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Media In India/elsewhere
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->TV channel gets a month to clean up obscenity

Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi

In a decision that may become the precursor for formulation of tough law to check telecast of obscenity on small screen, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has revoked for a month the licence given to the channel Cine World for showing obscene English feature films.

The I&B Ministry had on Thursday issued a notice to Cine World, a Mumbai-based entertainment channel and simultaneously suspended their licence. "The channel will not be allowed to uplink during this period. Let them first explain why their licence should not be permanently terminated," said a Ministry official.

Pointing out that the Government has repeatedly asked the TV channels for self-regulation, the official said that Cine World was violating provisions of Cinematography Act and the Cable TV Networks Regulation Act 1995.

Even as the Government has strongly hinted in recent weeks at establishment of a separate authority to monitor content on the web and on TV channels, the action against the cable channel has been described as a first step. Sources said that the licence of the Mumbai-based channel could be permanently revoked if it did not change its ways.

The action followed complaints received from several women's groups, consumer groups and educationists about telecast of obscene material on TV channels. Cine World was launched about a year ago offering English films sourced mainly from Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong and some of the smaller Hollywood studios. It also offered regular blockbusters from Bollywood.

Meanwhile, sources said that the ministry is seized with the reply of India TV, which has also been show-caused for showing a 'steamy' sting operation involving three Bihar politicians.

The notice came in the wake of a case filed in the Patiala House courts by one of the former MPs featured in the programme. Sources said India TV had already replied to the show cause notice and action would depend on whether the reply was found satisfactory or not.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sting where it hurts

Joginder Singh

Corruption is like garbage that collects. Unless removed daily, it makes our habitat unliveable. We are seeing garbage pile up in India, acting as the single-largest obstacle to development. A TV sting operation on March 9, showed what is known to those who have dealt with any government department. It showed 82 employees accepting bribes from businessmen and traders. The TV channel enlisted the businessmen to expose the dirt prevailing in the New Delhi Sales Tax Office.

The officials, including some women, were seen demanding and accepting bribes to issue certificates and licences. The Delhi Government must have been shocked to realise that the major chunk of revenues collected from traders was pocketed by officials. Once the scandal broke, it suspended 30 officials perhaps out of compulsion. Some noises were made about "strictest action" against "employees caught on tape". The nature of the action was not clarified.

This is neither the first nor the last sting. Tehelka had started the trend-use of technology to expose scandals-in India. Recently, even a reel villain felt the impact, turned as he was into a real life villain in a sting operation. Conversations between leading film stars and underworld dons have also been recorded.

The advent of miniaturised audio and video technology, especially pin-hole cameras, enables clandestine recording. Such equipment costs anything between $500 and $5,000 plus depending on quality, and generally has four components: A miniaturised camera, a miniature video recording device, a cord to transmit signals and a battery cell. The use of the cord can be avoided through wireless transmissions. There are various ways of hiding a camera-inside a briefcase, a pager, a cigarette lighter, a cellular telephone, a fountain pen, a smoke detector or even in the nose frame of spectacles!

Most gadgets have a self-activation or a manually operated mechanism. The briefcase camera gets activated when the briefcase is kept in a particular position.

Sting operations may be carried out by the media, NGOs, politicians, scientists, or international investigative agencies. Nowadays, sting operations worldwide are being conducted with official sanction. What purpose do they serve? If they are directed against people involved in criminal activities, it will expose them. The threat of exposure could deter a potential criminal and thus avert a criminal act. The aim is to expose anything from corruption, the drug trade, espionage, adultery, to terrorism and anti-national activity.

No laws or guidelines exist for sting operations in India. The Government's anti-corruption agencies conduct stings to nab the corrupt. Numbered, chemically treated currency notes are given to officials demanding bribes. This money is not the Government's, but the complainant's. It becomes case property during judicial processes against the accused. Providing money on Government account for stings is generally frowned upon as a means of encouraging corruption.

In the US, the FBI conducts nearly 170 operations a year, to investigate complaints of bribery, extortion, narcotics smuggling, sale of cigarettes to minors, child abuse, etc. Ground rules have been laid down over the years by departmental instructions and judicial rulings. One is that sting operations can be mounted only against persons against whom some evidence of criminality exists, and such an exercise is considered necessary for getting conclusive evidence.

