence.

c)                 There is a need for a truly autonomous regulating authority to regulate as well as dispose of pubic grievances and complaints with regard to television content. Such a regulating authority shall be autonomous, will enjoy quasi-judicial powers and will represent the interests of all stakeholders.

d)                 There must be clear time slots for films and video albums with A certificate from the Central Board for Film Certification, in order to prevent children watching them unwittingly. The time slot which is to be fixed by the government, may be preferably after 11 p.m.

e)                 The country has to formulate down-linking laws in order to enforce control over the content in the foreign channels beamed to India. It is also felt that proper guidelines should be urgently put in place till formal down-linking laws are put in place.

f)                   The ratio between the time allotted for programmes and advertisements need to be decided upon as at present there is no uniform pattern for it in the country. The international norms are generally that time allotted for advertisement will be 20 per cent of the total programming time, with exceptions to prime time. These will have to be enforced through guidelines formulated and issued by the I&B ministry.

g)                 There is a consensus for enforcing the universal service obligations in the industry which will help the government to collect a fees from the channel operators on the lines of the telecom industry where the government collects a fee of five percent on their earnings. This amount will go to meet the expenses for the regulatory authority, ensuring its independent status. It will also be used for financing other social needs like funding an independent audience measurement system, financing social messages on issues like health, education, women�s empowerment, etc, to be telecast on the electronic media 

h)                 The recommendations of the workshop will now be followed up by the I&B Ministry and the minister has promised to bring about a comprehensive bill on electronic media regulations and monitoring by the end of this year. He has promised that the Bill which will follow on the pattern of similar legislation in various developed and developing countries will be introduced latest by the monsoon session of Parliament so that by early next year the country will have a comprehensive legislation for regulating and monitoring  the electronic media in the country.

The workshop has addressed the concerns about the lack of a responsible system for television news as at present the live channels are often seen as lacking in depth, character and socially meaningful content. But the television channels are expected to regulate themselves as far as news is concerned though the proposed regulating authority will have powers to register and dispose of complaints of every nature. As the objectives of the workshop noted, the idea was to achieve control over television content within the legally laid down guarantees for freedom of expression on the one hand and protecting the values and mores of the society at large on the other.

The government initiative is to be welcomed, because it is high time we had some legal remedies for the intrusions into private life by the electronic media for whom better  ratings have become the first and foremost concern. The concern for sensitivity of a society at large is now simply ignored as we have seen in the case of Gudiya public trial, the live intrusion into the personal life of each and every celebrity, the kangaroo trial conducted by the electronic media on sensational cases, etc.

In fact India is far behind other developed and developing countries in legislating on electronic media content. France had taken the lead in such legislation as it had its regulating authority called  CSA, Conseil Supereur de L�audiovisual in 1986 based on a legislation passed in September 1986.  New Zealand followed it, with its Broadcasting Act 1989 and the Broadcasting Standards Authority set up under this legislation. Canada had its Telecommunication Commission based on the Broadcasting Act 19991, United Kingdom a commission under the Broadcasting Act 1996 and Communications Act 2003, Australia the Australian Broadcasting Authority under its Broadcasting Services Act 1992, and USA the Federal Communications Commission based on the Telecommunication Act 1996. South Africa had its authority based on Broadcasting Act 1999, South Korea the Korean Broadcasting Commission under its Broadcasting Act 2000.

(N P Chekkutty, a New Delhi based journalist, earlier worked as director of news at Kairali TV, Kochi. Contact: chekkutty@gmail.com )<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Media, masses, government, all ignore rural issues

A study on media coverage of developmental issues in the three new states reveals public as well as media apathy towards the plight of people living in rural areas.

Aman Namra

The power of media has never been in question. It can influence the key policy makers by swaying the public opinion on various national and international issues. It also has the ability to play a significant role in spreading awareness about various developmental issues.

In a country like India, where a host of developmental issues need to be addressed, media can highlight the problems and the challenges faced by the people working at the grass root level. However, does the media really make any significant contribution towards these issues? Does it use this power to influence people in a manner which would lead to social welfare? What is media�s contribution towards the uplift of poor and rural people?

In an attempt to answer these questions, Charkha Feature Service, national development communication network, conducted a joint study with Manthan Yuwa Sansthan, wherein it scanned the regional newspapers in three newly formed states - Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand - for three months. Unfortunately, the scan revealed that the mainstream media does not really deal with these issues at all.

The study was an attempt to understand the coverage provided to ten such issues - poverty, health, women, education, Panchayat, agriculture, livelihood, corruption, environment and crime. To gauge the level of importance given to the issues, the study looked at the page on which the article is published, whether the coverage is urban or rural, the source of the news - organizations, government, reporter or news agencies and the leaning of these news items, etc.

Media Scanning: Jharkhand

Thirty to thirty-two different tribes live in Jharkhand along with people of other caste and community. The people of this state speak a variety of languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Oriya, Bengali, Maghi, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Khortha, Napuri, Mundari, Uraw and Khadia among others. This is an extremely backward state in terms of economic development.

However, the media in Jharkhand raises minimum questions regarding their role and responsibility towards social welfare. While there is a need for developmental communication in Jharkhand, issues concerning these people and their problems hardly get any space in the local newspapers or other media.

Five newspapers published from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, were selected for this study. For this purpose, three Hindi newspapers - Hindustan, Prabhat khabar, and Ranchi Express and two English dailies - The Telegraph and the Hindustan Times, were analysed. The study focused on issues such as food, security, health, women, education, panchayat, agriculture, migration, unsettlement, mining and land.

The study revealed that after Jharkhand became a state, the distribution of paper in the villages and small towns increased. In this process of localization, more than half of the pages include news of capital and near by places with minimum or no space available to the news from other rural areas and poor districts. Out of 59,675 local news items (total of news of all papers) only 1671 were related to social issues. More or less every newspaper gives 150-200 cm column space to the sermons of a religious guru or to some religious/spiritual news. A trend of separate beat for the religion-spirituality has started.

Out of these 1671 news items, those on education (289) and health (223) were comparatively more but most of the news items on education comprised the activities of English medium schools. The agitation of college teachers definitely gets more space, but primary education and the level of education in the rural areas does not get covered. The same is true of health related news. Most of the news is based on camps organized by different organisations. Health policy is covered but the implementation of this policy is not discussed. In a state where more than 20 thousand children die of malaria every year, the government priority is spending millions on publicity and Aids awareness. Media, which could have played a role by discussing issues of hunger, displacement, migration and pressurizing the government into being more sensitive towards these problems, is indifferent to the whole affair.

Out of the total news on people issues, Prabhat Khabar published 39%, Hindustan 27% Ranchi Express 23%, Hindustan times 8% and Telegraph only 3%. It is clear that the National English dailies have not been able to cover the ground level issues of Jharkhand and are not sensitive towards these problems.

What is the focus of newspapers covering people�s issues? We found that the newspapers focus on the middle class. There are suitable reasons for it. As the middle class buys and reads the newspapers and increases the sources of revenue, it is natural that the concern of the newspapers is the middle class.

After scanning the leading newspapers such as Amar Ujala, Dainik Jagaran, Shah Times, Hindustan Times and Himachal Times, published from Dehradun, we found that only 5% coverage is given to the ten issues stated above. While Amar Ujala and Himachal Times provided a 5% coverage, Dainik Jagaran and Shah Times have given a 4% coverage and Hindustan Times a mere 3%. The dismal state can be gauged by the fact that in Hindustan Times, out of 5085 news items, only 13 were on poverty issue.  Similarly, Shah Times has covered only 16 news items on poverty out of 9145 news items. As far as poverty issue is concerned, almost all newspapers have a similar extent of coverage.

Of the total news items, poverty issue has claimed a mere 8% space, whereas issues of crime have a 15% coverage space. Out of the total coverage given to the issue of poverty, 53% of the news items have been sourced from reporters while only 7% of the news is from these organizations. One can find a similar situation in issues of health (11%), livelihood (9%), environment (13%), education (14%), and gender issues (14%).

About 92% news coverage is focused on the urban area rather than the rural. Ironically, though these issues have more relevance in the rural area, an increasing importance is given to these issues in the urban area. While most organizations working in the rural area focus on issues of health, poverty, women welfare, education, and Panchayat, the urban publications do not seem to consider issues from the rural area as relevant and important. Even when 5% of grassroots news do get published in these newspapers, 92% of the news items are published in the inside pages.

