A media obsession

Hi folks,
Need comments on the below mentioned story by R.Sukumar, Mint.
A media obsession
Edspace | R. Sukumar
Cleavage,” he said. I thought I hadn’t heard him clearly. He sensed my question even before I asked it. Big ones, he said, moving his hands out till they were at least 10 inches in front of his chest. I didn’t want to get technical, so I didn’t point out the obvious, that there was a difference between the two things he had described. His meaning was clear, though. The person, who worked for a business news channel, was telling me why the channel had hired a certain anchor for its morning stock market show. I didn’t want to hear more though my friend from the channel seemed keen to share with me the unsavoury specifics of what day traders and brokers do when they watch business news channels. I didn’t pay much heed to what he said till another person, from another business news channel, told me the same story. She got three times her current salary, for agreeing to leave the top two buttons of her shirt unbuttoned, he said, referring to an anchor who had recently switched channels. By Jayachandran/MintI have more or less reproduced their words as I remember them from our conversations, and I apologize if I have offended the sensibilities of some readers of this paper. Mint remains a family paper. I was reminded of these conversations in the wake of the coverage papers and channels devoted to Hina Rabbani Khar, the photogenic foreign minister of Pakistan. Even by the standards of the near-saturation coverage any visit by a Pakistani foreign minister to this country receives, this was a bit much. So, is the media obsessed with looks?The simple answer to that is: Yes, a lot. Is the media obsessed with shows of skin?Yes, a lot. You do not need to possess an IQ of 130 to figure this out; a casual perusal of newspapers, including some large English-language ones, will throw up a bunch of pictures of women who must be perennially cold given their dress sense, and used entirely out of context. A similar casual run-through of television channels will show, in many channels, young women dressed for a night out and reading the news. There are some media companies that do not do this. Since this column is, at one level, all about losing friends and offending people, I am going to go ahead and name the good ones. I have not seen any of NDTV’s channels do this, nor Times Now and CNN-IBN. And the business channels are the worst offenders. Why would they do this? (Sorry, silly question; let me try again)A senior editor at a popular US business channel once told me that his company had a simple rule for women anchors: high necks; comfortable hems. Then, India isn’t the US (although I still can’t understand how respectable media companies can indulge in blatantly exploitative behaviour). I know some women anchors on business channels. Many of them are smart-or are on their way to getting there-and I can’t believe they agree to go along with on-the-edge wardrobe suggestions put forth by their producers. After all, you don’t find the men anchoring shows on these channels modelling themselves on actor Hrithik Roshan (the word button probably doesn’t exist in his vocabulary). They are all uniformly dressed soberly, in dark suits, plain shirts and boring ties. The morning slot is an important one for business channels. Their viewership peaks between 9 and 11 in the morning and then tapers off before peaking, although not to the same level as the morning, in mid-afternoon, around the time the stock markets close. Their viewership also witnesses a small spike, lower than both peaks, in the evening, for prime-time business news. The programming on all channels remains the same during market hours, a mix of stock tips, market moving news, and interviews with in-house or external experts (some of whom are of dubious integrity, but that’s a different story). Most viewers watch these channels with the mute function engaged; they are interested in the tickers and the stock charts, not what the anchor is saying. And as any level-headed financial adviser will tell anyone who cares to listen, most business channels are aimed at day traders and punters, not long-term investors (shameless plug: read Mint’s personal finance section, Mint Money, for that). Under the circumstances, it isn’t surprising that the channels choose to differentiate themselves on the basis of how their female anchors look. It isn’t surprising but, in my book at least, it isn’t condonable.

Vikas Kumar
+91 9811054648

Skype ID: vikas_kumar83


Is this the beginning of the end of traditional PR and the Rise of Digital Media?

Is this the beginning of the end of traditional PR and the Rise of Digital Media?
I have observed a trend and shared a case study on the following bloghttp://reputationmanagers.co.in/blog/  please give your views.

Chanchal Jhanwar
+91- 9893604248

Are Marketing and PR departments in sync?

Yesterday I received a call from a marketing manager from Eros. The
guy pitched that Eros is largest production-distribution house, blah-
blaaaah, anyway coming to the point he said that he wants to provide
us with wallpapers, posters, behind the scenes, synopsis, etc of all
the upcoming movies that the production house is associated with. Soon
coming to the point he said that in return he wants a banner to be put
up on our website in return.

I find it really weird, first of all the so called very exclusive
content is anyway available to us (and thousands of others) through
plethora of channels, besides it is this content only that PR people
so desperately try to push to us, rather in my opinion a good PR is
someone who provides access to such content to media as smoothly as

My question – Don’t you (PR) guys teach these marketers? Aren’t they
somehow making your job difficult, and in return making the
organization look stupid, where one guy is working day and night to
push that content to as many people as possible and another guy is
trying to sell the same thing!