Permission for stings must be obtained from appropriate courts or the Attorney-General. This safeguard has been put in place since those who organise stings may themselves commit offences of impersonation or criminal trespass under false pretexts so as to catch criminals red-handed. The complainant's identity is not revealed unless he himself makes the details of his complaint public or discloses his identity to any other office or authority.

After concealing the complainant's identity, the designated agency makes discreet inquiries to ascertain whether any basis exists for proceeding further with the complaint. For this purpose, it has to devise an appropriate machinery.

If the designated agency is of the view-either as a result of the inquiry, or on the basis of the complaint itself-that the matter requires to further probing, it has to officially seek comments/explanations from the head of the department of the concerned organisation or office. While doing so, it cannot disclose informant's identity. It must also request the concerned head of the organisation to keep this a secret if, for any reason, the latter comes to know the identity.

After obtaining the concerned organisation's response, the designated agency may feel that investigations either reveal misuse of office or substantiate allegations of corruption, it has to recommend appropriate action to the concerned government department or organisation. It could ask for appropriate proceedings to be initiated against the concerned government servant. Or it may demand appropriate administrative steps for redressing the loss caused to the government as a result of the corrupt act or misuse of office, as the case may be.

Concurrent records in writing of the various stages of a sting operation must be maintained. While transcripts of recordings can be edited, films and the tapes cannot. If there is evidence of editing, there is the automatic presumption that the recording is not authentic.

The Central Vigilance Commission, for instance, is authorised, as the designated agency, to receive written complaints or disclosures on allegations of corruption or misuse of office by any employee of the Central Government or of any corporation established by or under any Central Act, Government companies, societies or local authorities owned or controlled by the government. The disclosure or complaint must contain full particulars, accompanied by supporting documents or other materials. The designated agency may call for further information or particulars from persons making the disclosure. If the complaint is anonymous, it should not take any action in the matter.

A "whistle-blower" is a person who has knowledge of wrongdoing in high places, and alerts the authorities with the express intention of having it checked in the larger public interest. Such a definition would necessarily exclude those who leak information for the benefit of an interest group or for personal aggrandisement.

Nobody wants to bribe anybody if he or she can help it. Only the elite manage to get the services they need through influence or money. The needy-the poor or the middle classes-pay a larger proportion of their income as bribes. Hence, apart from putting bad guys in jail, it is equally important to protect victims.

Corruption reigns in departments for kerosene and rations. Shopkeepers sell controlled price items in the open market. A cut ensures that officials look the other way fake ration cards are easily available. Many food and civil supplies officials were nabbed recently selling cards. Touts can also easily get you a driving licence without a test. Rates vary. DDA procedures have also come under a cloud. Converting leasehold flat to freehold could mean shelling out at least Rs 35,000 extra for an MIG flat to touts. Why can't the DDA charge a one-time enhanced amount to curb harassment to the public? Police are also suspect. You have to pay for getting action on your complaints. Sting operations would do a lot of good to all these areas.

The Government run by a man of impeccable integrity, Mr Manmohan Singh, would naturally want to ameliorate the lot of the common man by earmarking huge funds for development. This is the time to deal with the corrupt who fleece honest tax payers. Once the Government decides to take this fight to the streets and encourages the media to participate, we may witness a sea change in the quality of services rendered to people by public servants.

Taking on political and electoral corruption-by which governments with wafer-thin majorities are formed-must also be part of the struggle. Our leadership needs to introduce a new culture of transparency and accountability. Using legalised sting operations will prove more effective than any other measure tried so far.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Bushtva wakes India up to Moditva</b>
Someone mentioned this in some other forum:

Prannoy Roy of NDTV is married to Prakash Karat's (CPI-M leader) sister <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo--> . Is this true? Can someone confirm?

<!--QuoteBegin-LSrini+Apr 6 2005, 07:55 PM-->QUOTE(LSrini @ Apr 6 2005, 07:55 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Someone mentioned this in some other forum:

Prannoy Roy of NDTV is married to Prakash Karat's (CPI-M leader) sister <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo--> .  Is this true?  Can someone confirm?

Thanks <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
NDTV is infested with commie/naxal/islamist sympathisers. And it is all in the family.