Further, it was found that out of the 5% of the total coverage given to these issues, a mere 9% was from the six poorest of districts in Uttaranchal. A remote district like Chamolii is allocated merely 1% of space, whereas Champavat and Bageshwar have been allocated 6% and 3% space respectively. As far as the issues highlighted in these 6 districts are concerned, crime has bagged 15% of the news space. Being a hilly area, environment has been given the maximum coverage of 30%, whereas issues of health, Panchayat and livelihood mere 6%, women 7% and poverty 3%.

If one focuses upon the news items on women issues, then one can find that the "backbone" of the hills -the women community- are given coverage of only 14% in Dehradun-based publications. As far as respective newspapers are concerned, Amar Ujjala has published about 51 news items out of 7759 whereas Hindustan Times has published nine items out of 5085 on issues related to women. Similarly, Dainik Jagaran has published 54 items on women out of 9325 news items and Himachal Times has published 52 out of 9145 news items.

It is evident that people-related issues do not get much space in Uttaranchal newspaper publications. One important reason for the same is the fact that organizations working for the grassroot-level issues often do not have good relations with the media. It is important that the organizations working on such issues are sensitized about the role and responsibilities of the media and the media is made aware of the important role these organizations play.


In Chattisgarh, with the support of Asha Shukla, a noted journalist from Navbharat, Charkha scanned Navbharat, Dainik Bhaskar, Deshbandhu and Hitvaad. The situation is quite dismal in this region as well.

An appalling 2% space is given to the ten issues stated above. Out of this 2%, 4% space is given to poverty, whereas 24% space is attributed to crime-related issues. The least percentage of space is given to the news related to Panchayat; out of the total of 22,495 news items published in the four leading newspapers in the state, only 18 news items were on Panchayat issues. This appalling figure is quite similar to the figures in the other two states. Media has not focused on the challenges and the achievements of the local governance. One can only conclude that either the issue is not important for the media or the latter is unable to reach out to the media. It is important to note that while there are many NGOs working towards the development of PRIs, this work is not being given any coverage by the media.

Similarly, health related issues are given a 23% space, but over 65% of the news items are from the urban area, and that too related to strikes by doctors and bad administration in hospitals. Coverage given to the rural area on health related issues is very less. As far as the source of the news is concerned, in Chattisgarh, reporters cover 82% of the overall news whereas organizations cover a mere 10% of the news items.

Similarly, the poorest districts of Chattisgarh, namely, Bastar, Koriya, Kanker, Raigarh, Jashpur and Devtada, have received a total coverage of mere 4%. Out of this, crime related news have been given a coverage of 62% while poverty a mere 4%, health 4%, education 13%, Panchayat 4% and corruption 13%. Unfortunately, issues related to women, environment, agriculture and livelihood have received no coverage from these 6 districts.

Reasons for media apathy�

The condition of the editorials is even worse. Only 11 editorials were on these issues and even then, they were published in local papers. According to a senior editor of Deshbandhu (Chattisgarh), the challenge of staying in the market is like digging a well daily. If the issues of the most deprived community are not covered by the newspapers, it is because the news does not �sell�.

Even readers do not seem to be sensitive towards these issues. In Jharkhand, only 17 letters from the readers clearly give out this message. And when these issues are not in the agenda of the society, how can a paper be blamed? If we see the media and these issues in this context, the reason behind lack of coverage when it comes to developmental problems becomes clear. Newspapers reflect the system and the social structure.

A large section of the population of our country is illiterate and deprived of basic necessities. Some people do not even get two meals a day. The basic reason behind this is that our democracy is by the people, but not for the people. Peoples� issues are raised in the Parliament and the Legislative Assembly but ultimately the discussion does not yield any results. At times, our politicians constantly seem to try to do away with these issues. Bihar�s Legislative Assembly and now Jharkhand�s Legislative assembly shows us how the sessions are continuously cut short.

The three newly formed states mentioned in the study have completed four years and an attempt was made to understand if the newspapers in these states could reflect the ground realities and document the changes which have taken place during these years. While the newspapers do not seem to have done a good job of covering the developmental issues, the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Is the attitude of newspapers towards the problems of the common people any different from the deteriorating face of power and administration?

(The author, Aman Namra, is the resident editor of Charkha. Charkha has for the past ten years attempted to highlight the issues of development in mainstream media. In this respect, Charkha has been conducting workshops with the grassroot workers in various states, the objective of which is to develop and enhance their ability to write and sensitize the media on grassroot level issues.)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Mar 7 2005, 10:36 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Mar 7 2005, 10:36 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Why doesn't Varsha Bhosle post in this forum?  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
We are in touch with her. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
WOAH!! That's quite a shot in the arm. Thought Varsha disappeared after her niece/nephew were born.
Selling editorial space: Changing times

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->For the owners, who once said selling newspapers is like selling pig iron, the way was simple: sell editorial space, considered to be sacred till now. So they set up Medianet. Launched by Bennett Coleman & Co, Medianet today sells editorial space in the editions of the Times group of newspapers. It didn’t concern them that selling editorial space crosses the divide between editorial and advertising, though it still appals many a media baron and journalist.

The Indian newspapers (other than the Times, of course) took sometime to react to this new phenomenon. And when it did (Business Standard first discussed this issue, and later The Hindustan Times carried op-ed pieces by top editors on the subject), it laced seriousness, and the issue fizzled out very fast. Again, the age-old practice happened: not to discuss the rot in your house to the public.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sevanti Ninan, well-known media critic, has a pertinent argument to make. She says: “The Times of India started the trend of bringing advertising upfront long ago, and having made its point, and its money, is moving on to push the boundary on frontiers that the others have not yet got to. It now has an online company called Medianet to negotiate rates for editorial space on different sections of the newspaper’s online edition. If the print supplements also pick up the same stories from the online edition, it is an extra bonus for the party that has placed the paid news. Look for a very tiny legend in the bottom right corner which says Medianet promo.”

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nevertheless, editor-proprietor Aroon Purie was expressing disapproval in a [Business Standard] feature on the Bennett Coleman group’s decision to fix rates for news space on its news portal. But is sponsoring cover stories that far removed from selling news space? Will news that gets sponsors begin to find priority over news that does not? It’s getting competitive, this business of saying, ‘Hey, come and stick your product on any part of my news page, and sponsor the whole thing if you like’.”
Mediaah! is dead <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This is to inform all our readers that Mediaah! has chosen to cease publication. I received a legal notice from the esteemed lawyers retained by a leading Indian media group who asked me to delete 19 posts from the Mediaah! weblog and also refrain from writing anything similar and defamatory.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Mudy, What exactly was in those 19 posts?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mudy, What exactly was in those 19 posts? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Exposing Times of India, Jain brothers etc. This guy was pro Sanghvi or atleast keep his gloves. I should have kept some post.
Some samples
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Times play spoilsport, yet again
Let me state it upfront: I don’t think Star’s modus operandi to beat the government guideline to uplink is bound to raise brows. By getting the likes of Vir Sanghvi, Kumarmangalam Birla, Hemendra Kothari and a cross-section of others to take stake in a content generation company, it may have successfully beaten the system, but the very presence of a newspaper editor (Sanghvi) and one of the country’s finest dealmakers (Kothari) was sure to irks some.

Perhaps Star should have quietly got an obscure asbestos marketer to pick up a percentage. And make deals within deals – something that is a common practice in our country and its legal advisers would’ve gladly backed up. But, having done what they have, they’ve got an unlikely Goliath to take on. Mr Samir Jain and all his backroom boys at The Times of India.

In a prominently displayed article, the country’s best read and most influential English daily has ‘analysed’ the new Star deal to get uplinking licence in India. After all, the government’s diktat was clear: only 26 per cent can be held by a phirang.

It’s not that the article is without any substance, it’s just that its intent is suspect. And the fact that the Star TV group of satellite channels, cable, radio and now DTH plays are getting to be bigger than the Times, a fact recognized by BusinessWorld magazine in a recent cover story, is perhaps a prime driver behind the carefully crafted ‘news analysis’.

The Times of India’ s crib against foreigners entering the news space is age-old. Other than The Hindu and The Hindustan Times (whose editor is ironically Sanghvi), Times has been consistently asking the government to not allow foreign direct newspapers. While the government did not change its stand, to level the playing field between print and electronic entities, it added the clause of a 26 per cent foreign equity cap on the uplinking for satellite news channels.

It is evident that there’s a lot more than editorial judgment that got this unbylined article printspace. It’s possibly the combined works of the dirty tricks department at Times House and at competition (or disgruntled employees?) that’s at play.

So what? It will surely get the government to rethink while examining the Star News uplinking and DTH files. If steps aren’t taken fast enough, you could even have Star News going off-air. But expect more fireworks soon, for in effect you have a homegrown Samir Jain taking on a mighty maverick like Rupert Murdoch.

