Friday, 23 August 2013

Bangalore seminar's Abstract Date revised to September 10

The last date for submission of abstract has been revised to September 10 in respect of the following:


22-23 OCTOBER, 2013

For details visit

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Anti-superstition law has not been passed as today's newspapers say

Veteran journalist Mahesh Vijapurkar has pointed out  that:

Maharashtra Government have only cleared, in their cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the ordinance on the anti-superstition law. It now needs to go to the Governor for his approval and then gazetting when he does. 

It is generally a procedure where the governor normally consents. But newspapers cannot, as they have, in their headlines and text say the ordinance has been passed. It is 'promulgated' later.

You may find this error in many newspapers on Thursday as well as headlines and verbiage of the news anchors on Wednesday night.

Shows utter lack of understanding of how government conduct their business. 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Ms Meghana H R has sent in the following announcement:
22-23 OCTOBER, 2013

The department of Media Studies is organising a two-day National Seminar on ‘Contemporary Media Issues and Themes’ on the 22nd and 23rd of October 2013. The event is conducted with the objective of sharing varied perspectives on diverse aspects of media - striking issues, developments, paradigm shifts, ethics, and technological determinisms so on so forth. Papers are invited on the issues related to any of the following themes:
1.      Social Exclusion and Media
2.      Economic Issues and Media
3.      Developmental Issues and Media
4.      Environmental Issues and Media
5.      Gender Issues and Media
6.      Communal Issues and Media
7.      Tourism Development and Media

Registration Fee:
The registration fee is Rs.500 for faculty members and media persons, and Rs.250 for students.  The registration fee covers seminar kit for faculty and media persons. Accommodation facility is available in the College Guest House. Those who prefer to stay outside can contact us to book rooms in hotels.
Submission of paper and abstract:
A 250 word abstract must be submitted by 22nd August 2013. The abstracts selected for the final presentation will be intimidated by 28th August 2013. The participants must submit the final research paper by 5th October 2013. The abstracts can be Word format with following information in the given order:
E-mail address
Title of abstracts
Body of abstract
Up to 5 keywords
E-mails to, should be entitled with the subject as Vidhura_GCC_Abstract Submission.
Please use plain texts (Times New Roman) in double line spacing and abstain from using any special footnotes or special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as italics, bold or underline). Please use the 6th edition of APA style for formatting and citation. Do note that selected papers are published in a journal- Media Matters with the ISSN number 2249-2550.
Important Dates to remember:
Submission of abstract: 22nd August, 2013
Confirmation and selection of abstracts: 28th August, 2013
Final date for full paper submission: 5th October, 2013
Two day National Seminar: 22nd and 23rd October, 2013


Times of India removes article on women written in bad taste

The Times of India removed a story from its website in the wake of bitter criticism in the cyber world. The (ToI), the newspaper with the largest English-language circulation in the world, published the article criticised as one of the worst articles about women ever.
The said ToI, with a reported circulation of more than three million, posted "Weird, funny facts about women" to its website, quickly prompting shock and outrage on Facebook and Twitter
The said

The newspaper with the largest English-language circulation in the world has published one of the worst articles about women ever.

The Times Of India, with a reported circulation of more than three million, posted "Weird, funny facts about women"to its website Monday, quickly prompting shock and outrage on Facebook andTwitter.
It's not hard to see why.
The story (which stretches the definition of the term) presents some of the most tired and sexist cliches about women as unassailable facts.
Some lowlights.
"Women don't bathe everyday [sic]: Not all women bathe everyday [sic], no matter how much they profess cleanliness and hygiene. They rely on deodorants and perfumes to smell good."
"After sex women still love to be kissed: Men always feel tired and prefer to sleep after sex, but women don't. They like to talk, fool around, and kiss each other. For a great relationship, men should take note of this."
"Women don't like another woman to wear the same dress."
"Women can spend a whole day before the mirror."
"Women don't need sex as often as men do. Sex is more about emotions for women."
Reactions on Twitter have ranged from rage to bemusement.
"This is actually the stupidest thing I have ever read. I knew I could count on you, @timesofindia," wrote the Wall Street Journal's Margherita Stancati.
"The Times of India apparently learned everything they know about women from hacky 1970s stand-up routines," wrote @JeremysIron.
Others said the author is likely to claim the post was meant as a joke.
"That @timesofindia item is so outrageous that I suspect the author later will claim at it was supposed to be satire," wrote Reuters editor Robert MacMillan.
A quick look at "reporter" Biben Laikhuram's other posts suggests the piece was not written in jest. Other recent stories include "5 Sex positions women die to have," "5 Things that scare women about sex," and "6 Ways to get a stronger erection"(complete with an accompanying photo of a woman screaming in pain).
The story isn't doing much to improve India's reputation on women's rights. On the same day the women facts story appeared, the Times also published a story with the headline "Increasing crime against women sparks fear of chaos in volatile Hyderabad."
Recent stories about violent rapes in the country have led to new laws, but underlying cultural obstacles to equality remain.
Dear Biben Laikhuram,
You're not helping.
UPDATE: The Times Of India removed the story from its website after this article was published. The links in this story have been updated to a cached version.
KT's note:
Read also
"The Times of India sometimes manages to surprise even hardened cynics. Because of a little storm on Twitter, India’s largest read English newspaper has been exposed for carrying the most unprintable bilge on its website. Under its lifestyle section, masquerading as gender relations, the website has been carrying a series of articles about how to have sex, positions women like and so on.