Prannoy Roy's wife Radhika Roy is Brinda Karat's (Prakash Karat's wife) sister. Brinda and Prakash both are politburo members of the CPI(M).

It is rumored that Prannoy Roy's seed capital for NDTV came from the comfy relationship he had with Bhaskar Ghose, then Doordarshan's head honcho. DD was fond of doing business with Roy at the exclusion of other contenders, which fondness Roy exploited to the detriment of DD's revenues but to his own advanatage.

Rajdeep Sardesai former test cricketer Dilip Sardesai's son and anchor at NDTV is married to Bhaskar Ghose's daughter Sagarika Ghose who writes columns for the Indian Express. Express' Taklu Gupta in return hosts a talk show on NDTV.

Neat family business all this ain't it?
Wow utepian... and I thought we knew it all <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->
We all need a good understanding of how this News Network's Network of Nepotism (N^4 <!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo--> ) works.

Other's please list such incestuous relationships between different scribes, anchors, media houses, news organizations etc. Blogs like mediah (if they are still around ) would be most interested.
Check this Best contribution of the Day
Seer picture and comment. Basically HT is making him corrupt.
Viren, blogging and other internet based message systems simply cannot compete with the power of television. What is pitiful was BJP's inability to forge similar relations in the media even while in power. Aroon Purie at Aaj Tak was some what sympathetic. Subhash Chandra, patriarch of Zee TV (30% cable market) and chairman of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation should have been used unleash a media blitz that would have nipped the entire IDRF imbroglio at the bud.
International media (the mai-baap of desi media) is taking note of the complete filth desi media is dishing out day in and and day out.


India: English language press starts to show narrow coverage

In newsstands today in India, one can surprisingly find pin ups of women in sections of supposedly serious English-language publications. Recent articles from The Columbia Journalism Review and The Media Guardian explain the effects that the undeniable economic transformations recently seen in major metropolitan areas are having on the nation’s urban-based English-language press. Though the English language newspaper market may be growing, many important English language publications seem to be declining in quality. As the major newspapers, The Times of India and The Hindustan Times included <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo--> , increasingly try to appeal to the specific interests of the minority elite English speaking class and to younger generations, the content in some publications is starting to resemble that found in tabloids rather than serious newspapers.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Why is an English Paper Being Published in Turkey?    [ Posted by    parsuram   ]

      Treacherous mischief English papers play-full text of the article:
      Why is an English Paper Being Published in Turkey?

      Published: Thursday 07, 2005

      A news article published last week in New Anatolian was noteworthy. According to the newspaper published by Ilnur Cevik, "extreme nationalists groups" are taking up arms against Kurds. Because the newspaper has only recently began publication, is published only in Ankara, and is not yet well known, the article eluded observation. However, some successful journalists closely following Ankara have raised the gravity of the article in their columns. For example, Sabah Ankara Representative Asli Aydintasbas raised the article for discussion and at least increased awareness. If the newspaper's claim is true, the situation is very serious!

      Since Turkish readers are used to speculative information, they sometimes approach even accurate news with suspicion. That's why even a critical news article can remain unconvincing from time to time... This shouldn't be the case with English newspapers. Think about it; what will those people, the target audience of an English newspaper who give the paper credibility, take away from the news article at issue? It cannot be thought that a journalist like Cevik, who has worked in the field for years, doesn't know what the article about "extreme nationalist movements taking up arms against Kurds" will mean to foreigners.

      Although the circulation of English papers is not that high, it is accepted that they are published for an active circle. Perhaps only for this reason, newspapers published in foreign languages should follow a more responsible line of duty. Because the worldwide use of English makes these newspapers a reference for critical entities.

      An awkward headline

      English is not widely used in Turkey. Yet thousands of English words can be seen in Turkish; the sentence structure of Turkish is invaded by patterns translated from English and English is taught as a "foreign language" at every level of education... Despite all this, English in our country is not a language that is widely spoken. In fact, English newspapers add flavor to the press. The most positive aspect must be that they reflect their concept of journalism which is based on Western standards.

      Those who only view the concept of English newspapers as a commercial opportunity are of the opinion that such investments do not have high returns. Putting aside the low circulation figures, their access to advertisement customers is considerably limited. In order for a newspaper to become a viable commercial venture, its sales or advertisement accounts should make some profit. English publications are disadvantaged by their Turkish rivals on both counts.