Although a major advertiser in the Times and a partner in projects like Channel [V] Popstars, like Jain, Murdoch too is known to not take kindly to those who take on his empire.

It’s not impossible for Star News to rejig ownership numbers: it’s a question of changing names and numbers on a spreadsheet. Times realises that Star, given it’s unrivalled leadership status on telly, commands more influence than its entire publishing group. What Murdoch doesn’t have in his belly is a newspaper. But now, his resolve to have one will be surer.

As for Times, it’s an issue of who occupies the top slot. The party, as they say, has just begun. One hopes though it doesn’t spill over on editorial space

// posted by PM @ 7/10/2003 11:49:09 AM<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

other link to enjoy
Let me post whole page before it disappear. Enjoy it-
// posted by PM @ 1/1/2004 12:01:10 AM
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
<b>The 2003 Mediaahperson of the Year and The 2003 Mediaah! Brand of the Year: N Ram and The Times of India </b>
LOOKBACK 2003: Believe it or not, there's a lot more than gut that went into into the selection of the 2003 Mediaahperson of the Year. Although it's Mediaah's picking, and hence a single person's choice, it's over a round-the-year tracking of mediapersons and entities. We carefully note these, and tabulate scores. This ensures that recent dip in work doesn't affect one's ratings very much. It is necessary to do this since we are dealing with intangibles. Also, what you may perceive to be hot may not appear to be hot to us or to a third person.

We've also tried to factor out extreme personal views, and ensure that these don't skew the overall verdict. So, while it's Mediaah's Person of the Year and Brand of the Year, we believe that it also reflects the view of the fraternity.

The Mediaahperson of the Year for the year 2003 is: N Ram, Editor-in-chief of The Hindu
The Mediaah! Brand of the Year for the year 2003 is: The Times of India

<b>Mr N Ram, The Hindu
Mediaahperson of the Year</b>

The former Ranji cricketer, N Ram took charge of The Hindu this year amidst some views that it could change the outlook of the newspaper. Ram though made it very clear that he was looking at a very principled approach in a rather extended editorial a few months back, to coincide with 125th anniversary of the paper.

There are many reasons why Ram is our Person of the Year:

1. Integrity: There's no disputing the integrity of both Ram and The Hindu group of publications

2. Principled: A stickler for some principles. Some of these are indeed lofty, but if he's able to adhere to them, it's commendable.

3. Commercially Successful: This is the most important. Without being a commercial success, there's no point being principled. The fact that The Hindu readership grew by 53% on a high base speaks volumes for the paper's reach.

4. Industry Leadership: Ram enjoys the respect of the entire industry, as also politicians, bureaucrats and big business. There are very such people in the media today who can match Ram on this count.

5. Aggressive journalist: The newspaper may appear very dull and boring, but that's by design. However, Ram is an extremely aggressive investigative journalist, and those who've been in the business in the '80s would remember his work on Bofors. The missionary zeal with which he took on Jayalalithaa recently is indicative of what he can achieve.

Whilst there have been several mediapersons who've done outstanding work this year, N Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu group is the 2003 Mediaahperson of the Year!

<b>Mediaah! Brand of the Year
The Times of India</b>

You don't have to pinch yourself to check if you're dreaming. You read it right: The Times of India's is the Mediaah! Brand of the Year for the year 2003.

We have issues with the journalism the newspaper practises, and we believe that by doing so, the newspaper is destroying the brand, but we must confess that we fall in a silent minority. For a large number of the people, in Bombay and Delhi and that number will grow even in Calcutta and Chennai, the Times is "hot". The intelligentsia and corporate executives may feel that it's not stimulating, but they don’t constitute the paper's core target audience.

The Times of India has very intelligently dumbed down the newspaper, and attracted a host of new readers to its fold. Readers, for whom Telgi is as important as Shah Rukh Khan. Readers, who don't want to get bored with serious issues of the nation. So, as one senior Times editor whom we interviewed told us: for every two or three readers it loses, there are possibly five or 10 more it gains.

The way Times has tackled the Delhi market should make for a case study in a b-school. Whoever said it's impossible to break newspaper habits?!

Mediaah! however believes that Times mustn’t shun serious journalism. For, they could be issues that concern its readers.. It must also do away with Medianet or any other policy that compromises its brand value. Mediaah! may continue to raise the red flag and lampoon the paper on editorial issues, but we have no hesitation to declare The Times of India as the 2003 Mediaah! Brand of the Year.

// posted by PM @ 12/31/2003 04:33:05 PM
<b>The 2003 Mediaah Dubious Achievement Awards</b>
Attention! Attention! Presenting our dubious achievement awards. We ought not to add this, but please take them in good humour, and indicators for improvement. Enjoy!

<b>The Sachin Pilgaonkar Tu Tu Main Main Award </b>for who's No 1 in the Delhi household
to The Times of India and Hindustan Times for creating the biggest ruckus ever in readership wars. Move over, detergents and colas, the new turf war will be fought in newspapers and by newspapers, but for the advertiser.

<b>The Wedding of the Year</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
to Indian Express CEO and ed-in-chief Shekhar Gupta and NDTV for promoting each other so prominently in their respective media outlets. Gupta interviews on NDTV so he becomes famous, then he becomes even more famous by printing the same interview on the entire Op-Ed page of the Indian Express. Ever heard of a better win-win contract?

<b>The 'Copy' Editor of the Year award</b>
to a Business Standard reporter, whose story on the state of Bollywood was lifted from rival Economic Times's website. Business Standard then had to apologise in print over the goof, and Mediaah! ran a campaign on the issue

<b>The FTV-Playboy Award </b>for the Most Titillating News Channel of the Year
to Aaj Tak for dramatising an entire rape scene on prime time television, and then standing up for it.
(contributed by Sachin Kalbag)

<b>The Blind Spot of the Year award</b>
to every newspaper and every TV channel in India for not acknowledging the good work done by reporters of other media organisations. So it always: "It was reported by a particular news channel", "It was reported in a certain Bombay daily", "It was said in a lifestyle magazine" etc etc.
(contributed by Sachin Kalbag)

<b>The Ajit Singh award for switching loyalties</b>
to Deepak Chaurasia, Dibang and all other news anchors who've moved from one news channel to the other. Sanjay Pugalia has worked in most of the old ones!

<b>The R K Dhawan award for sycophancy</b>
to Bachi Karkaria for writing nice and not fully correct things about the editorial of her newspaper

<b>The Oxford Dictionary award for Language Precision</b>
to exchange4media and Pitch. Although very popular, they insult the reader's senses with their typos and editing errors.

<b>The Business India lifetime achievement award for most boring journalism</b>
to India Today. Well-circulated but a magazine that everyone buys but no one reads

<b>The Lakme India Fashion Week award for the best looking news anchors</b>
to the faces of Headlines Today. They don't have to worry if you-know-what happens

<b>The Gandhi-Nehru 'Family and Self First' award </b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
to Piyush Pandey for always putting his interests first at his agency and when it comes to representing the industry

The Prabhu Chawla award for the <b>least impressive political party spokesperson on telly</b>
to Jaipal Reddy. If the Congress wants to get anywhere near power, it must get a new person on board

The Jaipal Reddy award for 'I know it better than the best'
to Prabhu Chawla because he seriously thinks he knows the state of the country better than Vajpayee and Sonia.

<b>The Harshad Mehta award for influencing the Stockmarket</b>
to the unknown business journalist who worked hand-in-glove with operators and operators to influence stockprices

<b>The Outlook Traveller award for the best travelled journalists</b>
to the editorial staff for Femina for maximum junketeering (given size of the team) in the last year

These were sent to us by a few readers. We had carried them in our preview last week, and we've let them be in this final award listing:

<b>The Raj Kapoor-Nargis Dutt award for obsession</b>
to Mediaah! for never having a single day pass without a mention of the Times of India group

<b>The Laugh all the way to Bank award for the best Unpaid Ad Agency </b>
to Mediaah! for popularising Medianet without even The Times of India asking for it. Now, no ad agency needs an introduction powerpoint on Medianet
(contributed by Sachin Kalbag)

// posted by PM @ 12/31/2003 01:35:12 PM<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Can anybody post the blog that is objectionable to the media people here. I'll request the mediaah person also. It may have hit at the right nerve to have this guy receive legal notice. We need to analyze that info to find on how to hit/tackle the Indian media.
<b>Govt to clip TV channels' wings</b>
Ashish Hanwadikar's blog
A blog set up to mourn the muzzling and demise of mediaah!
<b>Please archive this....</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The letter</b>
Of course there's no way we can prove beyond doubt that this is the letter, unless PM or the lawyer concerned confirms it, but we thought it is very important not to present a one sided case here. Since it is unlikely that the 'offended' parties will give us copies of their correspondence (unless it's a fresh letter to us - hehehe), and PM has not been in touch with us, this is the best we can do.

