Just received the March 2007 issue of CRITIQUE (‘A review of Indian journalism’) edited by my long-time-friend-whom-I’ve -never-met Alok Tiwari of Nagpur.
This issue has a striking cover depicting a prominent Indian editor of the ‘seventies and ‘eighties, Shamlal. “There was no editor like him, and there would never be another one in the same league. Shamlal’s demise leaves the heavily de-intellectualised journalistic world (in India) much poorer.”
The cover story is on Page 10, and also includes tributes on Page 12 to 17. It is titled “Death of an Editor”. Says the intro to this article: “When the editor Sham Lal died many journalist also saw their own death in that process. They realized that the newspapers for which they give their working lives have no use for them the moment they step out of their working premises.”
Writes Vinod Mehta, another editor whose work I admire: “What is the difference between the (Indian) editor of the 1970s and 2007? Simple yet profound. The 1970s editor clocked in at 10 and clocked out at 6.30. He read voraciously, talked to like-minded friends and scholars, furiously debated issues, checked and re-checked information for veracity and poured out the distilled wisdom onto the Edit Page. He did not make speeches at seminars, anchor TV shows, visit cocktail parties, take part in book discussions, judge fashion shows, wear sharp clothes. The editor was not yet a celebrity. He was neither seen nor heard. He was just read….”
Other articles from this issue:
* Shame on the Indian media
* Seven media workers killed in Lanka
* Avoid cross fire, RSF tells Indian journos
* SEBI no to Independent’s higher stake in Jagran
* Editor’s guild condemns ULFA
* Three Iranian journos on way to India held
* Blackstone group gets stake in Eenadu
* IFJ skcampaign to free Lankan journalist
* ‘Editorial side must remain independent’ — Die Zelt deputy editor
* South Asia Free Media Assn for relaxed visa regime
* Caltas Fitness acquires Cinemaya
* Press Commission set up for India
* TOI: the most exciting media brand
* Booming economy (but) poor business journalism: Superficial coverage abounds as ‘pink’ papers step in.
* In Mumbai (Bombay), India’s financial and media capital, the Hindustan Times has launched its financial journal Mint, while Metro Now is a joint venture between former rivals Bennett, Coleman and Co and HT Media Limited.
* The business of it all.
* Censorship is state control of private life: But Indian art tradition treats sex with respect.
* First person: The bank robber who met literary deadlines Peter Wayne on Jean Genet’s Thief’s Journal
* Mere news gets stale: Independent turns a viewspaper.
* Indian politician George Fernandes spikes Bofors.
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