      A correlation between the factors causing commercial infertility and the target audience of the English papers should be established. Who reads English newspapers in this country? Among native English speakers, foreigners living in this country are at the top of the list. Embassy staff, foreign company executives and owners, and those who are married to Turkish citizens and live in Turkey must dominate this list.

      The question of who read last week's article on "taking arms," which makes what could be an important claim, needs to be considered in light of the list mentioned above. It is a necessity for the administrators of such newspapers to apply common sense regarding the target audience of the news articles they publish and their commentaries and mission as well.

      When Aydintasbas brought attention to the news article, it produced different reactions among people. In fact, another article published in Turkish Daily News (TDN) last week was also worthy of discussion. Aydintasbas used the expression "targeting diplomatic circles" to describe the New Anatolian. If TDN has the same target audience, then last week's headline of "green money" should have meant something. The headline had no signature. "Special" was written in front of the Ankara dateline and it was noted that it had been written by the "TDN Defense Desk." Even though it has meaning in the foreign press, to see the expression "Defense Desk" used in a newspaper published in Turkey is funny.

      Humor aside, the expression "green money", which is an expression used for conservatives' capital, reminds one of the unpleasant incidents surrounding February 28th. In terms of transparency, the government is taking the most solid steps in the history of the Republic. That's one of the basic requirements in the European Union (EU) process anyway. At this particular stage, putting the term "green money" in a headline provokes thought.

      The news article starts of with the sentence: "United States policy-makers fear some of the funds circulating in the "Islamic market" in Turkey may spill over and be used to finance radical Islamic activity."

      It goes on use the term "one State Department official" to refer to a magazine based in the Middle East. The headline news that raises suspicion about some important companies in Turkey is actually based on archived information and is not really a breaking development. Among other statements, there is a reference to "a London based Turkey expert." According to this expert, who apparently sees very well from long distances(!) the issue of green money "upsets Washington." The noname reporter from the Defense Desk adds the comment, "Bankers point to the growth of the Islamic market." The Turkish reader is not at all unfamiliar with what reports of this nature could mean.

      Let me clearly say that the article published in the TDN is a disaster to the end! The paper's general overview says Nuri Colakoglu is the CEO. I think Mr. Colakoglu is fastidious regarding these issues. The publication principles of the Dogan group newspapers do not give credence to this sort of news anyway. So what happened to allow that the TDN that uses photos of military officials wearing uniforms on inner pages could sign off on such an interesting article as "Defense Desk"?!

      It's a real shame

      An article published in a foreign magazine that reeks of bias should not arouse such excitement. A reference to "banks sponsored by Saudi Arabia" followed by a sentence saying "Erdogan has been silent on this issue, perhaps because he is heavily invested in green money business," should not be jumped upon so unprofessionally. I am sure that neither Aydin Dogan nor Nuri Colakoglu read this article. What could be the meaning in battering our country this much just because the paper's readers are foreigners?

      Don't get me wrong, I am not against English papers. In fact, I am among those who believe that it is useful to have English papers. I don't hold any negative judgments of TDN or the New Anatolian either. However, the papers that are thought to be read by foreigners the most should be very careful when they publish news articles resembling intelligence reports. Besides, it is a journalist's responsibility to be careful about news reports that appear to be snitching on the governing power, NGOs, and political parties in Turkey. The Turkish public does not know what is published in English newspapers, therefore, they don't have the chance to react. The foreigners presumed to be the target audience for these sorts of papers are not likely aware that most of the time, the style of the reports are reminiscent of anti-democratic periods.

      Once in a while, those who take on the tremendous burden of publishing an English paper should ask themselves: Why is an English paper being published in Turkey?
April 4, 2005 <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Where will the balance of power settle between the
blogosphere and the conventional media moguls? Bloggers in India are
less than happy with one of their number who caved in to a libel
threat from the all-powerful Times of India newspaper.

Online Journalism Review
Tibetan nun raped by two youths in Himachal
Hindu Priest wife's rape in Delhi missed HT, TOI headline, but one case in HP made headline in HT. <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Reuters, Times of India to Launch TV News Channel</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LONDON (Reuters) - News and information provider Reuters Group Plc unveiled a broadcasting partnership with the Times of India on Monday as part of a drive to build up its consumer media business.