Please read the letters, refer to the posts that the lawyer mentions, and make your informed judgement. Do they have a case? Should PM apologise and stop crticiising them? Please make your comments both here, and under the individual posts.

Thank you to the anonymous comments who suggested ways to put up these images.

Here you are folks. Please click on the small pictures to see the full-size pictures


P.s. Since it is quite possible that we may be asked to remove these, we request you to copy these documents (and also the posts below) and store them elsewhere, where they can be accessed by concerned members of the public. The more copies the better. If you want to display these pictures, please copy them to your own service. They are hosted on a free, anonymous service, so we may get kicked out of there is too much load. Thank you.

# posted by mediaha @ 8:11 AM 5 comments   
<b>Offensive? Judge for yourself.</b>
We managed to get our hands on Mediaah!'s archives before PM felt obliged to delete all posts from the blog. We wish he'd kept them up, but we understand his dilemma. After all, would you like a big company's legal department threatening you, harrassing you?

Now, we are told that the posts below are what the TOI found offensive. you judge for yourself whether these posts are "Fair Commentary" or not. Leave your comments under the posts saying if you agree or disagree that it is slander or libel. Leave comments under this post for general comments.

p.s. We also have a boot leg copy of the infamous letter from the TOI. We would like to put it up (its a scan of a xerox) but we don't have the resources to host images anonymously. Your suggestions greatly apreciated.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:25 AM 3 comments   
<b>Exhibit Nineteen</b>
Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Times makes Mid Day an offer it can't refuse. May up stake to 20%

Will Mid Day Multimedia Limited soon be a Times of India group company?
Although we have no official confirmation from either of the newspaper companies, our sources at the latter and at investment companies indicate that The Times of India has made Mid Day an offer that it cannot refuse.

The investment folks tell us that Times may just up its current 7.44 per cent stake to 20 per cent, secure a berth on the Board and then look at full acquisition at a later date. But our sources in BCCL tell us that there is talk also of a full takeover.

Tariq Ansari, who normally responds to Mediaah’s mails pretty promptly, uncharacteristically turned a deaf ear to our plea for clarity. Mid Day has just moved to a new office and even though the newspaper is doing exceedingly well, the radio division – Go 92.5 – is pecking furiously at its bottomline.

According to a stockmarket analyst, Mid Day is in the same situation as a Business India was some years back. Television was a passion with Ashok Advani then, and radio is the same for Tariq Ansari. And this passion has virtually blinded Tariq into pumping print profits into a medium that requires exxxxxxxtremely deep pockets. The heart has gained precedence over the brain, and while Go may receive wah-wahs with the hipset of Bombay, it isn’t a mass station like Radio City or Radio Mirchi. Or even the equivalent of what a Mid Day is in print.

A Mid Day top brass had once told a journalist that whosoever matches a certain stockprice can buy the company. Well, almost. So in the sabzimandi of Indian media, we believe that the Times have made Mid Day an offer that it finds too irresistible.

Should Mid Day sell stake? Should it sell stake to the Times? Will Times use Mid Day to serve its own ends? Will it continue its policy of treating Mid Day journalists as B-grade employees and pimp Mid Day print space under the garb of Medianet?

Mediaah! learns that a few top Mid Day journalists will put in their papers IF Times picks up controlling stake. A large section of the sales executives have already deserted the company, including former COO Bikash Banerjee who has moved to Business Standard. While the print circulation has reached a new high, the morale could hit rock bottom if Times picks up more stake.

Tariq Ansari will need to do more than just a bit of explaining to employees if he chooses to let his labour of love to become a plaything of the ToI to kill competition. Just selling the entire or part of the family’s 63.79% stake for monies may make fantastic financial sense, but if money is what the Ansaris were interested in making, they could’ve done a lot of other things in life. Right?

What’s your view on Mid Day selling stake? Should it? Should it not? Should it sell to the highest bidder? Will Mid Day loses its masti if Times buys it? Or are we over-reacting? Email your views to midday@mediaah.com

A disclosure: the family of this blogger owns 500 shares of Mid Day Multimedia bought entirely for investment purposes and with the faith that the company had a tremendous future. We repeat: with the faith that the company had a tremendous future... :-(

# posted by mediaha @ 10:24 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Eighteen</b>
Monday, February 28, 2005

Could we have less of The Times of India in Mediaah: BusinessWorld

Vanita Kohli Khandekar’ s media column in the latest issue of BusinessWorld talks of Mediaah! having “floated back into existence in January this year”. It then goes on to say that the “site is juicy as usual, full of gossip and tidbits about media”, but “could we have less of The Times of India?” Why not other radio, TV, film, Internet and TV software entities?

“TOI is not the only interesting publisher in India, even though it is the largest and you get lots of readers from there,” she says. Agree wholeheartedly, Vanita.

There are many reasons why Mediaah! has so much of Times:

1. Other organisations don’t have so many newsworthy (and bizarre) things happening within
2. It’s the largest print player and the most influential of them, so it makes sense covering it
3. There isn’t as much happening elsewhere.
4. People from the Times are more keen on others knowing about what’s happening internally
5. There’s are many interesting events in the North East… how much of all of it do we cover? Why doesn’t BusinessWorld or for that matter any other publication cover the patch-up of only the likes of Anil and Mukesh Ambani and not two paanwallahs on the road. The paanwallahs could also be as prosperous and popular?

But, we get the message, Vanita. And we’ll try and have lesser of the Times.

Khabardaar, all the others!

# posted by mediaha @ 10:23 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Seventeen</b>
Friday, February 25, 2005

Will Manikchand sue Times on Filmfare Awards?

We aren’t sure if they will, though sources very close to Times and Manikchand tell us that the former will try to get a stay on the event happening tomorrow evening. In fact sources within the Times tell us a notice may have already been filed and is being hushed up to bring about an out-of-court settlement. But we don’t know for sure, though if it exists, it will be quite a sting case.

Okay here are the arguments, for and against:

For Manikchand:

1. If the termination as a sponsor is found illegal, it will still be sponsor of the Filmfare Awards
2. Manickchand is a company and that is separate from its CEO Rasiklal Dhariwal. It’s like a contract between Company X and Y, and the CEO of X meets a ganglord, but that doesn’t mean the company-to-company contract with Y can be terminated. The CEO may be sacked but the underlying contract stands.
3. The allegation is against the CEO and not the company, and contracts with the company on a company-to-company basis cannot be terminated
4. As far as gutkha manufacturing is concerned, it has been doing so for the past 15 years and been sponsoring the awards for the past 11 years. If no issue has been raised thus far, why do so now?
5. Any other sponsor associating with the vent will be violating its rights and will have to face legal consequences.

Against Manikchand:

1. Manikchand is Rasiklal Dhariwal’s middle name. You can’t compare a Manikchand with any other FMCG which boasts of years of professional management. Here the gutkha company is still controlled by Rasiklal D, albeit from various corners of the world
2. The public pressure was way too much for Times to handle, and with the government and Shiv Sena asking them to back off Manikchand, the only way to do would be to exit the sponsor. Else, they would’ve to sacrifice the awards
3. The contract may be with the company in letter, but in spirit it’s Rasiklal Dhariwal’s image that looms large
With the new jv partner in BBC, policies have changed on gutkha manufacturing
4. No threats to other sponsors will work, in any case the Swarup group is not a title sponsor. The SGI group is presenting…

We believe that the Times of India group has another ace up its sleeve. And that is regarding Rasiklal D’s other problems. Surely, the group can pull some strings at the right places to ease things for the man with a quid pro quo that he forgets about the sponsorship of this year’s Awards.

All’s fair when it comes to Filmfare!

# posted by mediaha @ 10:21 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Sixteen</b>
Thursday, February 24, 2005

Times plays up fake NASA news, sermonises media on not checking with NASA on another

Should you trust everything that's on the wires? Given that the news agencies have their own checks and balances and are extremely trustworthy, there’s a tendency to blindly take whatever comes on the ticker.
But with the advent of 24x7 television news, the business of wired services has changed dramatically. Bureaus are short-staffed – often a single reporter can be found working on two or three key beats, and the quality of talent in general has also dipped considerably over the years.