They appeared to have been written by the same person and are not only badly written and in bad taste but also have little journalistic reason for being there. It is like a monkey trying to imitate the Cosmopolitan style of 57 ways to suck your man’s toes and so on. If you found the Cosmo articles silly, you cannot imagine how the TOI website versions would upset you. I have to use the past tense because the articles have been removed from the website after the criticism. It makes you wonder if there had been no editorial control so far on what this young person had been writing. I am loath to name him or her but the name is doing the rounds on the social media. It is also evident that whoever wrote these appeared not just to be misogynistic (women do not bathe often and are smelly are two popular themes) but also not very experienced in sexual matters.

This comment on the TOI website by Huffington Post encapsulates the disgust and scorn that has been apparent on social media for the last couple of days: utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false&utm_content=buffer266a7&utm_source= buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

Without being moralistic about it, why should a reputed newspaper’s website have to resort this kind of bordering-on-bad-porn writing? The articles had no corroborations or quotes or access to surveys. They were not funny or even sexy. The writer appeared to have no qualifications to hold forth on the ‘5 sex positions that women die for’. It was like someone senior said, “Let’s have some writing on sex” and someone junior was put on the job.

I have been told that most newspapers have similar kinds of “stories” on their websites. True?"

Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist and commentator based in Mumbai. She is also Contributing Editor, MxMIndia

Friday, 9 August 2013

Vidura to continue in print

Vidura of the Press Institute of India will be available in print in future also. Its director, Mr Sashi Nair, has published the following announcement in its latest issue:

Dear Reader,
In the earlier two issues we had announced that with increasing printing costs, the Press Institute of India, a non-profit organisation, would be compelled to stop publication of the printed edition of
Vidura with effect from the October-December 2013 issue and that the journal would be published only as an e-journal.

However, due to several emails and calls received, asking us to continue with the print edition, and also considering that the journal has appeared almost non-stop since 1963 when the Press Institute
of India was founded, we have decided that we will, albeit with great difficulty, continue to print Vidura.

We thank you for your interest in the journal and for your support.


Thank you, sir. Pressure from your readers and well-wishers only acknowledges Vidura's utility, and also your editorial skills.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Bezos’s impending buy harks back to days of the wealthy at newspapers’ helms