Ayush Agrawal
Founder, FilmiTadka

Why smirk at Murdoch when our media has much to hide?

Dear All,

An excellent analytical article about the recent NOTW fiasco and its analogy with the Indian media. A must read for all.. Please find the article appended for your reference. 
Why smirk at Murdoch when our media has much to hide?

Few people love Rupert Murdoch, boss of News Corp. Old-time journalists dislike him for throwing the old rules on how to run newspapers into the dustbin. Politicians and celebs detest him for what his tabloids do to their reputations. The Brits hate him for being an Aussie who took over their newspapers but still stayed out of reach by becoming an American citizen. Above all, he was heartily envied even by the power elite because he was seen as too powerful even by their standards.

He ranked 13th in the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people. Put another way, only 12 people in the world had no reason to envy his power.

This is why the proceedings of British parliamentary committee to probe the News of The World (NOTW) hacking scandal had everyone salivating at the prospect of tearing into him. In the event, the grilling failed to give anyone much pleasure, for Murdoch stuck to his guns and stoutly denied any knowledge of the illegalities happening at NOTW.

The MPs had to be content with an apology, and promises of compensating the victims of the hacking done by NOTW journos. Unless someone high up in the NOTW hierarchy rats on Murdoch, he is safe. The only bit of excitement came when a comic protestor smeared Murdoch with shave foam, and Murdoch’s Chinese spouse clouted him on the head with much gusto.

The Indian media watched the fun on their TV screens, but missed the irony that the joke was really on them. If any media fraternity needs to be sorry and self-introspective, it is India’s. I heard few mea culpas during a Times Now debate on the subject on Tuesday, where everything from paid-news to sting operations was mentioned but glossed over.

What is clear is that the Indian media – despite some obvious strengths and pockets of ethical behaviour – has become complacent and superficial. It can also be easily manipulated by vested interests.

The paradox is this: the media still breaks the big stories, but most of it is the result not of hard investigation, but political leaks generated to damage others. This is fine, upto a point, for media should go for a story and not worry too much about the motivations behind the leaks. But here’s the problem: it never gets to the root of anything.

The 2G scam was visible in early 2008 to all telecom reporters. But they did little. The Radia tapes suddenly found mention in parliament early last year, but nobody followed it up. It took the CAG report in the second half of 2010 to really give it traction. In short, the media did almost nothing to unearth the scam; an arm of parliament did the real work for it.

Worse, the media never tried to figure out who could have wanted to trap Niira Radia. It fell silent when another leak – this time targeting some media personalities themselves – was unleashed as a warning signal from the political establishment. The media clearly has too much to hide to really go after the crooked and the corrupt. This is also obvious from the ease with which the media first lionised, and then quickly turned against, Anna Hazare and his anti-corruption crusaders. Granted, Anna has a few bizarre demands, but would we rather believe him or government spokespersons?

The fundamental reason for this media failure is simple: large parts of it are simply unviable. Normally, this should see the weaker players being sold or merged, but they are still run because they serve collateral, often political, purposes. Almost every regional media group is politically aligned, and this makes media the key focus of political investment.

Few people love Rupert Murdoch, boss of News Corp. Reuters

When Jaganmohan Reddy, YSR’s son, wanted to launch Sakshi, he could shake several hundred crores out of many businessmen with ease. If media is fundamentally unviable, why would businessmen give money unless they are armtwisted or given special favours by politicians in power? Quite obviously, there is a quid pro quo, and journalism is hostage to this incestuous relationship between politicians and vested interests, not to speak of criminals.

Many people blame the internet, which gives everything for free, for the print media’s predicament, but this is not quite true. The fact is even newspapers are effectively free. Consider the economics: A newspaper priced at Rs 2-3 a copy actually costs Rs 12-14 just for the printing and the paper. Since most of the cover price is handed out to hawkers, the reader is essentially paying the hawker for home delivery. It is the advertiser who pays for all the content. Is it any surprise the most of the content is tailored for corporate needs?

The situation is not any better with TV channels. Most news channels are free-to-air, but it costs huge amounts of money to run the operation, with high-priced anchors, news reporters, camera crews and outdoor broadcasting vans that can reach anywhere. Businessmen think this is all we need for a good TV show – cameras, presentable newscasters, and OB vans and equipment. But good journalism does not flow from investment alone, it flows from commitment and ethics. This cannot be guaranteed when TV news channels are as dependent on advertising to survive as newspapers. The money needed to invest in good journalism is simply not enough or not there.

Continued on the next page..

Please find appended the link to the complete  article for your reference.  


Best Regards,
Richa Seth
PR Consultant
Mobile: 9930143531
Email: richa.seth30@gmail.com
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