We’ll possibly discuss the state of our news agencies some other day (after we’ve studied the scene better), but what has got us to raise the issue is this news item that appeared in The Times of India last week on life on Mars. It was on top of Page 1, and the story was attributed to ‘Agencies’ and talks of two NASA scientists submitting their findings.

Now, we learn from the excellent blog of Bangalore-based journalist and restaurateur Madhu Menon that NASA has clarified that the claims are incorrect. Madhu has of course taken off on the Times for publishing the item, and I don’t subscribe to the shrill, but it’s important to note for a newspaper of the Times’s standing that it mustn’t take agency copy at face value.

1. It should’ve identified the agencies. If you are using the works of a contributor, and find it good enough for Page 1, give us their names.

2. You have a senior journo in Chidanand Rajghatta stationed in Washington who has written today about the Indian media being taken for a ride on another NASA-related issue. “India's media-on-steroids may well owe a mea culpa for falling all over a story without taking even the elementary step of e-mailing or phoning NASA or looking up its extensive website, to confirm its authenticity”. Well said, Chidu. This is what the Times should’ve done.

3. Apologise if you err. It’s best to say sorry and let readers know that you are willing to own up to a mistake. Entities like Mediaah! apologise even they’ve made no mistake just because they don’t want to take on the high and mighty. But imagine if a NASA were to sue you-know-who for affecting its credibility and business interests without checking on facts...

Wink, wink.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:20 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Fifteen</b>
Friday, February 18, 2005

Yahoo! to buy stake in Indiatimes?

We have been hearing these murmurs for a few days now, but when you have a newspaper like The Financial Times’s Bombay correspondent Khozem Merchant also reporting it, one’s got to give it some attention.

Khozem’s report and our information has it that search engine-turned-comprehensive internt portal Yahoo! is in discussions with Times Internet Limited to acquire stake in the company and/or the Indiatimes portal.The Financial Times report quotes an unnamed senior exec at the company confirming the negotiations. Mediaah! learns that talks have been on with several investors including Yahoo! At the time of writing, the CEO, COO and CFO are said to be in Hong Kong. They have of course visited the United States, Japan and even China for discussions and many biggies have also visited them.

So is Yahoo! going to buy stake? The discussions are on, but we’ll be surprised if it’s just a minority stake, as in less than 10 per cent. The Times of India group can manage without minor mercies.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:17 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Fourteen</b>
Thursday, February 17, 2005

Mediaah! scoops, Business Standard licks!! R*ut*rs 'stake', Zee-Bhaskar jv stories in print

Don't tomtom your achievements, the wiseman said. We hate doing it. But it's only to underscore the fact that our stories are based on a reasonable degree of market intelligence and research that we write this. Today's Business Standard has two stories that take off from where we left. One, on the rumoured Zee TV-Dainikar Bhaskar tie-up to launch an English newspaper in Bombay, and the other that got us a legal notice and we were asked to delete (or else) the item from the site -- R*ut*rs picking up a 26 % stake in the proposed news, biz and curent affairs channel of the Ti#*s group.

So why are we starring and hashing alphabets? Because we don't think there's any point in getting into a legal tiff with the biggies. We don't have the resources to fight suits filed from Sikkim or the Andamans, though we are sure well-wishers there will oblige. They must appreciate constructive criticism and reportage of developments. It would be interesting to see if The Group sends a legal notice to BS given that the paper has done a few stories on it in the past - first on M*di*n*t, the second on a reviewer plagiarising and now this bit that may harm its business interests.

Back to the news in question: Zee-Bhaskar reportedly put an ad in Mid Day last week looking for field executives. No names were mentioned, just a large media group. Is there need for the Times group to worry if there's a new English paper in Bombay? Not at all. The people who will have to worry are the other morningers: the soon-to-be-launched Hindustan Times (interestingly, Zee’s new head of media marketing is ex-HT and was obviously privy to all of HT’s Bombay plans), Indian Express and Asian Age. There’s Free Press Journal too which is trying to make a dent with Sec D to Z, so that paper shouldn’t be worried at all.

We'll keep you posted on what happens (and who to apply to if there are any jobs going). Hum hain na!

# posted by mediaha @ 10:16 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Thirteen</b>
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Unfair! Bollywood says Awards nominations lowers Filmfare rep

While the Filmfare awards committee may have made amends with Sonu Nigam and credited him for Main Hoon Na, but the industry (including the magazine staffers) have been lampooning the nominations. We received two mails – one from a journalist and industry insider and another from a Times group staffer on the nominations:

1. They are poorly thought of, amateurish and incomplete Most of them revolve
around five-six films completely ignoring the 130-odd films that released in

2. If they are popular awards, why has Aishwarya Rai been nominated for 'Raincoat' which was a flop and her performance was panned?
3. The nominations show some bias towards the Yashraj and SRK camp!
4. Some categories have five nominations, others have six. Shouldn’t there be a
5. Cult films like Dhoom which saw brilliant performances and direction get bad treatment at these awards
6. Is there no lyricist in India other than Javed Akhtar? Five nominations for Javed Akhtar of which three are for Veer-Zaara!!
7. Some names appear to have been added just to ensure that all ‘camps’ are covered.

However, we would like to add here that there are some cribs about every awards event each year. But with the stakes being so high and big monies from sponsorships (in the region of Rs 6-8 crore), the least the organisers can do is ensure a glitch-free event.

Also, the awards are NOT organised by an outside events company, but 360 degrees, which is part of the Times group and headed by A N Parigi who is also CEO of Radio Mirchi. While we were told that the BBC jv
was reluctant to have Filmfare staffers associated with a Manikchand-sponsored event, there are enough film resources within the Times empire in Bombay who are clued into films – Omar Qureshi, Jitesh Pillai and
several others -- who could have been consulted.

What upsets us most is that at least a couple of Bollywood biggies told us that if awards nominations lower the rep of the magazine, which is known for scandal-free content. In fact actor Aamir Khan has boycotted the event for many years because he believes that film magazines shouldn't be conducting cine awards.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:14 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Twelve</b>
Monday, February 14, 2005

Monday Memo: When the media tries to muzzle the media

It requires a great deal of character and maturity to face the glare from the media. And this is especially so when you are subjecting someone to constant scrutiny and criticism.

But that’s the media’s job: play watchdog along with its role of an information and entertainment resource. Mediaah! was set up in July 2003 with these three primary objectives: inform, entertain and watch. We didn’t take our last role very seriously, we didn’t want to bark at every thing that looked amiss. We didn’t have the wherewithal to do it, and that wasn’t our intent. However, we took pleasure in informing, do that with gentle doses of humour. Everyone took it in their stride.

However, while the media keeps subjecting others to criticism – and brand it constructive though it may often be pretty destructive, the media itself doesn’t take too kindly to criticism. Regrettably, and unlike the US and the UK, there aren’t too many in India who review the media and put each and every news item under the scanner.

On Thursday, we had got wind of a legal notice from our sources in the Bombay office. Funny, because rather than send a notice, the more logical thing to do would’ve been to call or email. Tell us that x, y and z items aren’t in good taste or whatever. Instead they chose to take us on, and sent a mail on Friday to the founder of this site (and owner of the domain name) who promptly forwarded it to us. We replied to the notice, apologised since it was not our objective to take on a biggie, followed it up with a couple of calls to the lawyer’s office, but haven’t got a reply yet. We had a hit a Saturday, a holiday.

We hope the matter is forgotten now, and we can start life afresh, but from what it appears, one of the objectives of the notice was also to have us back off. We won't. Agreed, we have been carrying too much on a single entity for a while, but that’s because there’s too much happening there, and it’s the largest media group in the country.

It’s just like why a newspaper reports on the Union government so much and not about a Panchayat when the latter is also very active.

We messaged a few friends who include senior editors and publishers, technology evangelists, marketing professionals, cybercrime experts and the like. Some of who we are in touch with, others not so regular, and a few people who we think are our well-wishers. Save a handful who didn’t reply, all of them said our show must go on. An evangelist and one of the most successful internet professionals in the country told us that we must apologise and continue. “Can’t afford fight at this stage. Site is too good and important to be killed”. A top marketing pro at one of India’s biggest FMCGs and a big advertiser with the notice-sender said: Don’t let them bully you, fight them! A journo and law expert said: Your apology seems correctly worded. I hope the matter ends here. I really think give up Mediaah... such battles cannot be fought alone. Another publisher asked us matter-of-factly: What’s your long-term objective?

It’s in the interest of media organisations such as those who hate us to have sites like Mediaah! live on. We believe we are responsible, and aren’t unfair. Imagine if someone would set up a hate blog, and take on the high and mighty. So, while a Mediaah! can be forced to back off, the spirit may turn venomous and re-emerge in tens of them who are extremely scathing and vicious. Being anonymous, sending legal notices will also be tough.

