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THE
WINGS OF FIRE
PEARSON,SPECTER & CO.LTD. | ESTABLISHED IN 2001 | AHMEDABAD | PAGES 20 | Friday, November 3,2017
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR LESS ADS, MORE NEWS
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3
WINGS OF FIRE
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR LESS ADS, MORE NEWS
Who owns your media?
In a game of dirty politics that has
been going on for ages, media
houses haven’t been able to keep
themselves unsullied. Almost all
the major media houses is owned
by some or other political party,
which makes sure that the news
that gets out, is closely monitored
and clipped to retain their status
quo intact. Almost all news
channels are owned either directly
or indirectly by politicians. The
situation in the south is far worse
with every party in Tamil Nadu,
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and
Kerala, owning at least one
channel.Here are some of the
famous news channels which are
owned by political parties.
Jaya Tv: Named after its owner,
Jaya TV is owned by Jayalalithaa,
the AIADMK chief. She also
owns Jaya Max, Jaya Plus and J
Movie. She owns all this through
the holding company Mavis
Satcom Ltd. But she is not alone
in Tamil Nadu to own television
channels. Congress owns Mega
TV and Vasanth TV while
Vijayakanth of DMDK owns
Captain Tv.
Sun Tv: Even with all this
political control of television in
Tamil Nadu, the top honors go to
DMK chief Karunanidhi’s nephew
Kalanithi Maran. He controls
Sun TV, Sun News, KTV, Sun Music, Chutti TV, Sumangali Cable,
Adithya TV, Chintu TV, Kiran TV, Khushi TV, Udaya Comedy, Udaya
Music, Gemini TV, Gemini Comedy and Gemini Movies. Karunanidhi
himself owns Kalaignar TV and a close associate M. Raajhendran owns
Raj TV and Raj Digital Plus.
IBNLokmat: Rajendra Dadra, the Minister of School Education of
Maharashtra and his brother Vijay Dadra, a Rajya Sabha member, both of
Congress, control Lokmat which is the largest selling Marathi newspaper
in Maharashtra. The group also owns IBNLokmat in association with the
TV18 group.
Times Now: Times Now is part of the Times group which is a very big
media house which operates Times of India, Mid-Day, Nav-Bharath
Times, Stardust, Femina, Vijay Times, Vijaya Karnataka and Times Now.
Times Group is owned by Bennet & Coleman. The Italian Robertio Mindo
who has a share in the group is a close relative of Sonia Gandhi.
India news: Rajeev Shukla, among other things is the Minister of State for
Parliamentary Affairs and Planning and the secretary of the All India
Congress Committee. He controls News 24 with his wife Anuradha
Prasad. They also own Aapno 24 and E24. Interestingly Anuradha Prasad
is the sister of BJP leader, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
NDTV: NDTV is owned by Prannoy Roy. The NDTV group owns NDTV
India, NDTV Good Times, NDTV 24×7 and NDTV Profit and other
channels. The Bengali Roy is married to Radhika Roy whose sister is
Brinda Karat a Rajya Sabha member of CPI(M). Brinda Karat is married
to Prakash Karat who is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of
India (Marxist).
The breaking news you hear is
not breaking nowadays!
THE
PEARSON,SPECTER & CO.LTD. | ESTABLISHED IN 2001 | AHMEDABAD | PAGES 20 | Friday, November 3,2017
4
Many of the print media houses have been traditionally
owned by specific political parties since their conception.
How this truth appeared?
The media in India is highly politicized. This fact became apparent after the Radia tapes controversy came into the
media limelight in November 2010. Nira Radia, a political and business lobbyist, was found to be part of a wide
nexus among politicians, businessmen and journalists through which news was manipulated. Names of senior and
celebrated journalists Barkha Dutt, Prabhu Chawla and Vir Sanghvi did crop up in this controversy but with
media ethics of maintaining high journalistic standards lying in shreds, all of them continue to hold high positions
even as the public trust in a partisan media erodes fast.Here are the few insights of newspapers and their
ownerships.
Print media or Paid media?
The Tribune has always
been a centrist
newspaper covering the
regions of North India
such as Punjab, Haryana,
Himachal Pradesh and
J&K. It’s been known to
have a pro-congress
attitude when it comes to
choosing which news to
print on the front page
and which news to hide
in small columns. It is
rumored that Manmohan
Singh only reads The
Tribune and so doesn’t
know what all is wrong
with the government.
The tribune
The curious case of
the Indian Express is
really interesting.
Ramnath Goenka, who
founded the Indian
Express Group was a
member of the RSS and
so the newspaper was
always right wing in its
nature. After his death
the group has split in two
and now there are two
newspapers with
opposite loyalties. While
The Indian Express now
supports congress, The
New Indian Express
continues to support
NDA and right wing
ideologies.
Indian Express
This newspaper is
probably the worst case
of partisan media. It can
easily be mistaken for a
Congress published
newspaper as it has
become nothing but a
mouthpiece for Congress
propaganda. It has roots
in the Indian freedom
movement and since then
it has been a partner for
the Congress party. It has
a good strong hold in
Delhi. It is managed by
Shobhana Bhartiya who
is the daughter of
industrialist KK Birla
and was a Rajya Sabha
member of the Congress
Party till 2012.
Hindustan Times
The Pioneer is the second
oldest English newspaper
to be printed in India. It
has always shown a pro-
BJP, right wing,
nationalist ideology.
Chandan Mitra, owner
and editor in chief of The
Pioneer is a BJP member
of Rajya Sabha from
Madhya Pradesh. The
Pioneer has focused on
pro-right movements
emerging out of the
urban middle classes.
The Pioneer
5
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
Media and gender in India
Women’s portrayal in
Indian media is nothing more than
a showpiece or an icon of glamour
or that of a householder. The
Global Media Monitoring Project
2015 has found that only 37 per
cent of all stories, including in
newspapers and television, were
reported by women. This was the
same figure a decade ago.
Online, however,women’s
representation was 42 per cent.
Another report by the
International Federation of
Journalists, specific to the Asia-
Pacific region, found that,
although the presence of women
in the region doubled in the last
two decades, women still
comprised just 28.6 per cent of
the total workforce.
In terms of participation,
female characters are the most
preferred on television due to
their accompanied good looks,
more so in business news
channels, because their presence
on-screen can increase TRPs. In
the print media too, fewer women
write for the opinion pages of
newspapers. According to a
survey by Newslaundry, men
accounted for most of the by-lines
on the Edit and Op-ed pages.
The Missing Women Of
Indian Media
Click on the links below to know more:
 http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/the-
missing-women-of-indian-media.html
 https://www.theguardian.com/global-
development/poverty-matters/2011/jul/22/india-
sex-selection-missing-women
 http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/indias-
missing-women/article5670801.ece
Sourse: Annual Employment- Unemoloyment Survey
Therefore, in order to empower women as leaders and to eradicate the
existent gender gap, it is essential that they be given the decision-making
power. Women should be better trained, skilled, knowledgeable and
accessibility to information technology should be encouraged so that they
adopt professional guidelines.
Even if some women make it to the top position, they are often
forced to quit their job due to inflexible working hours, and they are
expected to maintain a balance between household chores and night-shifts.
6
Tongam Rina, Associate Editor of the
Arunachal Times, was accustomed to riling up the
powers-that-be with her column “Ringside View”.
She did not pull her punches while taking on the
mining mafia, corrupt government officials, high-
handed politicians and armed insurgent groups
active in Arunachal Pradesh, a state in India’s north-
east.
Death threats, intimidation and pressures
were a daily feature of life in this frontier state. The
presence of several hundred armed insurgent groups,
together with heightened lawlessness, including
murderous attacks on the press, prompted the
government to grant journalists licenses to hire
armed bodyguards.
Rina, however, continued to write about
controversial issues, including one potentially
explosive environmental story on the proposed 150
dam projects. Her forthright opposition to the project
angered powerful opponents in the pro-dam lobby,
which tried all means to silence her – from bribes
and threats to intimidation and ransacking of her
office. But none succeeded and Rina continued her
mission of truth-telling on this and other contentious
issues. As president of the Arunachal Pradesh Union
of Working Journalists (APUWJ), she also took up
issues on behalf of the union.
But on July 15, 2012, Rina, unidentified
armed men ambushed her outside her office in
the capital Itanagar and sprayed bullets into her
stomach. Some of the gunshots grazed her spine and
left her critically injured. In June 2013, the police
identified the weapons used in the shooting and also
charge-sheeted three of the accused. The main
accused, Yumlang Achung, who wanted to harm
Tongam Rina for not highlighting him and his
organisation’s activities in her newspaper,
surrendered to the police in September 2013.
Speaking at a meeting on journalists’ safety
in Shillong, Meghalaya, in July 2013, the president
of the Arunachal Press Club, Taba Ajum, said:
“Physical security is one of the most critical issues
for journalists in the North East, where we have to
constantly look over our shoulders and operate in an
atmosphere of threat. In fact, after Tongam Rina
was shot, the state government has even issued
gun licences to journalists to protect themselves.”
In recognition of her contribution to
upholding press freedom, Rina was listed as one of
'100 information heroes' honoured by Reporters
without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontier-RSF) on 3
May 2014. She is the first Indian journalist to find a
place on this list.
Women in the Line of Fire- A True Story
Scan the QR Code given here to listen Rina’s
Story in her own voice!
How to Download and Use the TadakaNews App?
Step 1: SMS TadakaApp to 012340 or visit TadakaApp.org
Step 2: Open the app, scan the QR Code and here you go…
Step 3: Take the tutorial of an app to know more about it
at TadakaApp.org
Friday, November 3,2017EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR
7
Six Sad Truths about Women in Media
The Women’s Media Center’s annual
report is out, and the status of women in news
and entertainment is as bleak as ever. Little
progress has been made in most areas, and there
are some places like sports journalism where
women have actually lost ground.
Here’s a list of some of the most
depressing insights from the report, which draws
on 49 studies of women across media platforms.
1. The news industry still hasn’t achieved
anything that resembles gender
equality. Women are on camera only 32% of
the time in evening broadcast news, and write
37% of print stories news stories. At the New
York Times, more than 67% of by-lines are
male.
2. Men still dominate “hard news.” Men
report 65% of political stories. Men also
dominate science coverage (63%), world
politics coverage (64%) and criminal justice
news (67%).