Reuters said in a statement it would take a 26 percent stake in The Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd, a unit of the Indian media group, which is launching a news channel later this year.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
TOI joined her masters. More lies and twisted facts 24x7. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
While it is true that the media in the US just takes the role of taking notes from the administration, in India the problem is worst - DDM (sepoys really) take notes from these foreign media and their biases in order to look good in front of gora masters.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->How free press is fading in US

April 26, 2005

Each time I visit the US I am struck by the lack of serious news on its many television channels and newspapers. The media here clearly follows the dictum "if it bleeds it leads".

In other words, news is not about informing or educating people, but simply entertaining them. This state of affairs, I have realised, is neither accidental nor incidental. It is deliberate; indeed, inevitable.

Inevitable, because it is a function of the business model the country has adopted for its media, much like the rest of its public works. It has deregulated the media completely; in other words, there are no public duty functions of the media the government can or must support.

Free from the "clutches" of the state, over the years, the rules of the market have prevailed in the media. The weak are weeded out and the mighty become mightier.

In 1983, 50 corporations comprised the US media; by 2004, five. In other words, the world's oldest democracy, and one that promotes democracy as a religion across the globe, is informed and educated by five corporations that owe their allegiance to the profits of their shareholders.

For profit and pay, corporations slash funding for hard-core news functions. The Pew Research Centre, a Washington-based think tank, has found that between 1994 and 2001, radio stations lost 57 per cent of their news staff, while network news correspondents declined by more than a third since the 1980s.

This led directly to declining quality in news reporting, translating into a serious credibility crisis with readers. Pew found that over 35 to 45 per cent of the people they surveyed categorically said that they believe nothing they see or hear in print or on television.

The crisis goes deeper than erosion of trust. The fact that people do not believe the media means fewer people tune in. Declining audiences lead to further desperation in the business rooms to keep ratings high and the money coming in.

In all this, what is worst is that the idea of a free press has been defeated. For one, the model, built on consolidation and scale, denies opportunity to competition: there cannot be independent views, let alone diverse views.

Second, the model, with its financial imperatives, is as vulnerable today to influence from the state, or corporations, as the one it replaced.

It is always argued that governments must not finance or run media; it becomes their propagandist. True. But what happens when government uses the influence of money or power to change the propaganda of the day?

Just last year, the two most respected newspapers in the US, the New York Times and the Washington Post, both accepted publicly that they had succumbed to biased reporting of the Iraq war.

More recently, it was found the US media was using "feed" -- stories prepared by government and published as independent news stories.

What is surprising then to learn is that this handout-driven media is then also poached by corporate interests. Inevitable, as I said before.

But what is even more inevitable, then, is that a compromised media will compromise democracy. The media has more than a functional role of contributing to the service sectors of economies.

It has the role to make democracies functional. In other words, its decimation is the decimation of democracy.

Why am I so obsessed by the media in the US? The problem is that we are slowly (sometimes not so slowly) moving towards the favoured US model of media enterprise. Today, the media -- particularly the electronic media -- is more and more unregulated.

The state has increasingly withdrawn. Its own public broadcaster – Doordarshan -- is increasingly inept in challenging the market. The state's role as a propagandist is rightly condemned as the market takes over the reins of opinion-making in the country.

The media is beginning to cater to audiences that can pay. This will leave out of its ambit what does not matter and those who do not matter.

That would be all right, if the people who did not matter really did not exist. It is true that the middle-class in India -- the media's clientele -- is growing. Market watchers love to say there are 200 million people raring to shop till they drop.

But this hides the fact that there are still over 800 million others who can't shop but can certainly drop. What happens to the news about their everyday world? How will it be reported? Why should it be reported at all?

Let us be clear that an undermined press is also not good for the rich. The fact is that the media plays a watchdog's role in regulating and mitigating the adverse impacts of growth.

If its role stands compromised, so does its ability to discharge this function. And of keeping democracy functional. This will, ultimately, hurt all of us. A stooge is a stooge.
And it makes a fool of us all. So it is that we must find the balance between the market and public interest in our media. Fast. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bush's war on Press

Make no mistake: The Bush Administration and its ideological allies are employing every means available to undermine journalists' ability to exercise their First Amendment function to hold power accountable. In fact, the Administration recognizes no such constitutional role for the press.