All attempts to muzzle the media in the past have backfired. In our case, we don’t have the resources to ‘unite’ mediapersons from across the country. However, it is important that media entities accept the new realities of life. They must appreciate that unlike the good old days, each action will now always be under the scanner. Also: just as they carry news of families splitting or company developments before they are made public, Mediaah! too can subject them to the same. Is it in public interest? This bit can be argued for and against, but it’s important that we learn to take criticism and news on us in the right spirit.

Times are a-changing. Our readership is a fraction of what the biggies are, so we can cause them no real harm. But that doesn’t mean that observers like Mediaah! can be made to shut up.

As the title suggests, Monday Memo appears every Monday. Email comments at mail@mediaah.com

# posted by mediaha @ 10:12 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Eleven</b>
Saturday, February 12, 2005


This refers to the item ‘Times to tie up with Reuters for news. Name and last-minute hiccup over Sunil Lulla appt to be resolved’ that appeared on Mediaah! on Thursday, February 10, 2005.

We have received a legal notice from Mr Rajnish M Singh, Advocate, on behalf of his client, Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, saying that the item harmed the reputation and goodwill of his client. That was not the intent of the news item and not the intent of Mediaah!

In his letter, Mr Singh has also said that the item is totally baseless and has no substance or truth in it.

While Mediaah! would stand by the information published, Mediaah! apologises to Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd and has deleted the abovementioned item with immediate effect.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:11 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Ten</b>
Friday, February 11, 2005

25 Days of Profit. Mediaah! verdict: CNBC-TV 18 scores, Profit must shed 'We know it all' tag

We were supposed to post this a few days back, but didn’t because despite seeing a good amount of both channels, we wanted to be doubly sure of what we think is the reason why one scores over the other.

Okay, here goes:

On Day 25 of NDTV Profit's existence (it launched on Jan 17), Mediaah! feels CNBC-TV18 is the better channel.

Several reasons:

1. CNBC-TV18 (CT) is to business and corporate affairs, what NDTV is to general news. The ad blitz that NDTV has several years of experience doesn’t hold water – its experience was restricted to Budget analyses in the early days, so the loads of experience

2. Vikram Chandra, Profit’s main man, is a disappointment. He has been thus for a bit, like Sreenivasan Jain, NDTV’s Bombay bureau chief. Vikram may have been a great presenter once upon a time, but now he isn’t.
What helps CT score is that even the top guy, Raghav Bahl, is extremely modest while interviewing (like Prannoy Roy, who has turned awful in newsanchoring though). Other visible CT faces – Udayan Mukherjee and Menka Doshi – are excellent.

2. Let’s face it, stockmarket doesn’t always behave scientifically. With due respects to technical analysts etc, there are times when the market moves up or down for the smallest of rumours or sentiments. It is hence difficult for both both CT and Profit to predict market trends. However, in the crucial trade hour telecast, CT scores.

3. CT and Profit were apparently rushing to score brownie points over airing quarterly results. Like the cricket board charges for match coverage, perhaps an Infosys, Reliance and Wipro must even consider charging these two moneis for the coverage of their results and annual general meetings.

4. NDTV Profit’s studio ambience is brighter, but it will take time for it to grow on us. Right now, the diehard business and market community we spoke with believe that CNBC-TV 18 scores. Unlike the younger set, these folks won't switch loyalties overnight.

NDTV sources may boast of higher numbers, and CNBC-TV18 can counter it, but eventually it’s not just numbers alone, but the programming quality that will dictate the future of the channels.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:10 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Nine</b>
Thursday, February 10, 2005

Koshish on for non-tobacco, aboveboard sponsor for Filmfare

Now that Manikchand has gone off as the sponsor, perhaps the Filmfare magazine staffers will be allowed to work on the awards, at least in terms of interacting with stars etc. The BBC apparently had an issue with the magazine staff getting associated with an awards event that had a sponsor dealing with tobacco as well as linked to problems with law-enforcers.

Our correspondents in Times (ok,ok, not correspondents… just informers) say koshish is on for a non-tobacco, aboveboard BBC-friendly sponsor. Perhaps they’ll get someone in by the weekend…

# posted by mediaha @ 10:09 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Eight</b>
This was the item om the rumor about the TOI's tie up with Reuters for news, which also mentioned Sunil Lulla. Unfortunately this had already been deleted from Mediaah before we could get our hands on it. Anybody who has a copy, please feel free to post it in the comments.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:05 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Seven</b>
Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Don’t allow Filmfare Awards to happen, Shiv Sena tells Mah govt. Deputy CM Patil agrees, says Manikchand should not be associated with awards

All these years of sucking up to Bhabhiji Smita Thackeray have been for naught.

According to a report on Rediff.com, the Shiv Sena yesterday asked the Maharashtra government to “withhold permission” to the holding of the Filmfare Awards sponsored by the Manikchand group in view of the “alleged links” of the latter’s chief with the underworld.

“The owner of Manikchand group, Rasiklal Dhariwal, is accused of having connections with the underworld and he is a traitor who has fled the country," leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane told reporters in Mumbai, Rediff reports..

What’s more important is that Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister, R R Patil, who btw has a Surf Excel-clean image in the State, has backed the Sena claim. "We are of the opinion that name of Manikchand should not be associated with Filmfare awards."

What next now?

1. Filmfare uses the Bhabhiji card. Having invited her to present at least one big award every year, she can take the bosses to Saheb, Bal T. He may just give in.

2. The chief organiser of the show, A N Parigi, is the ‘samdhi’ of Suresh Kalmadi, Pune MP and head of the Indian Olympic Committee (Parigi’s son is married to Kalmadi’s brother’s daughter). So Mr P can get Mr K to put in a good word with Madame Sonia and do the needful

3. The BBC is part-owner of the Filmfare brand. Mr Vineet Jain could speak to the BBC who in turn could get Tony Blair and George Bush as well as their friends in the United Nations to influence India to not cancel the awards. Mr Narayan Rane and Mr R R Patil will get a fellowship to study the working of local governments in 10 cities of the United States and United Kingdom – including miscellaneous tourist spots like Disney, Universal Studios, Niagra Falls, Buckingham Palace and Las Vegas. A special screening of Shwaas, the movie which is the Pride of Maharashtra, will also be organised for the White House and House of Commons.

4. Think of a 360 degree idea for this year’s Filmfare Awards. Conduct it in Bhutan. No one will crib there, and the King will only to be happy given the tourism potential.

Okay, enuff of creative writing. We think the Filmfare Awards organisers are in a spot. It should be interesting to see how Messrs Jain, Parigi and Co draw up the screenplay for this rather slippery soap opera.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:02 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Six</b>
Friday, January 21, 2005

Rapid Fire a la K Jo:
Times for reading edit or ads? Prannoy Roy or Prem Tarneja?

It’s one of our favourite programmes on telly. We wouldn’t like his sing-song demeanour earlier, but the show’s super. Especially the one which had Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee… top class!

We’re referring to Koffee With Karan on Star World, and what we are presenting you now is a take-off on the Rapid Fire round with special ref to our business. While reading this, ‘hear’ Karan Johar asking the questions… it’ll give you the right feel.

Times of India for reading editorial content or the ads?
Ads. They want us to read them… the edit exists to make the ads seen and acted upon.

India Today or Outlook?
Outlook. India Today is a magazine that everyone buys, but few read.

BusinessWorld or Business Today?
Both. BusinessWorld because it comes every week, but we like some of the features in BT

Shekhar Bhatia as editor of Hindustan Times or Times of India?

Vir Sanghvi as editor, writer or anchor?
Writer, esp Rude Food. He’s a decent anchor, but a far, far better writer.

NDTV Profit or CNBC-TV 18?
So far: CNBC-TV18

Business Standard or Financial Express?

Times Delhi or HT Delhi
HT Delhi

Rediff or Indiatimes?
Rediff for news, Indiatimes for everything else

NDTV 24x7 v/s Headlines Today?
NDTV 24x7 of course.

Headlines Today or Doordarshan News?
DD News

Headlines Today or your cable news channel?
Cable channel

Headlines Today or switch off TV?
Switch off of course… don’t waste electricity

Tehelka print or Tehelka internet?
Economic & Political Weekly

Bachi Karkaria or Jug Suraiya?

Most irritating anchor: Karan Thapar or Barkha Dutt?
Barkha Dutt

Best newsreader: Prannoy Roy or Prem Tarneja?
Prem Tarneja

Prem Tarneja is a cartoon character…you know that?
Yes, he’s better

Medianet or Advertorials?
Neither. Advertorials which say they are advertorials

Most boring read: India Today or Business India?