3. Opinions are apparently a male
thing. Newspaper editorial boards are on
average made up of seven men and four
women. And the overall commentators on
Sunday morning talk-shows are more than
70% male.
4. Women are losing traction behind the
scenes. Women accounted for 25% of writers in
2013-2014, down from 34% the previous year.
For the 250 most profitable films made in 2014,
83% of the directors, producers, writers,
cinematographers and editors are guys.
5. There’s bad news for actresses and
minorities. Women accounted for only 12% of
on-screen protagonists in 2016, and 30% of
characters with speaking parts. There are also
persistent racial disparities.
6. Hollywood executives are still overwhelmingly
white and male. Studio senior management is
92% white and 83% male.
Need to change the Mentality…
8
Every coin has two sides
There is an unspoken social contract
between celebrities and the journalists who
write about them that goes something like
this: The all-powerful bearer of fame and
fortune, tasked with hawking their latest
project, deigns to lower themselves to Earth
and speak with a dutiful reporter who will
whip up a charming article that explores
this new work and the star's passion for
it, perhaps with a harmless-yet-illuminating
personal anecdote thrown in as a cherry on
top. But lately, the disruption of this
unstated arrangement has become the news.
Saif Ali Khan
While most actors turn egoistic when their films are super hits, it
was probably the frustration of the early years which got to Saif
Ali Khan.
Saif and his former wife Amrita Singh allegedly landed up at the
office of a journalist called Kanan Divech (Star and Style) and
apparently assaulted her. Some furniture and curios were also
apparently destroyed in the incident. The matter finally ended in
the Bombay High Court where Amrita Singh issued a formal
apology in writing.
Dharmendra
Hema Malini's mother apparently disliked Sanjeev Kumar, as
everyone knew about his passion for alcohol. She did not like
Jeetendra either.
The one person she trusted was Dharmendra and he was always
warmly welcomed to their home.
But when Hema decided to formalise their relationship, she was
apparently taken aback. And then there was total chaos when
journalist Devyani Chaubal leaked the news to the media.
Dharmendra, in the tradition of true herogiri, chased Devyani
Chaubal before he apparently delivered a couple of punches.
Govinda
When he was ruling the roost in the 1990s, Govinda was quite
friendly and easygoing. But when the flops started piling up, it
appears the amiable actor was unable to maintain the facade.
When he was shooting for the film Money Hai To Honey Hai, an
apparently provocative question from a newbie journalist saw
Govinda meting out one tight slap -- or in the actor's favourite
words, one big 'tamacha' -- to that same journo.
Inside The World Of
Uncomfortable Celebrity
Interviews
When journalists draw blood, stars'
behavior draws ink.
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
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EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
The other side of journalism
This is a kind of journalism
where investigative
journalists and reporters
directly pay a source to
divulge information. Seems
justified? How about
journalists paying criminals
and molestors to write about
their crimes? British
tabloids are particularly
famous (infamous?) for
practising this.
Chequebook
Journalism
In India, where do you get
to see this? In the
entertainment industry.
Bombay Times is filled to
the brim with such articles.
This tendency is growing in
India with the celebrities
feeling that a newspaper
might be able to sell more
with their name attached to
it.
Nobody wants to get on the wrong side of
the media. Journalists hold the reign to an
upcoming star’s popularity or reputation..
Needless to say, journalists are showered
with many freebies and gifts. Some are
subtle seducers, while some aren’t. Mature
reporters (who’ve put in a couple of years
into the industry) are flown in private jets
to private parties and opening ceremonies
of fancy events. These junkets should not
affect a reporter’s viewpoint, yes? Sure.
Freebies and Gifts
Non-issues as real
issues
At a Lakme India Fashion Week event,
there were 512 accredited journalists
covering the event in which models
were displaying cotton garments, while
the men and women who grew that
cotton were killing themselves at a
distance of an hour's flight from Nagpur,
in the Vidharbha region. Nobody told
that story, except one or two
journalists, locally.
Tendency to brand
Bomb blasts have taken place near the
Delhi High Court, in Mumbai,
Bangalore and so on. Within a few
hours of such a bomb blast, many TV
channels started showing news items
that said that the Indian Mujahideen
had sent e-mails or text messages
claiming responsibility. Now, an e-
mail can be sent by any mischievous
person, but by showing this on TV
channels and the next day in the
newspapers, the tendency is to brand
all Muslims as terrorists and bomb-
throwers.
A lot of big newspapers like
The Hindu issue direct orders
to not accept gifts or shares.
However, a few like TOI
willingly send their journalists
on junkets. Case in point,
Girilal Jain, ex-editor of TOI
had received a large amount of
free shares from Reliance for
publishing a huge photo of
their AGM in the newspaper.
Media and the issue of responsibilities
THE
10
Bringing Miscarriage of Justice to Life:
Jessica Murder Case
Eighteen years earlier, a young
woman, Jessica Lal, had been shot
point-blank with a bullet to her
forehead. Already the travesty of
justice had been front-page news; a
judge letting go the man, Manu
Sharma, son of a Haryana Congress
minister, who had shot Jessica in a
crowded nightclub, surrounded by
witnesses, because she refused to
serve him a drink after the bar had
shut. The reason: a complete
fabrication of ballistic reports plus
witness after witness turning hostile.
It seemed clear that the well-
meaning outrage would ultimately
vent itself in editorials and the
matter would end there.
But a bunch of brash journalists
refused to accept it. They strongly
felt there had to be some way to
address an injustice which summed
up in so many ways the collapse of
a system. How the intersection of
many factors - power, wealth,
pliable investigators, judicial delays
had all collectively contributed to a
verdict which, as a newspaper
headline said, meant that no one
killed Jessica. What it added up to
was we all killed Jessica by letting
justice die the way it did. However,
going to the president or
spearheading any sort of campaign
for this young woman would be a
tectonic shift in journalism; for a
change, they would have to step
away from being impartial
observers. Usually as journalists,
they would track legal twists and
turns, accept a court verdict as final,
follow the progress of appeals (if
they are filed at all) at a snail's pace.
Yet, with the police in the dock as
culpable for the botch-up and faced
with fabricated evidence, there was
no way this case could have a
different verdict.
When an angry nation stood up
against a hibernated system that
quite forgot the significance of
justice
President was addressed and it was well known that he seemed like
the kind of person not bogged down by bureaucracy, someone who
might be receptive to actually receiving a petition asking for a
fresh investigation and retrial. The big challenge then was how to
get the numbers needed to convince India's first citizen to even
consider meeting them, and what they finally came up with was an
SMS campaign.The team involved for getting justice in this case
was determined to their best, and all set to do anything that could
grab them the justice they deserved. They argued with the bosses
who believed fiercely in journalism being non-partisan; never ever
taking sides. In such a situation these passionate journos stood by
their instinct and for a rare case, decided to do an SMS campaign
to get justice for Jessica, and take it to the president though it had
never been done before, just because it was the right thing to do.
The most crucial consent, however, still had to come, that of
Jessica's family. May Lal, Jessica's mother, had died in 2000; her
father, Ajit Lal, had died in 2006, still waiting for a verdict in the
years after her murder. Her younger sister Sabrina had stopped
even going for the hearings, in despair at the delays and legal
machinations. The accused, Manu Sharma, could afford the best
private lawyers while the victim's family wasn't even a party to the
case; they were forced to rely on an overloaded public prosecutor.
So it was not very surprising to note that Sabrina didn't seem very
hopeful when she was approached, asking for her permission; in
fact, she was almost resigned that nothing would change.
The title was simple: Justice for Jessica, with details of the
campaign they wanted to take to the president. They launched a
campaign stating that those who supported them were to join them
with candles at India Gate, and all major cities. In no time, a
tremendous response had been received, not just from India, but
from neighboring countries like Sri Lanka as well. The Jessica Lal
case struck a chord with middle-class India, which saw it as a
classic example of an average family taking on rich and powerful
opponents. The trial also exposed the weaknesses of the legal
system as the case stretched on for years without any
major developments, and one after another, key witnesses turned
hostile.
They included Shayan Munshi, a model and a friend of Jessica’s.
He first said he had seen the murder happen and that Manu
Sharma had fired the gun twice. However, in 2001 he failed to
identify Sharma in court, dealing a huge blow to the prosecution.
He also said his earlier statement against Sharma should be
disregarded because it was written in Hindi, a language he was not
familiar with – despite him acting in a Bollywood move where he
delivered entire dialogues in Hindi. The two witnesses who are
credited with helping to convict Sharma are Bina Ramani, and her
daughter, Malini Ramani, who was also present when Jessica was
killed. Bina identified Manu Sharma, Amardeep Singh Gil, Alok
Khanna and Vikas Yadav as present at the restaurant. Daughter
Malini said she had overheard the conversation when Jessica
refused Manu Sharma a drink, which led him to pull out his gun.
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
11
Both claim to have seen Sharma
shoot Jessica. The testimony was
corroborated by Bina’s husband,
George Mailhot. The Ramanis
have repeatedly said that they
have received death threats
asking them to turn hostile in the
case.
It is clearly seen that the media
along with texts sent from cell
phones (part of the new media)
has shaped this particular case
and brought justice. It was the
power of masses and the true
strength of democratic institution
that got the victim justice
without the force of violence
among the serenity of peace and
truth, and this would never have
been possible without the
intervention of those journalists.
As Mahatma Gandhi use to say –
“Truth is God”.
The word of injustice spread
from person to person. The six
factors of power played in. The
physical force and wealth that
tried to lure away the truth was
stopped by state action and
bureaucratic factors.
The social norm of morality
kicked in and the idea of truth
and justice spread among people
like wild fire. The numbers grew
and that’s how the nonviolent
movement for Jessica Lal
murder’s was unravelled and
given justice.
And then at last, due to the
fearless conduct by the
journalists, justice was served
after 7 long years in 2006.
Sabrina Lal stated the following:
“Media got us justice”
The media proved to be an extremely powerful force that came to our aid.
We are not
influential people. We have no great contacts and have no great money
either. It was the
power of the media that enabled us to get justice. When all doors were
shut on our faces, it was the media that came to support us. The manner in
which newspapers and television channels came out in our support was
commendable. Had it not been for the media, people would have never
known about how a family was being denied justice. It was this coverage
that made people realise the truth and come out in protests and
demonstrations in support of us.
