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Media Monocle 2

The Goddess of Big Awards, an American censor and a moonlighting editor. Fun times.

It’s Raining Awards

We all know that Barkha Dutt has flown the coop and set up base for a few months in the land of milk and honey. We also know she’s not holidaying there, but is busy writing a book. Unlike most novice writers though, she’s attending Harvard’s traditional Monday night dinners for the Society of Fellows in her free time. And you can’t really fault her for boasting about breaking bread with Nobel laureates, Amartya Sen and Walter Gilbert “over much red wine” no less. But if you thought it’s all play and no work for Barkha, think again. She just won the 2012 AIB International TV Personality of the Year Award – which are the annual global media excellence awards given by The Association for International Broadcasting in London. Take a look at the list of winners. She seems to have more than earned her Harvard supper.

How Right!

In the middle of all the coverage on Barack Obama’s re-election, there was a little knuckle-rapping we managed to espy. NitiCentral.com had carried a piece by its editor, Kanchan Gupta stating that “America has erred. Even from the limited perspective of India’s national interest, a hard-nosed Republican as President is a far better option than a sanctimonious Democrat in the White House.” Through the article, each time Gupta referred to Obama – in three instances in the original version – he referred to him with his complete name including his middle name of Hussein.

The eagle-eyed Jonathan Shainin, editor at Caravan, was kind enough to point out to Gupta – on Twitter of course – that, “You know, in America, repeatedly using Obama’s middle name is seen as kind of a racist thing. Word to the wise”. And that, “It is his name, of course. But one usually sees repeated use (2x or 3x per story) from right fringe.” Gupta had responded at the time, that he would change the nomenclature. A tweet that has now been deleted for some reason. He did respond afterwards with a – “OK, you have made your point and regardless of presumptions, it was taken note of.”

The article has now been changed. And carries Obama’s complete name only once. All further mentions have been changed to “the American President” or just “Obama”.

It warms the cockles of the heart to see the sensitivities of the West being taken into consideration. Maybe we’ll soon see a spill-over effect on sensitivities of Indians as well.

Step Aside, There’s A New Press In Town

It seems there’s no need to depend on newspapers or news channels for breaking news. Not only does news first get broken on social media, editorial policy and censorship is also discussed openly.

There’s a new tape which is supposedly going to hit our newspapers and TV screens. This time it’s a “Cabinet Min sabotaging election prospects of Cong!” Not our words. Those are PR guru, Dilip Cherian’s words. Which were then reinforced and validated by Pallavi Ghosh of CNN IBN. What’s worrying isn’t that there’s yet another Congress politician starring in a tape, but that Cherian – who’s not a journalist – knows that the tapes may appear in print on Friday. Nice to see editorial policy is common knowledge and can be predicted nowadays. The Oracle has spoken, time for us to wait and watch if news of the tape does indeed appear in newspapers on Friday.

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  • gaurav86

    “And barkha has hired Newslaundary as her PR for publicizing its achievement which has brought india as a nation on the international platform for first time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.” How does it matter what she is getting or not on some foreign soil. Knowing how she plays with cards, i am left with no credibility attached to this group of awards, A below average journalist with zero credibility, came to prominence thanks to her proximity and tilted practices toward ruling party, got padma shri during the reign of those who control her life and can openly defend every wrongdoings of theirs. And friends of her on newslaundary want to start of the weekend party for her right on Thursday night. Woooh, i can very well see the slant of newslaundary for last few days and this article has just stretched the continuum. Get the life newslaundary .Your articles are on path of degradation barring a few. Quality and credibility down into drains.

  • Reality5000

    LOLS..I don’t want to go personal on anyone mentioned here, but the fact is Kanchan Gupta behaves like a spokesperson of BJP….His every tweet and opinion seems to be pushing the agenda of the party…and ditto for Prabhu Chawla….and I considered both of these senior journalists to be unbiased and ethical…..There seems to be a reversal of trend in social media…Out of fear of being lashed, to the extent of being abused by right wing supporters, the “so called” congress supporting journalists like Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghose have turned overtly cautious in criticising BJP or appreciating UPA (especially on social media)..and few journalists (mentioned above) are openly defying the media ethics…Shame..!!!

    Having said that, Caravan has come up with some beautiful articles in past few months…and also I like Jonathan’s point of view on matters relating to India..At least, I can expect him to be unbiased with it..!!!…ROARK

  • Adn

    There are people who ware their biases on sleeves and their are those who hide behind the facade of secular, liberal nonsense……The above is the glaring example of usual selective nonsense when it comes to minorities. No wonder the social media mocks at these Media Jockeys who are busy singing tunes of Congress and their Clown Prince