Star News or Zee News?
Star News

Aaj Tak or Star News?
Aaj Tak

Aaj Tak or NDTV India?
Aaj Tak

NDTV India or NDTV 24x7?

Femina or Savvy?

Femina or Cosmopolitan?

Femina or Elle?

Femina or Seventeen India?

Femina or Headlines Today?
Neither, can you puhleez move on?

Night Out or Boomtown Rap?
Night Out (on 24x7)

Harsha Bhogle or Charu Sharma?
Harsha Bhogle

Charu Sharma or Lalu Prasad Yadav?
Lalu Prasad Yadav

Charu Sharma or K Srikkanth?
Charu Sharma

Charu Sharma or Item Songs on TV?
Item Songs on TV

Charu Sharma isn’t that bad!
Next question?

Well, that’s what we have for today… we’ll be back again soon with another round of Rapid Fire.

# posted by mediaha @ 10:00 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Five</b>
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Is Jojo going to be the new Times editor?

The grapevine has it that Jaideep 'Jojo' Bose, editor of The Economic Times, is tipped to be the new executive editor of The Times of India.

Although a section of the ET crowd we spoke to said that Jojo vehemently denied the possibility, the corridors of power at the premier pinky have been speaking about this in more than hushed voices. While his name has been thrown up several times in the past, Jaideep is known to be opposed to moving to Delhi.

One insider we spoke to joked that if Jojo accepts the offer, it could mean difficult times for the suits. The reason? "He's got spine." If the move does happen, Mediaah! would welcome it, and the site can fade away resting assured that the paper is in safe® hands.

What The Times of India needs is an editor who is worldly wise (and not a prude), appreciates the needs of a brand and packaging of a newspaper, backs his staff and has the confidence of both the editorial, marketing and spaceselling team without compromising on the core editorial values. With due respect to Messrs Girilal Jain, Dileep Padgaonkar and Shekhar Bhatia, they failed to do the above, and as a result, the Times editor got majorly devalued in his own office. If an editor like Jaideep Bose takes over, you can be certain that there will be much happiness in newsrooms.

# posted by mediaha @ 9:58 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Four</b>
Saturday, January 10, 2004

Last evening @ TV Today: 3 biggies quit Aaj Tak, 2 leave Headlines Today. Uday Shankar "definitely going". Elsewhere: Vineet J and Bachi walk the ramp

We had announced that we won't be producing an update on Saturdays, but this is a mini-edition to update you on two happenings.

One, about Uday Shankar. News director at Aaj Tak, going to Star News at the same position. The buzz is right, we were told by a senior producer... he is "definitely going".

Uday, btw, is part of the senior management at TV Today Network, and his name figures in the prospectus (the draft at least) of the company when it went in for an IPO last month. For the record, he's a little over 40, has worked at Sahara, SAB TV, Zee News and The Times of India. He holds a master's in economic history has done a PG diploma in journalism.and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (info sourced from the TV Today offer document).

Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma publicly announced on Thursday that a few people from Aaj Tak were joining Doordardarshan News. Last evening, three senior staffers in the channel are said to have put in their papers. Two have left Headlines Today, reportedly so "disgusted" that one of them has quit without even having a job in hand.

We asked a few Aaj Tak hands, specifically in Delhi, if Uday's going will make a difference to the channel? The reply we got was a firm "no", but an equally firm "yes". Yes, because being the boss, he held the channel together and was a good guide to the freshers in the organisation. And no, because the show will go on nevertheless, and a successor has been indentified.

The other bit that we heard of is about a party held last evening to celebrate The Times of India Delhi's numero uno status. Guess who walked the ramp? Managing Director Vineet Jain and Resident Editor Bachi Karkaria. There was also an excellent display of fireworks.

# posted by mediaha @ 9:57 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Three</b>
Thursday, January 01, 2004

Shocker! Times to allow advertising on edit page and sell Medianet

Buoyed by the response the main edit page article on Aventis that The Times of India carried earlier this year, the newspaper has taken a dramatic decision of allowing advertising on its edit page as well as allowing Medianet to get active with some of the content on the page.

According to the draft of a circular that we received in the wee hours of today, the decision will be effected. It took a few days of persuasion preceded by a presentation done by the corporate team of the newspaper, before vice chairman Samir Jain asked for the circular to be sent. Chairperson Indu Jain was also reportedly consulted, and so were all the Sankaracharyas and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Meanwhile, Mediaah! was privy to the entire discussion that was held in the boardroom of The Times of India in Delhi late on December 30. A senior executive present had carried a mini digital recorder that looks like a pen, but can record conversations up to two hours, and can be saved in .wav files and even transcribed through special software.

Read on till the end, because there's a lot that can be read between the lines, and especially in the final paragraphs. We have edited the conversation and will carry only relevant portions.

(present at the meeting. Clockwise from the head of the table: Samir Jain (SJ), Vineet Jain (VJ), Pradeep Guha (PG), Rahul Kansal (RK), Ravi Dhariwal (RD), Jug Suraiya (Jug), Dina Vakil (Dina), Bachi Karkaria (Bachi), Arun Arora (AA) and Vijay Jindal (Jindal).

The meeting started with the Gayatri Mantra CD being played. Samir Jain started chanting loudly, and the others followed. He then signalled to Arun Arora that the music volume can be lowered, and asked for some other devotional music from the Times Music stable to be played in the background.

SJ: So Jindalsaab, what's the agenda?

Jindal then pulled out a patti folder and gives to the Jain brothers and passed on the rest to AA with a request to circulate.

RD took over.

RD: We had this study conducted across 27 focus groups across all our editions on the editorial page of the newspaper and had some interesting findings

Bachi: But that's alright Ravi, the edit page is the conscience of the paper. Right, Jug?

Dina: Yes, and how many people read the ads, one can argue. I remember a United Nations study conducted in Geneva that said that the media in third world countries must carry the editorial page

Sensing some discord, Rahul Kansal looks at Dina and says:

RK: You have a point, Dina. The editorial page does indeed play a vital role. But in the markets where Jug has consented to not carry the editorial page, the reader hasn't missed anything. In fact our readership growth curve on Page 14c of the dossier will show how time spent on the paper has actually gone up in editions with no edit page

Jug: Not consented, Rahul, relented

Bachi gesticulates at Pradeep Guha, and ask him to speak:

PG: The objective is to keep innovating, and not assume too much. We will not effect anything drastic, but it is important to note that the reader has changed

RD: Change is the word, Pradeep. And as your Ad Asia theme was Break the Rules

Vineet Jain is visibly amused, he looks towards Jindal and asks:

VJ: Do we really know the reader?

Jindal: Yes, if you look at some of what my team has come up with.

He asks for the TV to be switched on and lights be dimmed to see the film

Jindal: Please everyone please see these are real readers

Jug (under his breath): How do we know it is not staged?

Bachi and Dina were seen trying to control their laughter.

All along, Samir Jain looked at the ceiling. More than the ceiling, he observed one of the light bulbs in the centre. And quietly pencilled some notes on a piece of paper. He asked for the music volume to be raised a bit.

I was looking at that lamp and wondering if any of us knew whether it was really needed.

Every one nodded in agreement. He then ask the peon to switch off the centrepiece. Three people go to do the same thing.

PG and RK look at each other and smile. Jindal does a thumbs up sign to VJ.

SJ: The issue is that we don't even question its utility.

At this Ravi Dhariwal said a team from IIT Delhi had done a study on the light intensity before and after a particular bulb was switched off. And they said there was no difference to the light levels in the entire room.

Jug (under his breath): I know what the conclusion is... I know it! I know it!

Bachi: Yes, of course, that's unfortunate, but I'm sure I can get a reporter to do a story on this, and how vital electricity can be saved if one light bulb in each Indian household is switched off.

Samir Jain got up at this point. The others also wanted to do that, but he asked them to stay seated.

SJ: You've made a valid point (looking at Bachi). One bulb going can save a lot of electricity. Similarly one page reduced can save us a lot of money.

Ravi Dhariwal pulls out his calculator at this point, and mouths a number to Vineet Jain

VJ: But why can't we accept advertising on this page? Why can't we ask our friends at Medianet to chip in?

RD: Oh, yes, they can do it

VJ: We will retain the page, generate some revenues and get some purposeful content

Jug: But, Mr Jain, you can't have any Karol Bagh shopkeeper or party-type being interviewed?

RD: They are your readers, aren't they?