“Media spotlight helps”
It is normally the people of the legal fraternity who have an apprehension
with such
vigilantism of the media. They say that the media is not permitted to
undertake such tasks
and that it is trying to create a parallel system of its own, thereby in the
process
disregarding the legal system. They claim that all people are innocent till
proven guilty and hence such acts by the media make innocents seem
guilty and thus interfere with the judicial proceedings. But one has to
remember that in the end, it is the judge who will decide on cases keeping
in mind the evidence available and not because the media projected any
case in a particular manner. I know that many times a case that the media
picks up may be biased towards a particular side. But then it is the judge
who is the final deciding authority. I don’t see any such complaints against
the media when guilty officials are caught accepting bribes.
“Media vigilantism is needed”
The system we live in is such that there is rampant corruption everywhere.
When the media exposes corruption, it is welcome. The media is taking a
proactive step to weed out the evils that have crept into our system. It is
pressurizing the system to be more accountable and responsible. It is
keeping vigilance over our society, ensuring that the truth is out there in
the open and making sure that the voice of the common man and the
underprivileged section is heard. If media scrutiny is forcing the system to
be responsive to the common man then there should be no complaints.
12
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
Fought; Shot; Persevered; Won
It is often an unsolved mystery as
to what can inspire someone to
stand in front of a rising flame and
burn themselves with pride. The
soldiers on the borders who live
away from their families and
luxuries, and keep the spark of
humanity ignited in the most
inhumane conditions. Here we
have a story of one such hero who
was not seen on the border, but did
have a rifle of determination loaded
with bullets of truth and justice.
If the law has finally caught up
with Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh,
it's thanks to the effort of
one brave individual, who sadly
couldn't be alive to see his truth-
seeking efforts bear fruit. The
family of Ram Chander
Chhatrapati, the journalist who
was murdered for exposing the
alleged rape case against
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, is
upbeat about getting justice after
years of legal battles.
Chhatrapati, the publisher of a
local Hindi newspaper
called Poora Sach (Complete
Truth) is credited in bringing the
rape case to the forefront, based
on an anonymous letter by a
sadhvi accusing Ram Rahim of
rape. The letter was addressed to
then Prime Minister Atal Bihari
Vajpayee and heads of several
other institutions including the
Chief Justice of Punjab and
Haryana High Court.
A lawyer-journalist, he had a
penchant for truth, that’s how Ram
Chander's son Anshul Chhatrapati
describes him. “My father wasn’t
fond of the profession and would
say that
lawyers resort to distorting facts and lying,” he tells The Quint during a
phone conversation.
Although Ram Chander left the practice to join his family business, he
continued writing for numerous news publications till late 1990s.
“But his articles were often cut or rejected if they were too anti-
establishment or if his opinion was not supported by the news
organisation. These were the issues that gnawed at him and he wanted to
write about them,” Anshul says.
Ram Chander then began publishing his Hindi daily ‘Poora Sach’ or ‘the
whole truth’ from February 2002 with the help of other scholars,
academicians and even a few poets on board.For him, threats and
pressures loomed large amid his struggle to carry on his slain father’s local
Hindi newspaper, ‘Poora Sacch’ (Whole Truth), for 12 years after the
tragedy.
On the night of 24 October 2002, he was shot four times at point blank range,
allegedly by two followers of the controversial sect based in Sirsa, right outside his
house. He succumbed to his injuries around a month later on 21 November
2002, leaving behind a wife, two sons and two daughters who have
continued to fight the legal battle for justice. Gurmeet Singh’s conviction
in the two rape cases that Chhatrapati uncovered 15 years ago is seen as a
“ray of hope” for his family awaiting justice.
"My father, Ram Chander, was an advocate before he became a journalist.
He has worked with a number of media organisations. He was not satisfied
with the kind of journalism in those organisations because of the filtration
by editors so he opened his own publication titled 'Poora Sachh'. He had
exposed the alleged rape of 'sadhvis' (female followers) at the Dera 15
years ago with a concerned letter which was addressed to the then Prime
Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee," ANI quoted Anshul Chhatrapati as saying.
"My father was targeted and threatened several times after the letter was
published. High Court had then ordered a CBI investigation taking the suo
motto of the letter. Then on Oct 24, 2002, my father was attacked; he was
shot five times by two people. I was 21 then, and did not know where to
go for justice after the police did not include the name of the Dera chief in
the FIR," reportedly.
Anshul said that the Dera chief's name was not included in the FIR by the
police. "My father fought for life in the hospital for 28 days after they
pumped bullets into his body, and he had named the Dera chief as the
accused in his statement to the local police. But the cops
The battle for justice prevailing
despite of bloodstained
consequences The focus of the publication was to give the readers original and fresh
content and to make them aware. He always made sure the paper was error-
free and proofread every page multiple times.
13
did not include the Dera chief's
name in the FIR, and the legal battle
began from there. The concerned
revolver was licensed in the name of
Dera Sacha Sauda," Anshul
reportedly said.
Another murder case against the
Dera chief in the same court is for
the killing of Ranjit Singh, a former
Dera member, in July 2002 as he
had highlighted alleged
wrongdoings inside the Dera
headquarters at Sirsa, including
sexual exploitation of female
devotees by some people in the
sect’s management.
THE ANONYMOUS LETTER
The anonymous letter published by
Chhatrapati in his newspaper was
addressed to then Prime Minister
Atal Bihari Vajpayee and heads of
several other institutions including
the Chief Juctice of Punjab and
Haryana High Court.
The three-page letter in Hindi
explained in detail the 'deeds' of
Gurmeet Ram Rahim. The letter,
which appeared to have been written
by a woman follower of Baba Ram
Rahim, narrated how the Dera chief
sexually exploited his women
followers at the sprawling Sirsa
ashram.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court
took note of the letter and directed
the then district and sessions judge
in Sirsa to order a probe into the
matter. The judge then
recommended probe by a central
agency following which the high
court asked the CBI to look into the
matter. The Chandigarh unit of CBI
registered a case on December 12,
2002, under Section 376 (rape), 506
(criminal intimidation) and 509
(insult to the modesty of woman) of
the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
launched an investigation.
No matter what we may say to comfort ourselves, the truth is
that we are in a state of war. Journalists are getting shot, people
getting killed, and violence increasing without bounds. But the
truth is that the passionate never stop and that courage never
ceases to express itself.
14
E-News gulping print's army
Even as the Prime Minister's move
of demonitisation has begun to bite
the Indians hard , the ABP group
which publishes two of eastern India's
most popular newspapers -
Anandabazar Patrika (the Bengal
daily) and The Telegraph (the English
newspaper), is all set to retrench jobs
of both journalists and non-
journalists.
It is in mood to downsize its
workforce by 40% . The employees
have been informed formally
regarding this imminent job cut.
The notice informs that the journalists
whose services would no longer be
required , would continue to get an
amount equivalent to the basic pay at
the present rate till the time of his or
her retirement would have been due.
It was made clear that the journalists
who are under the wage board will
have to accept the company's offer.
Though the company has not
officially declared the number of
emplyees who would be offered the
'golden handshake' , there are
indications that the number would be
high.
The notice informs that the journalists whose services would no longer be
required , would continue to get an amount equivalent to the basic pay at the
present rate till the time of his or her retirement would have been due. It was
made clear that the journalists who are under the wage board will have to
accept the company's offer.
Though the company has not officially declared the number of emplyees
who would be offered the 'golden handshake' , there are indications that the
number would be high.
The move comes a few months after a week Sarkar stepped down as the
editor-in-chief of the group's two main publications - Anandabazar and The
telegraph, leaving his elder brother, Arup Sarkar at the helm of affairs as
chief editors. Arup Sarkar's son, Atideb was made chief executive director
of the ABP group
The journalists privately say that the retrenchment would hit journalists
across the line - those under the wage board , those under the company scale
and contract workers. It is learnt that ABP group engaged a US company,
Hey Consultancy Ltd. , to recommend ways to streamline the group's
various newspapers, magazines and news channels, cut down expenditure
and losses etc. The Hey report observed that the group has atleast 47.5%
surplus workers.
The heads of the various departments have already been verbally instructed
to prepare a list of 50% of the employess whose job could be dispensed. Its
is not clear that how many of them would be asked to go, but a pall of
gloom has descended on journalists and non-journalists alike.
This is not first time that the ABP group has initiated such drastic step to
trim down its workforce. In 1997, Anandabazar Patrika, the flagship of the
ABP group , oberserved its 75th anniversary with much fanfare. At that time
, the company engaged McKinsey and Company to streamline. McKinsey
suggested to downsize the number of employees but the ABP group was
hesitant. But it did when a devastating fire broke out at its office building in
Sep 1999. About 200 employees were segregated and were offered VRS
with stringent conditions.
Bengal's iconic
Anandabazar patrika
group to sack 40% of
its staff
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
15
According to Rina,a majority of journalists in India are
unwittingly succumbing to pressure. Only a handful like
Lankesh,she says, are daring to question the actions and
motives of establishment.
Yet another voice silenced!
In July 2012, Tongam Rina was
shot point blank in her stomach, right
outside the office of Arunachal
Times, where she is an associate
editor. More than five years later, she
still finds it difficult to talk about the
attack, which she says undoubtedly
occurred because of her work as a
journalist. Luckily, Rina survived the
shooting, unlike Gauri Lankesh who
was assassinated in Bengaluru on the
night of September 5.With the death
of the Kannada journalist-activist –
who had come under attack for her
views against the communal politics
of the Sangh parivar in Karnataka –
the number of media persons killed
in targeted assassinations or violence
in India with confirmed motives has
climbed to 41.
The toll, a Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) study has
revealed, is just from the past 25 years.According to Rina, a
majority of journalists in India are unwittingly succumbing to
pressure. Only a handful like Lankesh, she says, are daring to
question the actions and motives of the establishment. The biggest
media outlets – which continue to wield great influence over the
nation – are not among them. “The quality of journalism has shrunk
so much that it’s difficult to find good reports,” she adds.which
Rina says she faced during the investigation of her attack. “Over
the next few months, as they get into investigation, her [Gauri
Lankesh] personal life is going to be out,” Rina says softly.
