IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |23/05/2018

Paid news falls within the citizen's right to free speech and the Election Commission has no business trying to stop it, according to the Delhi High Court. ET reports that while the EC thinks paid news is a major challenge to conducting free and fair elections, and 15 cases of paid news were identified in the recently concluded Karnataka polls, the HC says the EC's remit is confined to the poll expenditure of a candidate, and not the content of the advertising s/he spends on.                                                             

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |22/05/2018

Journalists covering the ongoing protest of residents of the coastal town of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu were at the receiving end of police violence and found their cameras and cellphones snatched. The residents were demanding immediate closure of Vedanta Sterlite's copper operations and the agitation turned bloody, leaving 9 persons dead in police firing.          

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |21/05/2018

According to this report  34 people who were employed by  ABP Ltd through contractors for different departments, and were fired,  have been protesting outside the ABP premises for almost a month now but there has been no media coverage. Their troubles began when they formed a union in response to not being paid minimum wages by their contractors in 2016. Their union is affiliated to the TMC. They were fired after forming a union.The ABP management has not met them yet. Media outlets approached by the workers have declined to cover their plight. The Labour Minister has lent them a ear, but that has not resulted in any action.                     

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |18/05/2018

Fake news propagators are active in Karnataka following the  hung assembly results. Boomlive reports that posts like this one on Twitter are fake news, using a video dating back to attacks on churches in Karnataka in 2008,  to claim that BJP cadres in Mangalore had just attacked a church to "to install bhagwa and bjp flags and celebrate victory of a BJP majority".  It was posted by a Mohammed Mohsin who Boomlive claims appears to be a Congress supporter.               

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |17/05/2018

Editorial writers on Thursday morning either did some plain speaking on what they thought of the Karnataka governor's decision to swear in a BJP government--ET, TOI, and   Business Standard--or looked for other subjects to write on--HT, The Hindu and  Mint. The Indian Express chose to ignore the messy ground reality and focus loftily on what the BJP's election winning prowess will mean for the future of the opposition, even if it chooses to get together. The Dainik Jagran also chose other subjects to write on.                      

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |15/05/2018

When the morning's leads dissipated to a final number short of the halfway mark in the Karnataka Assembly,  you got the sense that Times Now anchors Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar were feeling even more let down than the BJP itself.  Shivshankar could not stop fuming and spluttering at a Yogendra Yadav snipe recalling Goa--"When Goa happened I am sure you said this is an unprincipled alliance!" Spluttered the anchor, "How do you know I didn't? How do you know I didn't?"  And Kumar kept trying to get the answer she wanted from  constitutional experts she spoke to on the show,  on just how unacceptable it would be for the governor to invite the post- poll alliance of JD(S) and Congress. Unprincipled alliance, she stressed. But neither Harsh Salve nor Subhash Kashyap could oblige her on that point. The fact of the Congress having got a marginally higher vote share than the BJP was of course not mentioned by anyone, even in passing.                      

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |15/05/2018

Rajyavardhan Rathore, the new I and B minister decided to thank the prime minister for his elevation by suddenly appearing on TV to deliver a monologue on how the BJP's strong performance in Karnataka was a vindication of the prime minister's approach to ruling the country, aiming to uplift the last man.                   

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |15/05/2018

NDTV was trailing early on in getting the accurate trend in Karnataka, compared to  CNN News18 which lead  all the channels in coming closest to the eventual result. It announced early on that it had is own reporters in every counting centre in Karnataka, and was showing the yawning gap between Congress and BJP long before the others did. And at the hour of 11 am which all the parties and channels had said would show the definitive picture, the fastest results were not from TV but from ECI via Nielsen on the web, which was showing 120 seats going to the BJP.              

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |14/05/2018

 Smriti Irani's ten months in the I and B Ministry were tempestuous to put it mildly. She transferred at least 120 officers of the Information Service cadre, some of them against posts which did not exist. She restructured the publicity units of the ministry, and then took to making pronouncements about the need to regulate online media, even setting up a committee to make recommendations. Her effort to tackle fake news by saying accredited correspondents would lose their accreditation if they were found guilty of putting out fake news was quickly scotched by the Prime Minister's Office.    

IN MEDIA WATCH BRIEFS |13/05/2018

Rajya Sabha TV is on a recruitment spree, and has advertised 28 media positions, the salaries ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 2 lakh. This includes editors, production staff and programme consultants. The channel has been administered by Prasar Bharati ever since the Vice President changed last year.                

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Paid news falls within the citizen's right to free speech and the Election Commission has no business trying to stop it, according to the Delhi High Court. ET reports that while the EC thinks paid news is a major challenge to conducting free and fair elections, and 15 cases of paid news were identified in the recently concluded Karnataka polls, the HC says the EC's remit is confined to the poll expenditure of a candidate, and not the content of the advertising s/he spends on.                                                             

Journalists covering the ongoing protest of residents of the coastal town of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu were at the receiving end of police violence and found their cameras and cellphones snatched. The residents were demanding immediate closure of Vedanta Sterlite's copper operations and the agitation turned bloody, leaving 9 persons dead in police firing.          

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