Jug: Of course they are, but we have to have some standards

Samir Jain then asked everyone to be quiet.

Jindal: VC has spoken to Mataji, she is okay with it. We also met the Sankaracharyas recently, and they think the brand is not diluted. Sri Sri Ravishankar loved the idea, especially when he was told the emphasis is on concentrating on real issues of the nation.

Jug: So you will now have an interview with all those Medianet types?

RD: I think we should be open to new ideas

Samir Jain: So is this final? By when do you want to introduce this, Jug?

Jug: It's all up to Ravi (looking at Ravi Dhariwal)

RD: How about January 14, it's an auspicious day - Sankranti and Pongal

Jug (under his breath): Oh, yes, it's appropriate that from Sankranti we get into kite-flying

Samir Jain got up and said Namaste to all. Everyone walked out with their filofaxes and spiral pads. Jindal then muttered in Jug's ear:
"Everything you said under your breath was recorded, my friend."

Jug: Bugged?

Jindal: No, just taking minutes of the meeting. Also, on flying kites, what do you think you'll are doing now?

He then rushed ahead and walked with Samir Jain to his car.

Thankfully, hic, this meeting didn't happen and the decision to allow advertising and/or Medianet hasn't taken place though one often wonders whether the interviews on the edit page are part of an orchestrated campaign like the Karisma Kapoor one at the time the serial Karishma took off on Sahara with a huge blitz in the paper.

What you read above was an April Fool's Joke fast forwarded to January 1 to get you off your hangover and 'morning after' grogginess. Enjoy! Have a great 2004!

# posted by mediaha @ 9:55 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit Two</b>
November 21 2003

Is Bachi also leaving The Times of India?

Time House in the capital has been buzzing with rumours that resident editor and one of India's best known journalists, Bachi Karkaria, has put in her papers. Bachi had joined the Times earlier this year from Mid Day where she was editorial director. Thanks to Bachi, there is said to have been a marked change in the Times Delhi edition with the desired soft treatment of hard news and word play in headlines.

If she has indeed quit, will she also move to Hindustan Times like editor Shekhar Bhatia? Well, for three years (when she was with Mid Day), her column would appear in HT, so there's obviously an old relationship with that paper.

Watch this space for more.

# posted by mediaha @ 9:54 AM 0 comments   
<b>Exhibit One</b>
Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Stop this bak-bak about reader rules, Bachi. Times prostitutes content!

The blood boils when you have a seasoned and senior journalist like Bachi Karkaria talking about how the reader rules at Times. While Mediaah! went to town yesterday congratulating the newspaper and praising the good work done by its people and the vision of vc Samir Jain, we don't think the paper should be allowed to get away with all the bakbakaria doled out.

First, a bit of background. Bachi Karkaria, resident editor of The Times of India Delhi, was until recently editorial director of Mid Day Multimedia. She had a three-year stint there, and while at Mid Day, her weekly column would appear in Hindustan Times, New Delhi. Nothing wrong with all of that, except that it helps put things in perspective. Agreed, Bachi's track record in Times has been terrific, and even earlier at The Statesman, but all of that is too much in the past. Right now, she's RE of Times Delhi, and presiding over a newspaper that's the toast of the country.

However, while we concede that the newspaper was the first mainline national daily that befriended froth and features in a big way, it has also consistently not cared a damn about ethics. Other than near-rampant junketeering and no practised policy on accepting freebies, Medianet is a classic case of prostitution of journalism, and content that is sold at a price is being dished out as editorial as if it were produced by its editorial team.

We aren't acclaimed wordsmiths like Bachi, so we leave her to decide on how to explain Medianet to Times readers. Rather crudely, we'd call it prostitution of journalism. Hey, so what does this make the editor of the newspaper?

# posted by mediaha @ 9:47 AM 0 comments   

Do a good deed of the day....especially those of you who've had choicest words for ToI in past <!--emo&:rocker--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rocker.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='rocker.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Petition to Withdraw the notice against Mediaah! blog
ITALIAN EXPERSS trying to cast aspersions on the judiciary to save their darling MAFIA leader LALU
<b>The judge must clarify</b>
For justice’s sake, investigate Judge Variava’s statements on the fodder scam case urgently

Justice S. Variava’s claim that he had been contacted by someone from an unidentified high court to indirectly ascertain whether the judge in the fodder scam case could be changed raises a host of questions. Simply put the issue is this. If someone was indeed trying to influence Justice Variava, then proceedings should be initiated against that person. The justice should lodge a formal complaint and enable the law to take its course in the matter. It makes little sense for a Supreme Court judge to make an innuendo in open court, without formally naming the accused. The judge also complicated matters by suggesting that there was an attempt to influence him “indirectly.” This is also a vague formulation. Either there was a culpable attempt at influencing or there wasn’t. If the attempt to influence the judge clearly violated the law, then action should be taken. But the phrase “indirectly” leaves it entirely unclear what the ground of the complaint is.

The judiciary’s importance and its increasing conflicts with the legislature are bringing its words under a scanner. Justice Variava may not have named the high court in question for fear of politicising the matter. But his words have politicised the issue. They imply that the plaintiffs in the case are trying to manipulate the outcome. The finger of suspicion is already pointed at the RJD. It was patently unfair of the judge in question to allow room for speculation, while not revealing the full facts. The RJD has rightly demanded an investigation into the judge’s allegations. The Supreme Court would do well to insist on such an investigation.

If there is substance to the justice’s claims, punishment must be meted out. If these claims are not sustainable after an investigation, then the judge has done grievous harm to the reputations of the plaintiffs in question. If the honorable justices of the country do not fully acknowledge that words uttered in a court of law should have a clear meaning; if they do not draw the line between innuendo and a clear framing of charges, then the cause of justice is truly in jeopardy.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Here was Advani's interview to NDTV. Now they are tring to spin this against him and BJP

Hold Advani to his word Consensus requires BJP to shed the bitterness of defeat; the Congress, the arrogance of power


In India, policies and decisions have often been delayed or subverted because of fixed conventions. Opposition parties often oppose for the sake of opposing; governments often refuse to consult the Opposition simply to assert their authority. This vicious circle, where the Opposition accuses the government of not consulting them enough, and the government accuses the Opposition of not giving sufficient cooperation, needs to be urgently broken.

In a recent Walk the Talk interview, L.K. Advani declared that he was open to cooperating with the UPA and its constituents on many legislative issues. The Congress and its allies should hold Advani to his word. It should be possible for the Congress and the NDA to get together to ensure that a significant amount of legislation, on whose desirability they both agree, should pass. Why cannot the model of cooperation on foreign policy issues be extended to other areas? Indeed, such cooperation is the only way of ensuring that policy-making is not held hostage to the veto power exercised by small and uncompromising parties like those on the Left. Small parties are gaining power because national parties are refusing to cooperate. Such cooperation as Advani envisages is, of course, easier said than done. Both the NDA and UPA now have a history of grandstanding that will not be easy to overcome. Second, much of the conflict between the various political parties now stems from the personalisation of politics. The fact that parties in power usually try and embarrass their opponents by using or misusing the CBI has led to the politics of recrimination.

How will we evolve a political culture where genuine cases can be pursued free of political interference? Much of the possibility of the kind of cooperation that Advani is talking about depends upon an answer to this question. All political parties should now realise that the politics of revenge is collectively harming them. Being obstructionist for the facile objective of denying your opponent credit, discredits the political process as a whole. Advani’s call for cooperation should extend not just to immediate legislative matters, but also to creating conventions that benefit all parties in the long run. A genuine democratic sensibility can be created only on the basis of a willingness to compromise and negotiate. Advani rightly argued that the only way to move things forward is through a politics of consensus. But creating such a consensus will require the BJP to overcome the bitterness of its defeat, and the Congress, the arrogance of its power. It will require leaders to act like statesman, not politicians. This may seem a tall order in the present political climate but worth giving a shot.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
They always expect BJP to stay on moral higher ground, but Congress shameless behavior is okay, as what is expected from them. They don't whack Congress for major sin but never spare BJP for its fault.
It’s all about money and Congress is a good bribe master.

I am really not sure what to think about these exposes. I guess in a way it does expose the grim realities to the public but then was it really news ? We all know what goes on in entertainment business (prices for various heroines, specialities etc) - is this really going to change anything ? OTOH isnt this expose thing going to promote a paranoid society where even moms tell kids -> dont talk to strangers ?? i guess he is right in a way that if u can see "kanta lagaa" in living room this is nothing in his videos but is this a good argument ? I dont know . <!--emo&:unsure:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='unsure.gif' /><!--endemo-->

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