“Character assassination is going to be part of the investigation and
it pains me.”“When we [journalists] are moving in territories where
all these organisations that are involved in wrong doing enjoy some
kind of impunity from law and order and the police, then it
becomes a major cause of concern.”which Rina says she faced
during the investigation of her attack. “Over the next few months,
as they get into investigation, her [Gauri Lankesh] personal life is
going to be out,” Rina says softly. “Character assassination is going
to be part of the investigation and it pains me.“When we
[journalists] are moving in territories where all these organizations
that are involved in wrongdoing enjoy some kind of impunity from
law and order and the police, then it becomes a major cause of
concern.”
Friday, November 3,2017EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR
16
The Journo Job: Easy?
The job of a journalist
usually seems beautiful, highly
paying and easy to many. But that
is not really the complete fact. A
growing number of incidents of
violence against, and restrictions
on, journalists in several parts of
India over the past few months has
caused concern at the national and
According to Chandigarh
Press Club, “During the Panchkula
violence in August 2017, when
Baba Ram Rahim Singh Insan was
awarded 20 years jail, the vehicles
of around 40 journalists were
torched and equipment was also
damaged during the violence.
Many were injured. The OB vans
of many electronic news channels
were toppled and burnt. It is also
alleged that Haryana police
misbehaved with journalists who
were reporting the court
proceedings of Gurmeet Ram
Rahim Singh in the rape case
against him.”
Nagarjuna Reddy, a freelance
journalist based in Chirala in the
district, was assaulted by the
brother of local TDP MLA
Amanchi Krishnamohan and his
supporters over a magazine article
and false cases were filed against
him. The write up of the journalist
highlighted alleged corrupt
activities that were undertaken by
the MLA. The journalist was
rashedth with sticks, other
weapons and he cried for help as
passer-by watched helplessly.
According to News 18 reports, the
MLA defended the beating and
said, This is not a goonda raj, he
used abusive language. Nagarjuna
is not a journalist, he is sudo
142 attacks on journalists took
place between 2014-15. Till
April 2017, 54 attacks on
journalists have been recorded
in last 16 months.
Panchkula Violence, August 2017
and students of JNU and journalists
were attacked and threatened at a
Delhi court as dozens of policemen
watched. Local media accused police
of doing little to stop the chaos.
A former NDTV journalist,
Revati Laul had been
Ahmedabad for over a year,
working on her book on the
convicts in the 2002 Naroda
Patiya massacre case. A convict
in a Gujarat riots case, out on
parole, allegedly assaulted her
when she met him for an
interview. She alleged that she
was punched and slapped by
Suresh Chhara when she asked
him some questions during an
interview at his house in Naroda
area of Ahmedabad. She claims
that she managed to escape
after Suresh Chhara's son and
some neighbours intervened.
In February 2016, A scuffle broke out in Patiala Court as Jawaharlal
Nehru University (JNU) students union president Kanhaiya Kumar who was
arrested on sedition charges was produced in court. Men wearing lawyers’
robes snatched reporters’ phones and notebooks and pushed them to the
ground, accusing them of being “pro-Pakistan” and “anti-Indian”. Teachers
and students of JNU and journalists were attacked
"I visited him at his house and
I politely asked him if he
wanted to share information
about himself, his past, family
and he, without provocation,
started slapping me. He kept
on punching me and banged
my head to the wall. I
somehow managed to flee
from the spot," Ms Laul said.
She was treated at a
government hospital and she
later lodged a complaint with
the Vejalpur police station.
Minister of State for Home
Affairs Hansraj Ahir said in the
Lok Sabha that 142 attacks on
journalists took place between
2014-15. Till April 2017, 54
attacks on journalists have been
recorded in last 16 months as per
Hoot. The actual data will
certainly be bigger.
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
17
Covering the war
Once shelling started from both sides, the
STD booths were also shut down.
Staying far away from your families, that
too in area where there are constant bombarding
and bullets being fired from both the sides. That
is how exactly it is to a cover a war.
Law Kumar Mishra from TNN says,” It was a
lifetime experience for me as a journalist to
cover Kargil war. We could notice heavy
shelling after sunset as we were put in some
bunkars.The Drass Circuit House was also
bombed by the enemies. On NH-1A, we could
see two oil tankers burned due to Pak shelling.
Since war was raging on full scale, all hotels and
restaurants at the bus standnhad shut down. Only
one hotel, Hotel Zozilla, was open, where we
stayed. Hotel Kargil was damaged due to
shelling from across the border. Only one
roadside dhaba of a Sardar was open, which
served only dal, chawal and onions. The only
means of communication was a STD booth,
which used to be open for a few hours, both for
newsmen and the Army jawans. Once shelling
started from the Pak side , even this STD booth
was shut down and reporters and jawans made
to remain indoors till shelling concluded. Once
we were in the war zone, it was difficult to come
out of Sonemarg or Kargil as the roads to Leh
and Sringar were closed.
The daily briefing took place at Drass, but once we
entered Kargil, reporters had to depend on the local
Army or official sources for developments. We got
reports about barbaric killings of our officers and
jawans at Batalik sector. While returning from Kargil
after the ceasefire took place, we were told at Drass
about the casualties of our officers, some of whom
had briefed us and exchanged pleasantries when we
were on way to Kargil.”
With blooad all around you and the sounds of
gunshots now and then, it is not at all an easy task to
cover an ongoing war. The journo job is really not
that easy.
A journalist at Kargil
18
–
Price they pay
The gruesome murder of journalist Gauri
Lankesh once again highlighted the perils of
being a journalist in India. Though they call
Press, the fourth estate of democracy, the
journalists who play the role of watchdog are
perhaps the most unsafe bunch of people
whose life neither holds any value nor any
significance beyond the veil of rhetoric.
According to the reports of Reporter
Without Borders, India is the third most
unsafe places for journalists after Syria and
Iraq which by virtue of their respective
turmoil are war zones.
Since 1992, close to 70 journalists have lost
their lives and if the Committee to Protect
Journalists’ claims are anything to go by as
many as 46 percent journalists who were
killed while working were covering politics;
35 per cent of them were covering corruption.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are better than India
This would surprise many that even states like
Pakistan and Afghanistan whom we often
refer as failed states fare far better than India
when it comes to the safety of journalists. In
2015, Pakistan has seen deaths of only two
journalists whereas Afghanistan despite being
a conflict zone has seen none.
In the Freedom of Press index, India ranks
136 out of 180 countries and it’s just three
places above Pakistan whereas our other
neighbours like Bhutan and Nepal were
placed at 84th and 100th rank, respectively.
Countries including Ghana (26), The
Dominican Republic (59), Sierra Leone (85),
Nicaragua (92) and Chad (121) fare better
than what India does.
Local reporters are most vulnerable
The CPJ report claims that at least 27 journalists have been
murdered in direct retaliation for their work in India since 1992.
And what makes it worst that in most of the cases the killer go
free without getting punished. India ranks 13th on Impunity
Index — after Russia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
REUTERS
If reports are to be believed, nearly 96 per cent of the victims of
these murders is local reporters with the same percentage of
the cases that go unsolved. Since 1992, only three Indian
journalists have died covering the war.
Here are some of the gruesome murders of the journalists lately
indeed made headlines, but in most of the cases, the
perpetrators of the crime are still unpunished.
1.Santanu Bhowmick
Bhowmick, a political journalist from Din Raat news channel,
was beaten to death while covering the road blockade by the
Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) that had turned
violent. Inspite of identifying himself as a journalist, he was
fatally attacked with sharp weapons.
2. Ram Chander Chhatrapati
Chhatrapati was murdered for exposing Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Singh in the rape case levelled against the self-proclaimed god.
Chhatrapati was the publisher of a local Hindi newspaper, Poora
Sach (Complete Truth), that brought the rape case to the
forefront, based on an anonymous letter written by a sadhvi
accusing Ram Rahim of raping her.
3. Gauri Lankesh
Senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was murdered by
three unknown assailants who shot her dead right at the gates
of her house in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017. Gauri was well
known for her stand against Hindu Right-wing violence against
minorities in India.
4. Indradev Yadav aka Akhilesh Pratap
Yadav
In May 2016, TV journalist Indradev Yadav who reported for
TaazaTV, a Kolkata based Hindu news outlet was shot dead by
unidentified assailants near his home in Chatra in Jharkhand.
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR
Friday, November 3,2017
19
EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR LESS ADS, MORE NEWS
Sting Operation: Victim’s Right to
Privacy v/s Public’s Right to Know
There are ethical and legal controversies
pertaining to the concept of sting operation
and various such similar methods used for
investigative journalism. Sting Operations
are undertook with a view to look into the
working of the govt. or to see whether the
acts of any individual is against the public
order. On the basis of the purpose Sting
Operations can be classified as positive
and negative. Positive Sting Operation is
one which results in the interest of the
society, which pierces the veils of the
working of the government. It is carried
out in the public interest. Due to positive
sting operation society is benefited because
it makes government responsible and
accountable. Negative sting operations do
not benefit the society, but they do harm
the society and its individuals. It
unnecessarily violates the privacy of the
individual without any beneficial results to
the society. These types of Sting
operations if allowed then it will hamper
the freedom of the individuals and restricts
their rights.
An informed citizenry is the bedrock of a
democracy, holding the government
accountable through voting and
participation. This requires investigative
journalism which cannot sustain itself on
asymmetric dissemination of information.
In many cases, the subjects of the reporting
wish the matters under scrutiny to remain
undisclosed. Among the most popular
programs in India, are those reporting on
corruption and misdeeds of politicians and
government officials. ‘Candid camera,’
reports many true stories of the day the
bribe that the police inspector extracts
from the victim of a crime before agreeing
to investigate, the ‘fee’ that the
government officer charges for his giving
the order to make an electric connection,
and the ‘contribution’ that a company pays
a member of Parliament before bringing up
a legislative concern in the Lok Sabha.
1. Positive Sting
Operations:
Sting operations on
ultra-sound centers
carried out by the
Health officers in
Karnataka for “serious
enforcement’’ of the
Pre-Natal Diagnostic
Techniques Act which
bans sex determination
of fetuses and
consequent abortion of
female ones to stop
female feticide.
# The Ministry (by the
Cable Television
Networks Regulation
Act and Programme
Code), has prohibited
the transmission of
Cineworld channel for
30 days for showing
“objectionable content.”
Because it “offended
good taste and decency”
and it “was obscene and
likely to corrupt public
morality and was not
suited for unrestricted
public exhibition”
An operation by an
online news site called
Tehelka to catch top
politicians and army
officers taking bribes
from journalists posing
as businessmen.