The Graham family’s decision to sell The Washington Post to founder Jeffrey P. Bezos underscores the reemergence of wealthy private owners at the helm of major metro dailies as newspapers seek a refuge from the battering they have experienced on Wall Street.
The news of the impending purchase came just days after the New York Times Co. announced that it is selling the Boston Globe to John W. Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox who made a fortune as a commodities trader. And several billionaires, including the Koch brothers and Eli Broad, have been eyeing the Los Angeles Times, one of the eight newspapers that the Tribune Co. has been preparing for a possible sale.
The mash-up between The Post, a 135-year-old legacy newspaper, and an Internet pioneer was cast Monday as a bet on the future. But it also represented a throwback to the era when rich industrialists controlled major metro dailies.
“In the olden days, before newspapers became big corporate interests, they were owned by wealthy individuals because to some degree they made money, but also because they gave them a sense of stature and power in their communities,” said media consultant Alan Mutter. “It’s not so much that we’re going back to some format. It’s that what we had in the post-World War II era was the anomaly. If you go back to colonial days, it was always this way.”
In buying The Post, Bezos will be acquiring a newspaper that has been owned by the publicly traded Washington Post Co. — soon to be renamed — and taking it private. With Bezos as its sole owner, the newspaper could be spared the turbulence of Wall Street.
Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive of The Post Co., told employees at a town hall meeting Monday afternoon that the Amazon founder offers a path that the current ownership cannot provide.
“As the newspaper business continued to bring up questions to which we have no answers, Katharine and I began to ask ourselves if our small public company was still the best home for the newspaper,” Graham said, referring to Publisher Katharine Weymouth, his niece. “Our revenues had declined seven years in a row.. . . We were certain the paper would survive under our ownership, but we wanted it to do more than that. We wanted it to succeed.”
That is the urgent challenge for the entire industry, which has undergone a severe contraction in the past two decades as publicly traded newspapers have sought to prop up flagging profits. The retrenchment led to the consolidation of major chains and attracted the investment of private equity firms, many of which cut costs further.
As revenue has continued to fall, influential business leaders have jumped at the chance to scoop up metro dailies at a fraction of the price they were once worth. In 2011, hotel developer Doug Manchester bought the San Diego Union Tribune for $110 million. Last year, Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers were sold to a group of regional power brokers and business leaders for $55 million. Both transactions triggered consternation about how the new owners would handle coverage of their business interests — a particular source of controversy in San Diego, where Manchester has dramatically remade the paper.
It remains to be seen how comfortable Bezos and his brethren will be with the uncertain revenue their new assets can offer.
“They didn’t get rich by absorbing a huge amount of losses,” said Craig Huber, an independent media analyst. “Sustaining tens of millions of dollars in losses year after year could accelerate the cost-cutting. There is no easy answer here to fixing newspapers, otherwise it would have already been done by the current parent companies.”
Still, Bezos’s wealth may allow him to be unconcerned about profits, others noted.
“I don’t know if he cares if it makes money,” said Jeffrey Cole, director of USC Annenberg’s Center for the Digital Future. “I think he’s in the business of having influence. I don’t think whether The Washington Post loses or makes $20 million is going to be very central to his calculations at all.”
News of the impending ownership change was greeted with a mixture of shock and optimism throughout the industry.
“It’s as stunning as any industry news I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Jim Brady, a former executive editor of who serves as editor in chief of Digital First Media, which owns 75 dailies. “It’s hard to imagine The Post without the Grahams. From a nostalgia standpoint, it’s incredibly sad.”
But the move also represents confidence in the future of the business, he added. “I think it shows that someone who really, really understands digital and consumer trends and consumer behavior thinks this is a good business to be in,” Brady said.
The Amazon founder’s arrival on the scene “is the best news about the newspaper business that I’ve heard in years,” Mutter said.
“It is the very first time that a true digital native is going to own a newspaper. Heretofore, all the people running newspapers treated them like a 1953 Plymouth: tinkering with them and try to keep them going. What’s really necessary is reinventing the role and the power of a newspaper company in the modern digital era.”
That was the theme Bezos struck in a note to the Post staff.
“The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs,” he wrote. “There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment.”
Despite the hopeful cast of Monday’s announcement, the Grahams’ decision to sell reflects a grim reality of the newspaper industry. “Certain parts of the media business are finding it almost impossible to make money anymore,” Cole said.
“I think The Washington Post lucked out,” he added. “This may end up saving the paper.”
Other industry watchers said they will be looking to Bezos to do more than that.
“If he does do what I hope, which is to experiment and try new things, and if he generously shares his lessons, that could save more than The Post,” said Jeff Jarvis, associate professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.
“I refuse to believe the only path to saving newspapers is through sugar daddies,” Jarvis added. “Yes, he may have performed an act of philanthropy by saving The Post, but I hope his greatest act is innovation. The world of newspapers will be watching what Jeff Bezos does.”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos buys Washington Post

WASHINGTON: Inc founder Jeff Bezos will buy the Washington Post newspaper for $250 million in a surprise deal that ends the Graham family's 80-year ownership and hands one of the country's most influential publications to the tech entrepreneur.

Bezos, hailed by many as a visionary who helped transform Internet retail, called his acquisition a personal endeavor and reassured Post employees and readers he will preserve the paper's journalistic tradition, while driving innovation.

The acquisition, the latest in a flurry of recent media deals including the New York Times Co's sale of the Boston Globe for $70 million, is a further indication of the unprecedented challenges newspapers face as advertising revenue and readership decline.

Shares of the Washington Post Co climbed more than 5 percent to $599.85 after hours - their highest level in almost five years.

"I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington, DC and our nation, and the Post's values will not change," Bezos said in a letter addressed to employees and published on the newspaper's website.

"There will of course be change at the Post over the coming years. That's essential and would have happened with or without new ownership," he added. "We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment."

Bezos, who has built Seattle-based into a shopping and online technology force over the last two decades, made a small foray into media earlier this year with a small investment in Internet news site Business Insider.