The Bush attack on the press has three primary components--Secrecy, Lies and Fake News.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Why Rajdeep Sardesai quit NDTV

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 27, 2005 17:33 IST
Last Updated: April 27, 2005 18:18 IST

Rajdeep SardesaiHow is Rajdeep Sardesai, who quit as managing editor of New Delhi Television on April 17 to begin his own start-up Broadcast News along with TV18 promoter Raghav Bahl, going to raise the funds to manage the channel?

That is the question doing the rounds in electronic media circles. Experts estimate that Rajdeep will need about Rs 750 crore (Rs 7.50 billion) to turn his dream into reality to launch his 'journalist-driven' channel.

"Raising the funds is not going to be a problem. Raghav Bahl's TV 18 is going to pick up 74 per cent of the total stakes," said a close Rajdeep aide.

"Rajdeep, Samir Manchanda (ex-CFO, NDTV) and Sagarika Ghose (Rajdeep's wife) would chip in with the rest of the money. Manchanda has already spoken to various financial institutions that are willing to put money in the new channel. Since Bahl is doing work for CNBC television, he hopes that the parent company would also come to their rescue and invest Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.50 billion) to make the venture viable," Rajdeep's aide added.

According to sources the new channel is likely to become operational by the middle of September this year, but it could be delayed by a month or two.

Two floors have been bought at Videocon Towers in the Jhandewalan in New Delhi to set up news studios and other infrastructure for the proposed channel's operations.

Whether or not the new channel would be able to catch the attention of the people is also being hotly debated in the media circles.

"Rajdeep's exit may not create ripples at NDTV, but it certainly has made a dent in its reputation. His popular programme The Big Fight has been shelved for the time being. The fact that NDTV promoter Dr Prannoy Roy has been forced to do stories shows the kind of impact Rajdeep's exit has had." a top NDTV reporter told rediff.com over the phone on Wednesday.

"He was indeed the star of our organisation. New arrangements are now being put in place. Barkha Dutt and Srinivasan Jain are to be given new responsibilities; with Barkha becoming NDTV's managing editor," the reporter said.

"At the moment a team of top professionals has been formed to take the decisions which earlier were taken by Rajdeep. At an editorial meeting, Prannoy Roy admitted that Rajdeep's exit has hit him, both, emotionally and professionally. And it would take a while to come out of it," the reporter added.

Although not many reporters, producers or anchors have quit NDTV with Rajdeep so far, media circles say that the exodus would come in couple of months, particularly as the Broadcast News launch date comes closer and the studios and other things are put in place.

Bhupinder Choube, NDTV's ace correspondent who has been covering the Bharatiya Janata Party and other political parties, is being tipped to be Rajdeep's right hand man. Shivnath Thukral, who has excelled in business reporting, is yet another name that is being mentioned in this regard.

Some of the producers who worked with Rajdeep on The Big Fight are also expected to quit and join hands with him at hefty salaries.

Sources said what hurt Rajdeep more than anything else was the fact that salary-wise he figured sixth on the NDTV list after Prannoy Roy, Mrs Roy and three others. He felt insulted when the figures were made public by NDTV, sources said.

"Rajdeep was a star who slogged day in and day out for the company to produce the best programmes. He rarely took an off day and worked round the clock when the situation so demanded. While Narain Rao, Managing Director, got Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) per annum, Rajdeep's salary was Rs 36 lakh (Rs 3.6 million) per year," sources said.

According to market sources, Rajdeep has received a huge amount -- about five times his NDTV salary -- as the signing amount from TV 18, along with a brand new Toyota Corolla.
Trust DDM to make an issue out of this.. Notice the amount of story v/s the amount of spin.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Atal gives RSS a Saffron surprise

NEW DELHI: Former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee on Tuesday disarmed his critics in the RSS when he launched into its strong defence in the Lok Sabha, setting in train events that led to turmoil in the Lok Sabha.

Vajpayee took strong exception to railway minister Lalu Prasad's charge that the RSS and its affiliates - VHP and Bajrang Dal - were behind the alleged assault on him in Vadodara where he had gone to visit those injured in last week's train mishap.

The former PM's strong intervention - laced with a defiant assertion of his affiliation with the RSS - forced the Speaker to suspend question hour and set the stage for an NDA-Lalu Yadav joust that continued through the day.