# An operation in which
a journalist posing as a
struggling actress met
actor Shakti Kapoor,
who promised in the
televised footage that
his secretary would
introduce her to movie
producers and directors.
2. Negative Sting Operations:
Instances over the years have shown that
though sting operations do expose corruption
in some cases, sometimes they seriously
violate the rules of journalism in the pursuit of
profit and short-term sensationalism.
The Delhi High Court on Friday, 7th
September, 2007, issued notices to the Delhi
government and city police after taking suo
motu cognizance of media reports alleging that
a sting operation carried out by a TV channel,
which claimed to have exposed a sex racket
run by a government school teacher Uma
Khurana, for allegedly luring her pupils into
prostitution has now been revealed to be
completely fabricated and was fake and
distorted.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 7th
February, 2007, issued notices to a private
news channel and its reporter for carrying out
a sting operation carried out in the year 2004,
which allegedly showed a non-bailable
warrant could be procured against any person
by paying a hefty amount in the court.
Although, the Indian Constitution does not
expressly mention the liberty of the press, it is
evident that the liberty of the press is included
in the freedom of speech and expression under
Article 19(1) (a). Various Constitutions have
guaranteed free press or media as a special
right under art. 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of
India, 1950 but it has certain restrictions. The
democratic credentials are judged by the
extent of freedom the media enjoys in a
particular state . Further the media has a right
to impart the information to the public.
Freedom of speech includes freedom to
communicate, advertise, publish or propagate
ideas and the dissemination of information.
Furthermore Art. 19(1) also incorporates
within itself right to receive information about
any event, happening or incident etc. “The
heart of journalism has to be public interest”
and Sting operations, serve public interest,
though the usage of such rights needs to be
monitored at some level.
20
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  • 1. THE WINGS OF FIRE PEARSON,SPECTER & CO.LTD. | ESTABLISHED IN 2001 | AHMEDABAD | PAGES 20 | Friday, November 3,2017 EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR LESS ADS, MORE NEWS
  • 2. 2
  • 3. 3 WINGS OF FIRE EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR LESS ADS, MORE NEWS Who owns your media? In a game of dirty politics that has been going on for ages, media houses haven’t been able to keep themselves unsullied. Almost all the major media houses is owned by some or other political party, which makes sure that the news that gets out, is closely monitored and clipped to retain their status quo intact. Almost all news channels are owned either directly or indirectly by politicians. The situation in the south is far worse with every party in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, owning at least one channel.Here are some of the famous news channels which are owned by political parties. Jaya Tv: Named after its owner, Jaya TV is owned by Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK chief. She also owns Jaya Max, Jaya Plus and J Movie. She owns all this through the holding company Mavis Satcom Ltd. But she is not alone in Tamil Nadu to own television channels. Congress owns Mega TV and Vasanth TV while Vijayakanth of DMDK owns Captain Tv. Sun Tv: Even with all this political control of television in Tamil Nadu, the top honors go to DMK chief Karunanidhi’s nephew Kalanithi Maran. He controls Sun TV, Sun News, KTV, Sun Music, Chutti TV, Sumangali Cable, Adithya TV, Chintu TV, Kiran TV, Khushi TV, Udaya Comedy, Udaya Music, Gemini TV, Gemini Comedy and Gemini Movies. Karunanidhi himself owns Kalaignar TV and a close associate M. Raajhendran owns Raj TV and Raj Digital Plus. IBNLokmat: Rajendra Dadra, the Minister of School Education of Maharashtra and his brother Vijay Dadra, a Rajya Sabha member, both of Congress, control Lokmat which is the largest selling Marathi newspaper in Maharashtra. The group also owns IBNLokmat in association with the TV18 group. Times Now: Times Now is part of the Times group which is a very big media house which operates Times of India, Mid-Day, Nav-Bharath Times, Stardust, Femina, Vijay Times, Vijaya Karnataka and Times Now. Times Group is owned by Bennet & Coleman. The Italian Robertio Mindo who has a share in the group is a close relative of Sonia Gandhi. India news: Rajeev Shukla, among other things is the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning and the secretary of the All India Congress Committee. He controls News 24 with his wife Anuradha Prasad. They also own Aapno 24 and E24. Interestingly Anuradha Prasad is the sister of BJP leader, Ravi Shankar Prasad. NDTV: NDTV is owned by Prannoy Roy. The NDTV group owns NDTV India, NDTV Good Times, NDTV 24×7 and NDTV Profit and other channels. The Bengali Roy is married to Radhika Roy whose sister is Brinda Karat a Rajya Sabha member of CPI(M). Brinda Karat is married to Prakash Karat who is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The breaking news you hear is not breaking nowadays! THE PEARSON,SPECTER & CO.LTD. | ESTABLISHED IN 2001 | AHMEDABAD | PAGES 20 | Friday, November 3,2017
  • 4. 4 Many of the print media houses have been traditionally owned by specific political parties since their conception. How this truth appeared? The media in India is highly politicized. This fact became apparent after the Radia tapes controversy came into the media limelight in November 2010. Nira Radia, a political and business lobbyist, was found to be part of a wide nexus among politicians, businessmen and journalists through which news was manipulated. Names of senior and celebrated journalists Barkha Dutt, Prabhu Chawla and Vir Sanghvi did crop up in this controversy but with media ethics of maintaining high journalistic standards lying in shreds, all of them continue to hold high positions even as the public trust in a partisan media erodes fast.Here are the few insights of newspapers and their ownerships. Print media or Paid media? The Tribune has always been a centrist newspaper covering the regions of North India such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K. It’s been known to have a pro-congress attitude when it comes to choosing which news to print on the front page and which news to hide in small columns. It is rumored that Manmohan Singh only reads The Tribune and so doesn’t know what all is wrong with the government. The tribune The curious case of the Indian Express is really interesting. Ramnath Goenka, who founded the Indian Express Group was a member of the RSS and so the newspaper was always right wing in its nature. After his death the group has split in two and now there are two newspapers with opposite loyalties. While The Indian Express now supports congress, The New Indian Express continues to support NDA and right wing ideologies. Indian Express This newspaper is probably the worst case of partisan media. It can easily be mistaken for a Congress published newspaper as it has become nothing but a mouthpiece for Congress propaganda. It has roots in the Indian freedom movement and since then it has been a partner for the Congress party. It has a good strong hold in Delhi. It is managed by Shobhana Bhartiya who is the daughter of industrialist KK Birla and was a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress Party till 2012. Hindustan Times The Pioneer is the second oldest English newspaper to be printed in India. It has always shown a pro- BJP, right wing, nationalist ideology. Chandan Mitra, owner and editor in chief of The Pioneer is a BJP member of Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh. The Pioneer has focused on pro-right movements emerging out of the urban middle classes. The Pioneer
  • 5. 5 EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017 Media and gender in India Women’s portrayal in Indian media is nothing more than a showpiece or an icon of glamour or that of a householder. The Global Media Monitoring Project 2015 has found that only 37 per cent of all stories, including in newspapers and television, were reported by women. This was the same figure a decade ago. Online, however,women’s representation was 42 per cent. Another report by the International Federation of Journalists, specific to the Asia- Pacific region, found that, although the presence of women in the region doubled in the last two decades, women still comprised just 28.6 per cent of the total workforce. In terms of participation, female characters are the most preferred on television due to their accompanied good looks, more so in business news channels, because their presence on-screen can increase TRPs. In the print media too, fewer women write for the opinion pages of newspapers. According to a survey by Newslaundry, men accounted for most of the by-lines on the Edit and Op-ed pages. The Missing Women Of Indian Media Click on the links below to know more:  http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/the- missing-women-of-indian-media.html  https://www.theguardian.com/global- development/poverty-matters/2011/jul/22/india- sex-selection-missing-women  http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/indias- missing-women/article5670801.ece Sourse: Annual Employment- Unemoloyment Survey Therefore, in order to empower women as leaders and to eradicate the existent gender gap, it is essential that they be given the decision-making power. Women should be better trained, skilled, knowledgeable and accessibility to information technology should be encouraged so that they adopt professional guidelines. Even if some women make it to the top position, they are often forced to quit their job due to inflexible working hours, and they are expected to maintain a balance between household chores and night-shifts.
