Who is Gautam Adhikari in Times of India?
Times of India’s Gautam Adhikari hit the readers hard through his write-up “Where We Stand” dated January 15.
His Op-ed, I believe, was unnecessary and totally uncalled for; more so, for it targeted the readers.
Peeved at a power point presentation on the web, expressing the fury of some readers for publishing an article by Ashis Nandy on January 8 that was critical of Narendra Modi and Gujaratis, Adhikari wrote that the readers lampooned the newspaper, ridiculed its journalists and called Times a “banana newspaper”.
Adhikari ended up warning the readers that they need not buy the Times of India if they find it a repulsive banana newspaper.
Journalist’s hand cut off in Nepal:
Reporters Without Borders informs me that a journalist’s hand was cut off on January 17, amid continuing violence against press in Nepal.
Freelancer Manoj Sah, who belongs to the Association of Revolutionary Journalists, was attacked in the southern city of Janakpur as he was returning home.
His assailants shouted “Do you write the news with these hands?” before cutting one of them off.
Sah underwent an operation in a Kathmandu hospital, where his condition is no longer considered life-threatening.
UNI workers victory?
Mid-January, the Company Law Board held as null and void the share transfer from United News of India to Media West owned by Zee’s Subhash Chandra.
Some hailed the CLB ruling as a victory for UNI journalists. But I have serious doubts if it is a victory in any sense, as there is still a big question mark over the news agency’s revival that is not being attended to.
Senior UNI journalists say their news agency needs to be strengthened and made a competitive news agency.
“How does the CLB decision help us?” wondered one of them, while another felt that “UNI should be resurrected if it has to compete with its rival Press Trust of India.”
True, when we would see UNI standing on its legs!!!
The agency had been making losses persistently and losing subscribers continuously since wage board salary revision in year 2000. Zee group chairman Subhash Chandra joined other shareholders in UNI to bail out the news agency from its financial crisis.
New look Indian Express to be on tracks in April; Herald to close down:
The Indian Express newspaper always catches attention of everyone. Still, it is not the No.1 or No.2 newspaper.
I can say every good journalist reads Indian Express. Many of my good friends also work with the Express. But can every good citizen be commanded to the newspaper? Not necessarily.
But who knows what happens in April 2008, when the new look Indian Express and Financial Express will hit the stands.
Approximately at the same time, Congress will close its dying publication National Herald. The Congress party was financing the daily, started in Lucknow on Sep 9, 1938 by Pt.Jawahar Lal Nehru.
The newspaper, which officially claims a circulation of around 40,000 copies, has never had a history of making profits.
I am informed that talks between the National Herald and Quami Awaz Employees Union and Congress on modalities towards a final settlement for the 265 employees, including 40 journalists of the English and the Urdu editions published from New Delhi, have concluded and it is said that Chairperson of the newspaper Motilal Vora, MP and treasurer of the Congress party, has reportedly finalised a Rs.380 million compensation package for the workers.
Overstaffing, mainly of the press and non-journalists and also lack of advertisements, are said to be the main cause for the newspaper running into major losses. The Lucknow edition of the National Herald and Quami Awaz were closed down about 10 years ago. The paper also had a Hindi edition Navjivan – a name given by Mahatma Gandhi – that was closed down several years ago.
Padma Shri for Rajdeep, Barkha and Dua as Jasdev gets Padma Bhushan:
Star news anchors Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt and Vinod Dua are now Padma Journalists. So is commentator Jasdev Singh.
Rajdeep, now Editor-in Chief of Global Broadcast News, became a serious name in the field while working for NDTV, where Barkha also carved out a niche for herself.
Dua is an old hat and a household name. I know him for his late night current affairs programme – ‘Parakh’ – on Doordarshan. Government has announced Padma Shri for Rajedeep, Barkha and Dua.
I am glad Jasdev Singh’s contributions to commentary and broadcasting have also been recognised as he is given the Padma Bhushan.