Vajpayee's defence came in the aftermath of RSS chief K S Sudarshan's attack on him earlier this month. In an unprovoked assault, Sudarshan had faulted Vajpayee for the performance of his government as well as for allegedly inserting his son-in-law in the decision-making process. The Nagpur-based saffron grandee had also asked Vajpayee to step down.

The diatribe hurt Vajpayee all the more since Sudarshan had virtually spared L K Advani.

Vajpayee's defence of the RSS coincided with the beginning of a two-day meeting of the RSS core group where Sudarshan and his close colleagues mulled a host of issues, including the perception that the chief with his remarks may have caused a rift with the BJP. Vajpayee showed few traces of the hurt that Sudarshan caused him as he played the BJP MPs with aplomb on the LS stage.

It worked, too, embarrassing the RSS spokesperson, a staunch Sudarshan loyalist, into coming out with grudging praise of Vajpayee." He spoke the reality", said Madhav whose volubility has lately been a source of resentment for many BJP leaders.

Vajpayee's smart move will also put Sudarshan - already facing criticism from within the RSS for his penchant for indiscretion - in an awkward spot. Many RSS leaders frown upon their chief's inability to resist the lure of limelight. Unlike his predecessors, who shunned publicity and refrained from commenting on political issues, Sudarshan seems to enjoy engaging in grandstanding and has waded into controversies with a frequency which has ruffled his comrades.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->along with a brand new Toyota Corolla.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Finally a protest for "South Asia" and by "South Asians" and the target is <b>not</b> India. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Infact the word India does not even appear in the entire piece.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> S Asia media rallies for freedom
About 1,000 journalists have marched in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, to demand the restoration of press freedoms following the royal takeover.

Severe restrictions, including media censorship, were imposed after King Gyanendra seized control on 1 February.

<b>Protests to mark World Press Freedom day were also held in Pakistan.

Global media watchdog Reporters without Borders attacked the media's treatment in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.</b>

'Free detained journalists'

Although a state of emergency has been lifted in Nepal, the restrictions remain.

The press in Nepal is still under severe restrictions
Taranath Dahal
President, Federation of Nepalese Journalists

Police watched Tuesday's rally by journalists but did not intervene, despite a ban on demonstrations in several parts of Kathmandu.

"Free detained journalists, reinstate press freedoms," the journalists chanted.

Since the royal takeover, the media has been barred from criticising the monarch or the government and security forces.

Independent radio stations have also been banned from broadcasting. Correspondents say the ban has left more than 1,000 journalists unemployed.

"The press in Nepal is still under severe restrictions," Taranath Dahal, president of the Federation of Nepalese journalists, said.

He said many journalists were being harassed and intimidated throughout the country.

Press under attack

In Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, police briefly detained more than 20 journalists who marched on the prime minister's office as part of protests demanding greater press freedom.

Tuesday's protests coincided with a report released to mark World Press Freedom day by the media watchdog, Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF, Reporters Without Borders).

It criticised the treatment of journalists in Nepal where some 400 journalists had been arrested or questioned but also strongly condemned the state of media freedom in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

It said:

<b>    * Nepal's journalists are caught in the crossfire between Maoist rebels and government forces
    * Bangladesh was the country with the largest number of journalists physically attacked or threatened with death
    * The government there showed no interest in combating violence against the press
    * In Sri Lanka, violence by Tamil factions most threatened journalists' safety and freedom of expression
Last week, a pro-Tamil Tiger journalist was abducted and killed in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.

Dharmaretnam Sivaram, 46, was a senior editor of the TamilNet website.

Bangladesh came under fire not only from RSF, but two other media freedom groups.

The International Federation of Journalists said hundreds of journalists in Bangladesh had been threatened, assaulted or tortured for reporting on crime and corruption.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Bangladesh was among the five most dangerous countries for journalists worldwide.

The Bangladeshi authorities said violent incidents against journalists were being investigated. It said the RSF's description of the country as a kind of hell for the independent press was baseless.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/05/03 16:53:39 GMT<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
What the.... what is the basis for these ratings? How sold are the Times of Italy? Pay special attention to Arjun singh's rating for detoxification drive. Is that his job? HRD is his job, not appoint "seculars" as head of various boards.


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