  • 6. 6 Tongam Rina, Associate Editor of the Arunachal Times, was accustomed to riling up the powers-that-be with her column “Ringside View”. She did not pull her punches while taking on the mining mafia, corrupt government officials, high- handed politicians and armed insurgent groups active in Arunachal Pradesh, a state in India’s north- east. Death threats, intimidation and pressures were a daily feature of life in this frontier state. The presence of several hundred armed insurgent groups, together with heightened lawlessness, including murderous attacks on the press, prompted the government to grant journalists licenses to hire armed bodyguards. Rina, however, continued to write about controversial issues, including one potentially explosive environmental story on the proposed 150 dam projects. Her forthright opposition to the project angered powerful opponents in the pro-dam lobby, which tried all means to silence her – from bribes and threats to intimidation and ransacking of her office. But none succeeded and Rina continued her mission of truth-telling on this and other contentious issues. As president of the Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ), she also took up issues on behalf of the union. But on July 15, 2012, Rina, unidentified armed men ambushed her outside her office in the capital Itanagar and sprayed bullets into her stomach. Some of the gunshots grazed her spine and left her critically injured. In June 2013, the police identified the weapons used in the shooting and also charge-sheeted three of the accused. The main accused, Yumlang Achung, who wanted to harm Tongam Rina for not highlighting him and his organisation’s activities in her newspaper, surrendered to the police in September 2013. Speaking at a meeting on journalists’ safety in Shillong, Meghalaya, in July 2013, the president of the Arunachal Press Club, Taba Ajum, said: “Physical security is one of the most critical issues for journalists in the North East, where we have to constantly look over our shoulders and operate in an atmosphere of threat. In fact, after Tongam Rina was shot, the state government has even issued gun licences to journalists to protect themselves.” In recognition of her contribution to upholding press freedom, Rina was listed as one of '100 information heroes' honoured by Reporters without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontier-RSF) on 3 May 2014. She is the first Indian journalist to find a place on this list. Women in the Line of Fire- A True Story Scan the QR Code given here to listen Rina’s Story in her own voice! How to Download and Use the TadakaNews App? Step 1: SMS TadakaApp to 012340 or visit TadakaApp.org Step 2: Open the app, scan the QR Code and here you go… Step 3: Take the tutorial of an app to know more about it at TadakaApp.org Friday, November 3,2017EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR
  • 7. 7 Six Sad Truths about Women in Media The Women’s Media Center’s annual report is out, and the status of women in news and entertainment is as bleak as ever. Little progress has been made in most areas, and there are some places like sports journalism where women have actually lost ground. Here’s a list of some of the most depressing insights from the report, which draws on 49 studies of women across media platforms. 1. The news industry still hasn’t achieved anything that resembles gender equality. Women are on camera only 32% of the time in evening broadcast news, and write 37% of print stories news stories. At the New York Times, more than 67% of by-lines are male. 2. Men still dominate “hard news.” Men report 65% of political stories. Men also dominate science coverage (63%), world politics coverage (64%) and criminal justice news (67%). 3. Opinions are apparently a male thing. Newspaper editorial boards are on average made up of seven men and four women. And the overall commentators on Sunday morning talk-shows are more than 70% male. 4. Women are losing traction behind the scenes. Women accounted for 25% of writers in 2013-2014, down from 34% the previous year. For the 250 most profitable films made in 2014, 83% of the directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors are guys. 5. There’s bad news for actresses and minorities. Women accounted for only 12% of on-screen protagonists in 2016, and 30% of characters with speaking parts. There are also persistent racial disparities. 6. Hollywood executives are still overwhelmingly white and male. Studio senior management is 92% white and 83% male. Need to change the Mentality…
  • 8. 8 Every coin has two sides There is an unspoken social contract between celebrities and the journalists who write about them that goes something like this: The all-powerful bearer of fame and fortune, tasked with hawking their latest project, deigns to lower themselves to Earth and speak with a dutiful reporter who will whip up a charming article that explores this new work and the star's passion for it, perhaps with a harmless-yet-illuminating personal anecdote thrown in as a cherry on top. But lately, the disruption of this unstated arrangement has become the news. Saif Ali Khan While most actors turn egoistic when their films are super hits, it was probably the frustration of the early years which got to Saif Ali Khan. Saif and his former wife Amrita Singh allegedly landed up at the office of a journalist called Kanan Divech (Star and Style) and apparently assaulted her. Some furniture and curios were also apparently destroyed in the incident. The matter finally ended in the Bombay High Court where Amrita Singh issued a formal apology in writing. Dharmendra Hema Malini's mother apparently disliked Sanjeev Kumar, as everyone knew about his passion for alcohol. She did not like Jeetendra either. The one person she trusted was Dharmendra and he was always warmly welcomed to their home. But when Hema decided to formalise their relationship, she was apparently taken aback. And then there was total chaos when journalist Devyani Chaubal leaked the news to the media. Dharmendra, in the tradition of true herogiri, chased Devyani Chaubal before he apparently delivered a couple of punches. Govinda When he was ruling the roost in the 1990s, Govinda was quite friendly and easygoing. But when the flops started piling up, it appears the amiable actor was unable to maintain the facade. When he was shooting for the film Money Hai To Honey Hai, an apparently provocative question from a newbie journalist saw Govinda meting out one tight slap -- or in the actor's favourite words, one big 'tamacha' -- to that same journo. Inside The World Of Uncomfortable Celebrity Interviews When journalists draw blood, stars' behavior draws ink. EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
  • 9. 9 EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017 The other side of journalism This is a kind of journalism where investigative journalists and reporters directly pay a source to divulge information. Seems justified? How about journalists paying criminals and molestors to write about their crimes? British tabloids are particularly famous (infamous?) for practising this. Chequebook Journalism In India, where do you get to see this? In the entertainment industry. Bombay Times is filled to the brim with such articles. This tendency is growing in India with the celebrities feeling that a newspaper might be able to sell more with their name attached to it. Nobody wants to get on the wrong side of the media. Journalists hold the reign to an upcoming star’s popularity or reputation.. Needless to say, journalists are showered with many freebies and gifts. Some are subtle seducers, while some aren’t. Mature reporters (who’ve put in a couple of years into the industry) are flown in private jets to private parties and opening ceremonies of fancy events. These junkets should not affect a reporter’s viewpoint, yes? Sure. Freebies and Gifts Non-issues as real issues At a Lakme India Fashion Week event, there were 512 accredited journalists covering the event in which models were displaying cotton garments, while the men and women who grew that cotton were killing themselves at a distance of an hour's flight from Nagpur, in the Vidharbha region. Nobody told that story, except one or two journalists, locally. Tendency to brand Bomb blasts have taken place near the Delhi High Court, in Mumbai, Bangalore and so on. Within a few hours of such a bomb blast, many TV channels started showing news items that said that the Indian Mujahideen had sent e-mails or text messages claiming responsibility. Now, an e- mail can be sent by any mischievous person, but by showing this on TV channels and the next day in the newspapers, the tendency is to brand all Muslims as terrorists and bomb- throwers. A lot of big newspapers like The Hindu issue direct orders to not accept gifts or shares. However, a few like TOI willingly send their journalists on junkets. Case in point, Girilal Jain, ex-editor of TOI had received a large amount of free shares from Reliance for publishing a huge photo of their AGM in the newspaper. Media and the issue of responsibilities THE
  • 10. 10 Bringing Miscarriage of Justice to Life: Jessica Murder Case Eighteen years earlier, a young woman, Jessica Lal, had been shot point-blank with a bullet to her forehead. Already the travesty of justice had been front-page news; a judge letting go the man, Manu Sharma, son of a Haryana Congress minister, who had shot Jessica in a crowded nightclub, surrounded by witnesses, because she refused to serve him a drink after the bar had shut. The reason: a complete fabrication of ballistic reports plus witness after witness turning hostile. It seemed clear that the well- meaning outrage would ultimately vent itself in editorials and the matter would end there. But a bunch of brash journalists refused to accept it. They strongly felt there had to be some way to address an injustice which summed up in so many ways the collapse of a system. How the intersection of many factors - power, wealth, pliable investigators, judicial delays had all collectively contributed to a verdict which, as a newspaper headline said, meant that no one killed Jessica. What it added up to was we all killed Jessica by letting justice die the way it did. However, going to the president or spearheading any sort of campaign for this young woman would be a tectonic shift in journalism; for a change, they would have to step away from being impartial observers. Usually as journalists, they would track legal twists and turns, accept a court verdict as final, follow the progress of appeals (if they are filed at all) at a snail's pace. Yet, with the police in the dock as culpable for the botch-up and faced with fabricated evidence, there was no way this case could have a different verdict. When an angry nation stood up against a hibernated system that quite forgot the significance of justice President was addressed and it was well known that he seemed like the kind of person not bogged down by bureaucracy, someone who might be receptive to actually receiving a petition asking for a fresh investigation and retrial. The big challenge then was how to get the numbers needed to convince India's first citizen to even consider meeting them, and what they finally came up with was an SMS campaign.The team involved for getting justice in this case was determined to their best, and all set to do anything that could grab them the justice they deserved. They argued with the bosses who believed fiercely in journalism being non-partisan; never ever taking sides. In such a situation these passionate journos stood by their instinct and for a rare case, decided to do an SMS campaign to get justice for Jessica, and take it to the president though it had never been done before, just because it was the right thing to do. The most crucial consent, however, still had to come, that of Jessica's family. May Lal, Jessica's mother, had died in 2000; her father, Ajit Lal, had died in 2006, still waiting for a verdict in the years after her murder. Her younger sister Sabrina had stopped even going for the hearings, in despair at the delays and legal machinations. The accused, Manu Sharma, could afford the best private lawyers while the victim's family wasn't even a party to the case; they were forced to rely on an overloaded public prosecutor. So it was not very surprising to note that Sabrina didn't seem very hopeful when she was approached, asking for her permission; in fact, she was almost resigned that nothing would change. The title was simple: Justice for Jessica, with details of the campaign they wanted to take to the president. They launched a campaign stating that those who supported them were to join them with candles at India Gate, and all major cities. In no time, a tremendous response had been received, not just from India, but from neighboring countries like Sri Lanka as well. The Jessica Lal case struck a chord with middle-class India, which saw it as a classic example of an average family taking on rich and powerful opponents. The trial also exposed the weaknesses of the legal system as the case stretched on for years without any major developments, and one after another, key witnesses turned hostile. They included Shayan Munshi, a model and a friend of Jessica’s. He first said he had seen the murder happen and that Manu Sharma had fired the gun twice. However, in 2001 he failed to identify Sharma in court, dealing a huge blow to the prosecution. He also said his earlier statement against Sharma should be disregarded because it was written in Hindi, a language he was not familiar with – despite him acting in a Bollywood move where he delivered entire dialogues in Hindi. The two witnesses who are credited with helping to convict Sharma are Bina Ramani, and her daughter, Malini Ramani, who was also present when Jessica was killed. Bina identified Manu Sharma, Amardeep Singh Gil, Alok Khanna and Vikas Yadav as present at the restaurant. Daughter Malini said she had overheard the conversation when Jessica refused Manu Sharma a drink, which led him to pull out his gun. EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
  • 11. 11 Both claim to have seen Sharma shoot Jessica. The testimony was corroborated by Bina’s husband, George Mailhot. The Ramanis have repeatedly said that they have received death threats asking them to turn hostile in the case. It is clearly seen that the media along with texts sent from cell phones (part of the new media) has shaped this particular case and brought justice. It was the power of masses and the true strength of democratic institution that got the victim justice without the force of violence among the serenity of peace and truth, and this would never have been possible without the intervention of those journalists. As Mahatma Gandhi use to say – “Truth is God”. The word of injustice spread from person to person. The six factors of power played in. The physical force and wealth that tried to lure away the truth was stopped by state action and bureaucratic factors. The social norm of morality kicked in and the idea of truth and justice spread among people like wild fire. The numbers grew and that’s how the nonviolent movement for Jessica Lal murder’s was unravelled and given justice. And then at last, due to the fearless conduct by the journalists, justice was served after 7 long years in 2006. Sabrina Lal stated the following: “Media got us justice” The media proved to be an extremely powerful force that came to our aid. We are not influential people. We have no great contacts and have no great money either. It was the power of the media that enabled us to get justice. When all doors were shut on our faces, it was the media that came to support us. The manner in which newspapers and television channels came out in our support was commendable. Had it not been for the media, people would have never known about how a family was being denied justice. It was this coverage that made people realise the truth and come out in protests and demonstrations in support of us. “Media spotlight helps” It is normally the people of the legal fraternity who have an apprehension with such vigilantism of the media. They say that the media is not permitted to undertake such tasks and that it is trying to create a parallel system of its own, thereby in the process disregarding the legal system. They claim that all people are innocent till proven guilty and hence such acts by the media make innocents seem guilty and thus interfere with the judicial proceedings. But one has to remember that in the end, it is the judge who will decide on cases keeping in mind the evidence available and not because the media projected any case in a particular manner. I know that many times a case that the media picks up may be biased towards a particular side. But then it is the judge who is the final deciding authority. I don’t see any such complaints against the media when guilty officials are caught accepting bribes. “Media vigilantism is needed” The system we live in is such that there is rampant corruption everywhere. When the media exposes corruption, it is welcome. The media is taking a proactive step to weed out the evils that have crept into our system. It is pressurizing the system to be more accountable and responsible. It is keeping vigilance over our society, ensuring that the truth is out there in the open and making sure that the voice of the common man and the underprivileged section is heard. If media scrutiny is forcing the system to be responsive to the common man then there should be no complaints.
