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The murders of MNV Shankar (left) of Andhra Prabha and Tarun Acharya (right) of Oriya channel Kanak TV underline the extreme vulnerability of small-town journalists in unearthing crimes.

Free speech under attack from violence and defamation suits
Physical attacks against journalists are nothing new but the increase in defamation suits and notices has emerged as the new tool of choice for those who want to silence the media.   A report on free speech in India by THE HOOT finds little to cheer. 
Crisis strikes Businessworld
Management interference is making journalists leave.   PRANATI B. MEHRA takes a peep inside. 
"India is at a turning point for internet freedom of expression"
A new report on internet freedom says India is still only 'partly free' but has improved its score. India's weakest point is user rights since parts of the Indian IT Act have potential criminal liability for intermediaries,   Freedom House research analyst MADELINE EARP tells MANNIKA CHOPRA (Pix: Madeline Earp). 
Such faith in the CBI?
The Telegraph which has turned into a major critic after having supported the Trinamool Congress till 2012, went into Alfie Doolittle-like rhetoric.   DARIUS NAKHOONWALA is bemused at the Mamata bashing. 
Is SC's wage board ruling counterproductive?
After the Supreme Court ruling on wage board implementation, publications in Andhra Pradesh are resorting to various manoeuvres to reduce their wage bill,   says JAGADEESWAR RAO (Pix: A union meeting held in AP). 
When channels jump the gun...
…without probing the facts, the result is a mess under which the truth is buried.   ALKA GURHA describes how the channels botched the Rohtak bus story. 
The ascent of media men
One takeaway from the lives of these men is the role of entrepreneurship in their ascent and in the kind of influence they wield. If you don't own your media platform the influence you wield can be transient,   says SEVANTI NINAN (Pix: Aap Ki Adalat's 21st anniversary). 
Good motive, bad video
In urging viewers not to drink and drive, My Husband Made Me a Prostitute packs a punch.   But SAMOD SARNGAN says its assumptions are faulty. 
Why Pakistani serials trump ours...
At last, serials with real characters, good acting, compelling storylines, and an understated tone.   Watching Pakistani serials on ‘Zindagi' has got VIKRAM JOHRI purring with pleasure (Pix: Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan in Humsafar). 
How Indian journalists use social media
The Hoot surveyed journalists to ascertain exactly how, and to what extent, they use social media in their daily professional lives.   ABHISHEK CHOUDHARY reports 

Other recent stories
On  December 16, when all media was focused on the Taliban attack in Peshawar,  Press Council chief Markandey Katju decided to contribute his tupenny worth on  Facebook: “In my opinion such incidents are a direct and inevitable consequence of creating a theological state in a subcontinent of such diversity. We shall witness more such incidents in the future, often of a greater intensity and bloodshed.” When reprimanded, he defended himself more vociferously: “Those persons who believe that Pakistan is a real country, not a fake, artificial one, need not come on my Facebook page at all, otherwise they will immediately be blocked.”

When the English-language newspapers claim exclusives, the presumption is that something that appeared a day or two before in the Hindi press does not count. So the Economic Times claimed on December 15 that  its page-two interview with Jugal Kishore, the VHP functionary in charge of "Ghar Wapasi", was an exclusive, even though it had been preceded two days earlier by a front-page exclusive with the same worthy  in Amar Ujala.

Vinod Mehta's last book "Lucknow Boy" was dedicated to Outlook proprietor Rajan Raheja whom he called a prince among proprietors. His latest one "Editor Unplugged" explains how supporting his editorial decisions finally became unaffordable for Mr Raheja. Publishing the Radia tapes cost the magazine a loss of Rs 5 crore worth of  Tata advertising annually, plus a defamation suit to fight after Outlook did a further Tata story on VSNL land after the Tatas bought the public sector company. Regretfully the ‘prince’ elevated  Mehta to editorial chairman from editor.

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