The Washington Post, home to journalists as the "Watergate" team of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, is among the rapidly dwindling number of US newspapers with a profitable business - a function of the rapid migration of readers to internet and other digital media sources.

Warren Buffett owns a slice of its parent company, Washington Post Co, whose operating income has plummeted almost 40% since 2008, to $146.2 million in 2012.

"I doubt it is a financially oriented investment for him as much as a chance to play a more important role as a steward of an important public trust/asset," said James Barksdale, president ofAtlanta investment firm Equity Investment Corp.

Barksdale said his firm did not own Washington Post shares because he thought they traded higher than he thought justified, "probably due to the Buffett halo," he added.

Bezos will buy the Post along with other newspaper assets from the Washington Post Co. is to be kept separate from the Post deal, according to the Washington Post.

The deal, which caught many industry watchers by surprise, was arranged in private by Allen & Co. It comes on the heels of near-unprecedented media deal activity this year, with the Globe transaction announced just over the weekend, the Tribune Co hiving off its publishing and broadcasting businesses and the Los Angeles Times reportedly up for sale.


Washington Post chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham, whose family owns the paper, explained his decision to part ways with the publication, which will continue to be headed on a daily basis by CEO Katharine Weymouth.

"As the newspaper business continued to bring up questions to which we have no answers, Katharine and I began to ask ourselves if our small public company was still the best home for the newspaper. Our revenues had declined seven years in a row," Graham said in his letter to employees.

"Jeff Bezos' proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post."

The transaction covers The Washington Post and other publishing businesses, including the Express newspaper, The Gazette Newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing.

Bezos is the world's 19th richest person with a fortune of $25.2 billion, according to Forbes magazine. His other major personal project is called Blue Origin, which aims to be one of the first non-government funded ventures to send people and cargo into space, potentially winning lucrative contracts that were once fulfilled by Nasa.

Bezos has already spent millions of dollars on this project, with millions more in the pipeline.

He did not elaborate in great detail on his motivations behind his latest deal on Monday. But in 2009, when asked at the debut of the Kindle 2 whether the electronic-reader could help print media, Bezos said he thought there were "genuine opportunities" to save journalism.

"And we're excited about helping with that," he added, according to the International Herald Tribune.
Source: Reuters | Aug 6, 2013, 02.15 AM IST (Times of India)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Social Media in Business and Governance

Here are the details about the new book of Prof K M Shrivastava, the  senior-most Professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi.
Title of the book: Social Media in Business and Governance
Publishers: Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Social Media are no longer on periphery of media landscape. In 2012  Olympics and Obama made them part of mainstream media   Businesses have been using them for marketing and Public Relations.  News organisations use them as source of news as well as channels of communication of news and comments. Governments are also using them in different ways.
But there is flip side too. People are careless while using this form of communication and many have got into trouble. Social media are useful in crisis communication, but also have been responsible for crises for companies and public. Businesses, news organisations and Governments have started developing social media policies and guidelines. 
Unlike other books which have come out in last three years that mainly deal with business aspects only; this book puts together varied aspects of social media. Business leaders, policy makers and of course students of communication and business will find it useful.
Chapter 1 Social Media: An Introduction
Chapter 2 Facebook
Chapter 3 LinkedIn
Chapter 4 YouTube
Chapter 5 Pinterest
Chapter 6 Twitter
Chapter 7 Obama and Olympics
Chapter 8 SEO and SMO
Chapter 9 Towards Social Media 2.0
Chapter 10 Policy and Guidelines: Businesses IBM, Intel etc
Chapter 11 Harvard University Guidelines
Chapter 12 Guidelines for News Organisations
Chapter 13 Government Guidelines
 Chaier 14 Social Media and Crisis Communication
Social Media Glossary
Further Readings
About the author
K.M. Shrivastava, a media professional, is now senior-most Professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi. He has worked with or contributed to all types of media and visited media organizations and academic institutions in different parts of the world.
He has been looking at evolving communication scenario since early 1990s. As the social media evolved he made it a point to include this phenomenon in course modules.
His earlier books include: News Reporting and Editing (1987, third revised edition 2003 latest reprint 2012), Radio and TV Journalism (1989), Media Issues (1992), Media Towards 21st Century (1998), Broadcast Journalism in the 21st Century (2005),Media Ethics: Veda to Gandhi and Beyond (2005), News Agencies from Pigeon to Internet (2007), Public Relations in the Digital Era (2007), The Right to Information: A Global Perspective (2009)

Contact details:
Indian Institute of Mass Communication
New JNU Campus
New Delhi-110067
Phone: 91-11-26741550
Fax: 91-11-26742462