  • 12. 12 EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017 Fought; Shot; Persevered; Won It is often an unsolved mystery as to what can inspire someone to stand in front of a rising flame and burn themselves with pride. The soldiers on the borders who live away from their families and luxuries, and keep the spark of humanity ignited in the most inhumane conditions. Here we have a story of one such hero who was not seen on the border, but did have a rifle of determination loaded with bullets of truth and justice. If the law has finally caught up with Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, it's thanks to the effort of one brave individual, who sadly couldn't be alive to see his truth- seeking efforts bear fruit. The family of Ram Chander Chhatrapati, the journalist who was murdered for exposing the alleged rape case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, is upbeat about getting justice after years of legal battles. Chhatrapati, the publisher of a local Hindi newspaper called Poora Sach (Complete Truth) is credited in bringing the rape case to the forefront, based on an anonymous letter by a sadhvi accusing Ram Rahim of rape. The letter was addressed to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and heads of several other institutions including the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. A lawyer-journalist, he had a penchant for truth, that’s how Ram Chander's son Anshul Chhatrapati describes him. “My father wasn’t fond of the profession and would say that lawyers resort to distorting facts and lying,” he tells The Quint during a phone conversation. Although Ram Chander left the practice to join his family business, he continued writing for numerous news publications till late 1990s. “But his articles were often cut or rejected if they were too anti- establishment or if his opinion was not supported by the news organisation. These were the issues that gnawed at him and he wanted to write about them,” Anshul says. Ram Chander then began publishing his Hindi daily ‘Poora Sach’ or ‘the whole truth’ from February 2002 with the help of other scholars, academicians and even a few poets on board.For him, threats and pressures loomed large amid his struggle to carry on his slain father’s local Hindi newspaper, ‘Poora Sacch’ (Whole Truth), for 12 years after the tragedy. On the night of 24 October 2002, he was shot four times at point blank range, allegedly by two followers of the controversial sect based in Sirsa, right outside his house. He succumbed to his injuries around a month later on 21 November 2002, leaving behind a wife, two sons and two daughters who have continued to fight the legal battle for justice. Gurmeet Singh’s conviction in the two rape cases that Chhatrapati uncovered 15 years ago is seen as a “ray of hope” for his family awaiting justice. "My father, Ram Chander, was an advocate before he became a journalist. He has worked with a number of media organisations. He was not satisfied with the kind of journalism in those organisations because of the filtration by editors so he opened his own publication titled 'Poora Sachh'. He had exposed the alleged rape of 'sadhvis' (female followers) at the Dera 15 years ago with a concerned letter which was addressed to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee," ANI quoted Anshul Chhatrapati as saying. "My father was targeted and threatened several times after the letter was published. High Court had then ordered a CBI investigation taking the suo motto of the letter. Then on Oct 24, 2002, my father was attacked; he was shot five times by two people. I was 21 then, and did not know where to go for justice after the police did not include the name of the Dera chief in the FIR," reportedly. Anshul said that the Dera chief's name was not included in the FIR by the police. "My father fought for life in the hospital for 28 days after they pumped bullets into his body, and he had named the Dera chief as the accused in his statement to the local police. But the cops The battle for justice prevailing despite of bloodstained consequences The focus of the publication was to give the readers original and fresh content and to make them aware. He always made sure the paper was error- free and proofread every page multiple times.
  • 13. 13 did not include the Dera chief's name in the FIR, and the legal battle began from there. The concerned revolver was licensed in the name of Dera Sacha Sauda," Anshul reportedly said. Another murder case against the Dera chief in the same court is for the killing of Ranjit Singh, a former Dera member, in July 2002 as he had highlighted alleged wrongdoings inside the Dera headquarters at Sirsa, including sexual exploitation of female devotees by some people in the sect’s management. THE ANONYMOUS LETTER The anonymous letter published by Chhatrapati in his newspaper was addressed to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and heads of several other institutions including the Chief Juctice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The three-page letter in Hindi explained in detail the 'deeds' of Gurmeet Ram Rahim. The letter, which appeared to have been written by a woman follower of Baba Ram Rahim, narrated how the Dera chief sexually exploited his women followers at the sprawling Sirsa ashram. The Punjab and Haryana High Court took note of the letter and directed the then district and sessions judge in Sirsa to order a probe into the matter. The judge then recommended probe by a central agency following which the high court asked the CBI to look into the matter. The Chandigarh unit of CBI registered a case on December 12, 2002, under Section 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insult to the modesty of woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) launched an investigation. No matter what we may say to comfort ourselves, the truth is that we are in a state of war. Journalists are getting shot, people getting killed, and violence increasing without bounds. But the truth is that the passionate never stop and that courage never ceases to express itself.
  • 14. 14 E-News gulping print's army Even as the Prime Minister's move of demonitisation has begun to bite the Indians hard , the ABP group which publishes two of eastern India's most popular newspapers - Anandabazar Patrika (the Bengal daily) and The Telegraph (the English newspaper), is all set to retrench jobs of both journalists and non- journalists. It is in mood to downsize its workforce by 40% . The employees have been informed formally regarding this imminent job cut. The notice informs that the journalists whose services would no longer be required , would continue to get an amount equivalent to the basic pay at the present rate till the time of his or her retirement would have been due. It was made clear that the journalists who are under the wage board will have to accept the company's offer. Though the company has not officially declared the number of emplyees who would be offered the 'golden handshake' , there are indications that the number would be high. The notice informs that the journalists whose services would no longer be required , would continue to get an amount equivalent to the basic pay at the present rate till the time of his or her retirement would have been due. It was made clear that the journalists who are under the wage board will have to accept the company's offer. Though the company has not officially declared the number of emplyees who would be offered the 'golden handshake' , there are indications that the number would be high. The move comes a few months after a week Sarkar stepped down as the editor-in-chief of the group's two main publications - Anandabazar and The telegraph, leaving his elder brother, Arup Sarkar at the helm of affairs as chief editors. Arup Sarkar's son, Atideb was made chief executive director of the ABP group The journalists privately say that the retrenchment would hit journalists across the line - those under the wage board , those under the company scale and contract workers. It is learnt that ABP group engaged a US company, Hey Consultancy Ltd. , to recommend ways to streamline the group's various newspapers, magazines and news channels, cut down expenditure and losses etc. The Hey report observed that the group has atleast 47.5% surplus workers. The heads of the various departments have already been verbally instructed to prepare a list of 50% of the employess whose job could be dispensed. Its is not clear that how many of them would be asked to go, but a pall of gloom has descended on journalists and non-journalists alike. This is not first time that the ABP group has initiated such drastic step to trim down its workforce. In 1997, Anandabazar Patrika, the flagship of the ABP group , oberserved its 75th anniversary with much fanfare. At that time , the company engaged McKinsey and Company to streamline. McKinsey suggested to downsize the number of employees but the ABP group was hesitant. But it did when a devastating fire broke out at its office building in Sep 1999. About 200 employees were segregated and were offered VRS with stringent conditions. Bengal's iconic Anandabazar patrika group to sack 40% of its staff EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
  • 15. 15 According to Rina,a majority of journalists in India are unwittingly succumbing to pressure. Only a handful like Lankesh,she says, are daring to question the actions and motives of establishment. Yet another voice silenced! In July 2012, Tongam Rina was shot point blank in her stomach, right outside the office of Arunachal Times, where she is an associate editor. More than five years later, she still finds it difficult to talk about the attack, which she says undoubtedly occurred because of her work as a journalist. Luckily, Rina survived the shooting, unlike Gauri Lankesh who was assassinated in Bengaluru on the night of September 5.With the death of the Kannada journalist-activist – who had come under attack for her views against the communal politics of the Sangh parivar in Karnataka – the number of media persons killed in targeted assassinations or violence in India with confirmed motives has climbed to 41. The toll, a Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) study has revealed, is just from the past 25 years.According to Rina, a majority of journalists in India are unwittingly succumbing to pressure. Only a handful like Lankesh, she says, are daring to question the actions and motives of the establishment. The biggest media outlets – which continue to wield great influence over the nation – are not among them. “The quality of journalism has shrunk so much that it’s difficult to find good reports,” she adds.which Rina says she faced during the investigation of her attack. “Over the next few months, as they get into investigation, her [Gauri Lankesh] personal life is going to be out,” Rina says softly. “Character assassination is going to be part of the investigation and it pains me.”“When we [journalists] are moving in territories where all these organisations that are involved in wrong doing enjoy some kind of impunity from law and order and the police, then it becomes a major cause of concern.”which Rina says she faced during the investigation of her attack. “Over the next few months, as they get into investigation, her [Gauri Lankesh] personal life is going to be out,” Rina says softly. “Character assassination is going to be part of the investigation and it pains me.“When we [journalists] are moving in territories where all these organizations that are involved in wrongdoing enjoy some kind of impunity from law and order and the police, then it becomes a major cause of concern.” Friday, November 3,2017EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR
  • 16. 16 The Journo Job: Easy? The job of a journalist usually seems beautiful, highly paying and easy to many. But that is not really the complete fact. A growing number of incidents of violence against, and restrictions on, journalists in several parts of India over the past few months has caused concern at the national and According to Chandigarh Press Club, “During the Panchkula violence in August 2017, when Baba Ram Rahim Singh Insan was awarded 20 years jail, the vehicles of around 40 journalists were torched and equipment was also damaged during the violence. Many were injured. The OB vans of many electronic news channels were toppled and burnt. It is also alleged that Haryana police misbehaved with journalists who were reporting the court proceedings of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the rape case against him.” Nagarjuna Reddy, a freelance journalist based in Chirala in the district, was assaulted by the brother of local TDP MLA Amanchi Krishnamohan and his supporters over a magazine article and false cases were filed against him. The write up of the journalist highlighted alleged corrupt activities that were undertaken by the MLA. The journalist was rashedth with sticks, other weapons and he cried for help as passer-by watched helplessly. According to News 18 reports, the MLA defended the beating and said, This is not a goonda raj, he used abusive language. Nagarjuna is not a journalist, he is sudo 142 attacks on journalists took place between 2014-15. Till April 2017, 54 attacks on journalists have been recorded in last 16 months. Panchkula Violence, August 2017 and students of JNU and journalists were attacked and threatened at a Delhi court as dozens of policemen watched. Local media accused police of doing little to stop the chaos. A former NDTV journalist, Revati Laul had been Ahmedabad for over a year, working on her book on the convicts in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case. A convict in a Gujarat riots case, out on parole, allegedly assaulted her when she met him for an interview. She alleged that she was punched and slapped by Suresh Chhara when she asked him some questions during an interview at his house in Naroda area of Ahmedabad. She claims that she managed to escape after Suresh Chhara's son and some neighbours intervened. In February 2016, A scuffle broke out in Patiala Court as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students union president Kanhaiya Kumar who was arrested on sedition charges was produced in court. Men wearing lawyers’ robes snatched reporters’ phones and notebooks and pushed them to the ground, accusing them of being “pro-Pakistan” and “anti-Indian”. Teachers and students of JNU and journalists were attacked "I visited him at his house and I politely asked him if he wanted to share information about himself, his past, family and he, without provocation, started slapping me. He kept on punching me and banged my head to the wall. I somehow managed to flee from the spot," Ms Laul said. She was treated at a government hospital and she later lodged a complaint with the Vejalpur police station. Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said in the Lok Sabha that 142 attacks on journalists took place between 2014-15. Till April 2017, 54 attacks on journalists have been recorded in last 16 months as per Hoot. The actual data will certainly be bigger. EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
  • 17. 17 Covering the war Once shelling started from both sides, the STD booths were also shut down. Staying far away from your families, that too in area where there are constant bombarding and bullets being fired from both the sides. That is how exactly it is to a cover a war. Law Kumar Mishra from TNN says,” It was a lifetime experience for me as a journalist to cover Kargil war. We could notice heavy shelling after sunset as we were put in some bunkars.The Drass Circuit House was also bombed by the enemies. On NH-1A, we could see two oil tankers burned due to Pak shelling. Since war was raging on full scale, all hotels and restaurants at the bus standnhad shut down. Only one hotel, Hotel Zozilla, was open, where we stayed. Hotel Kargil was damaged due to shelling from across the border. Only one roadside dhaba of a Sardar was open, which served only dal, chawal and onions. The only means of communication was a STD booth, which used to be open for a few hours, both for newsmen and the Army jawans. Once shelling started from the Pak side , even this STD booth was shut down and reporters and jawans made to remain indoors till shelling concluded. Once we were in the war zone, it was difficult to come out of Sonemarg or Kargil as the roads to Leh and Sringar were closed. The daily briefing took place at Drass, but once we entered Kargil, reporters had to depend on the local Army or official sources for developments. We got reports about barbaric killings of our officers and jawans at Batalik sector. While returning from Kargil after the ceasefire took place, we were told at Drass about the casualties of our officers, some of whom had briefed us and exchanged pleasantries when we were on way to Kargil.” With blooad all around you and the sounds of gunshots now and then, it is not at all an easy task to cover an ongoing war. The journo job is really not that easy. A journalist at Kargil
  • 18. 18 – Price they pay The gruesome murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh once again highlighted the perils of being a journalist in India. Though they call Press, the fourth estate of democracy, the journalists who play the role of watchdog are perhaps the most unsafe bunch of people whose life neither holds any value nor any significance beyond the veil of rhetoric. According to the reports of Reporter Without Borders, India is the third most unsafe places for journalists after Syria and Iraq which by virtue of their respective turmoil are war zones. Since 1992, close to 70 journalists have lost their lives and if the Committee to Protect Journalists’ claims are anything to go by as many as 46 percent journalists who were killed while working were covering politics; 35 per cent of them were covering corruption. Pakistan and Afghanistan are better than India This would surprise many that even states like Pakistan and Afghanistan whom we often refer as failed states fare far better than India when it comes to the safety of journalists. In 2015, Pakistan has seen deaths of only two journalists whereas Afghanistan despite being a conflict zone has seen none. In the Freedom of Press index, India ranks 136 out of 180 countries and it’s just three places above Pakistan whereas our other neighbours like Bhutan and Nepal were placed at 84th and 100th rank, respectively. Countries including Ghana (26), The Dominican Republic (59), Sierra Leone (85), Nicaragua (92) and Chad (121) fare better than what India does. Local reporters are most vulnerable The CPJ report claims that at least 27 journalists have been murdered in direct retaliation for their work in India since 1992. And what makes it worst that in most of the cases the killer go free without getting punished. India ranks 13th on Impunity Index — after Russia, Bangladesh and Nigeria. REUTERS If reports are to be believed, nearly 96 per cent of the victims of these murders is local reporters with the same percentage of the cases that go unsolved. Since 1992, only three Indian journalists have died covering the war. Here are some of the gruesome murders of the journalists lately indeed made headlines, but in most of the cases, the perpetrators of the crime are still unpunished. 1.Santanu Bhowmick Bhowmick, a political journalist from Din Raat news channel, was beaten to death while covering the road blockade by the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) that had turned violent. Inspite of identifying himself as a journalist, he was fatally attacked with sharp weapons. 2. Ram Chander Chhatrapati Chhatrapati was murdered for exposing Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the rape case levelled against the self-proclaimed god. Chhatrapati was the publisher of a local Hindi newspaper, Poora Sach (Complete Truth), that brought the rape case to the forefront, based on an anonymous letter written by a sadhvi accusing Ram Rahim of raping her. 3. Gauri Lankesh Senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was murdered by three unknown assailants who shot her dead right at the gates of her house in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017. Gauri was well known for her stand against Hindu Right-wing violence against minorities in India. 4. Indradev Yadav aka Akhilesh Pratap Yadav In May 2016, TV journalist Indradev Yadav who reported for TaazaTV, a Kolkata based Hindu news outlet was shot dead by unidentified assailants near his home in Chatra in Jharkhand. EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR Friday, November 3,2017
  • 19. 19 EXPRESSING WITH PROBITY, WRITING WITH A CANDOR LESS ADS, MORE NEWS Sting Operation: Victim’s Right to Privacy v/s Public’s Right to Know There are ethical and legal controversies pertaining to the concept of sting operation and various such similar methods used for investigative journalism. Sting Operations are undertook with a view to look into the working of the govt. or to see whether the acts of any individual is against the public order. On the basis of the purpose Sting Operations can be classified as positive and negative. Positive Sting Operation is one which results in the interest of the society, which pierces the veils of the working of the government. It is carried out in the public interest. Due to positive sting operation society is benefited because it makes government responsible and accountable. Negative sting operations do not benefit the society, but they do harm the society and its individuals. It unnecessarily violates the privacy of the individual without any beneficial results to the society. These types of Sting operations if allowed then it will hamper the freedom of the individuals and restricts their rights. An informed citizenry is the bedrock of a democracy, holding the government accountable through voting and participation. This requires investigative journalism which cannot sustain itself on asymmetric dissemination of information. In many cases, the subjects of the reporting wish the matters under scrutiny to remain undisclosed. Among the most popular programs in India, are those reporting on corruption and misdeeds of politicians and government officials. ‘Candid camera,’ reports many true stories of the day the bribe that the police inspector extracts from the victim of a crime before agreeing to investigate, the ‘fee’ that the government officer charges for his giving the order to make an electric connection, and the ‘contribution’ that a company pays a member of Parliament before bringing up a legislative concern in the Lok Sabha. 1. Positive Sting Operations: Sting operations on ultra-sound centers carried out by the Health officers in Karnataka for “serious enforcement’’ of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act which bans sex determination of fetuses and consequent abortion of female ones to stop female feticide. # The Ministry (by the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act and Programme Code), has prohibited the transmission of Cineworld channel for 30 days for showing “objectionable content.” Because it “offended good taste and decency” and it “was obscene and likely to corrupt public morality and was not suited for unrestricted public exhibition” An operation by an online news site called Tehelka to catch top politicians and army officers taking bribes from journalists posing as businessmen. # An operation in which a journalist posing as a struggling actress met actor Shakti Kapoor, who promised in the televised footage that his secretary would introduce her to movie producers and directors. 2. Negative Sting Operations: Instances over the years have shown that though sting operations do expose corruption in some cases, sometimes they seriously violate the rules of journalism in the pursuit of profit and short-term sensationalism. The Delhi High Court on Friday, 7th September, 2007, issued notices to the Delhi government and city police after taking suo motu cognizance of media reports alleging that a sting operation carried out by a TV channel, which claimed to have exposed a sex racket run by a government school teacher Uma Khurana, for allegedly luring her pupils into prostitution has now been revealed to be completely fabricated and was fake and distorted. The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 7th February, 2007, issued notices to a private news channel and its reporter for carrying out a sting operation carried out in the year 2004, which allegedly showed a non-bailable warrant could be procured against any person by paying a hefty amount in the court. Although, the Indian Constitution does not expressly mention the liberty of the press, it is evident that the liberty of the press is included in the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) (a). Various Constitutions have guaranteed free press or media as a special right under art. 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, 1950 but it has certain restrictions. The democratic credentials are judged by the extent of freedom the media enjoys in a particular state . Further the media has a right to impart the information to the public. Freedom of speech includes freedom to communicate, advertise, publish or propagate ideas and the dissemination of information. Furthermore Art. 19(1) also incorporates within itself right to receive information about any event, happening or incident etc. “The heart of journalism has to be public interest” and Sting operations, serve public interest, though the usage of such rights needs to be monitored at some level.
  • 20. 20 What Famous Women Quotes...