Posts Tagged ‘Manish Tiwari’

CHURUMURI POLL: Do journalists need a licence?

20 August 2013

As if the “idiots” in the media didn’t have enough problems to deal with—paid news, corruption, wage board, 12-minute-per-hour ad caps, cross-media controls, job losses, recession etc—the Union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari has now floated the kite of a “common examination” for journalists as a precursor to giving them “licenses” to operate, a la doctors and lawyers.

Bearing an eerie resemblance to press council chairman Markandey Katju‘s “order” advocating “some legal qualification” before one can enter the profession, Tewari’s proposal has the stamp of the control-freakery which has convinced the Congress-led UPA that the media is its chief problem—not the scams, scandals and shenanigans that have pockmarked its second term.

“I think a good starting point (for media education) would be that rather than prescribing a curricula which is then standardised across institutions, possibly the media industry could think about at least having a common exam. Like you have a Bar exam, like you have a medical exam or exams which are conducted by other professional bodies, which then issue a licence, which enables you to pursue your profession,” Tewari has said.

Tewari’s proposal for a “common examination” for journalists comes less than a month after the Supreme Court of India threw out the UPA’s move for a national eligibility and entrance test for life-saving medical colleges.So, does a national eligibility and entrance test for journalists stand a chance? Is it required? Will it necessarily produce good journalists or good journalism?

Even more dangerous is the thought of “licensing” journalists? Who will do that? The government of the day? A press council appointed by the government of the day? The local journalists union? Can this license be revoked or rewarded depending on favours rendered? Will a licence in one language, one state be valid in another? Etcetera.

Above all, could an examination and licence impact the freedom of the news media?

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External reading: How licensing journalists threatens independent news media

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Raju Narisetti: ‘Good journalists, poor journalism, zero standards’

Aakar Patel: Indian journalism is regularly second-rate

Is UPA hitting back at media for Anna Hazare coverage?

Say ‘No’ to India’s blogger control act

Narendra Modi‘s disgraceful assault on media freedom

An Emergency-style witchhunt of the media

‘Darkest hour for the media since Emergency’

POLL: Should media corruption come under Lok Pal?

Facebook, Twitter, Bloggers, and now private TV

25 December 2012

pti

In the cold war era, it used to be said that the first target of wannabe-dictators was government-controlled radio stations—take control of it and you control the message going out.

In the post-liberalised era, the first target of the government seems to be private television stations.

Below is the full text of the “advisory” issued by the information and broadcasting ministry headed by Manish Tiwari to news and current affairs satellite TV channels on Sunday as coverage of the protests in Delhi brought the “people to the gate” (in the memorable words of The Times of India).

Interestingly, the chairman of the national broadcasting standards authority, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court, J.S. Verma, has been simultaneously named as the chairman of the three-member committee to review the laws for “speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault”.

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To
All News and Current Affairs  satellite Television Channels

From
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
“A” Wing Shastri Bhawan
New Delhi-110001

23rd December, 2012

ADVISORY

Whereas a number of private satellite news TV channels have been showing programmes covering round-the-clock direct telecast of the events relating to public demonstration being held in New Delhi in the wake of the unfortunate and tragic incident of gang rape of a young girl on 16th December, 2012 in a moving bus.

The  channels have been covering the agitation  and the efforts of the law enforcing authorities to maintain law & order, as well as the commentaries of the channel reporters to portray the incidents from their own perspectives.

Whereas this incident and the  public outcry in its aftermath are a very sensitive issue and any inappropriate media reportage thereon is likely to vitiate the law and order situation.

It has been observed that some private satellite news TV channels in their 24X7 coverage have not been showing due responsibility and maturity in telecasting the events relating the said demonstration and such a telecast is likely to cause deterioration in the law & order situation, hindering the efforts of the law enforcing authorities. (emphasis added)

Whereas Rule 6(1)(e)  of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, which contains the Programme Code to be strictly adhered to by all private satellite television channels, provides that no programme should be carried in the cable service which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitude.

Now, therefore, all private satellite television channels are advised to scrupulously follow the Progarmme Code laid down in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 and to ensure to telecast the matter in a responsible manner with due care, maturity and restraint.

Any violation of the Programme Code will invite such action as provided for in the Cable Television(Regulation)  Act, 1995 and the Rules framed thereunder as well as the terms & conditions stipulated in Uplinking & Downlinking Guidelines.

Supriya Sahu
Joint Secretary to the Government of India

Photograph: courtesy Press Trust of India

Crossposted on sans serif

Also read: The New York Times calls Kapil Sibal‘s bluff

What brainwave has struck our netas tonight?

CHURUMURI POLL: should Facebook be censored?

Say ‘No’ to India’s blogger control Act

Censorship in the name of ‘national interest’

Is UPA hitting back for Anna Hazare coverage?

Gandhi & Anna: a tale of two fasts and two rulers

26 August 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: The ongoing fast by Anna Hazare to usher in a Lok Pal has entered the 11th day.

What is most striking with the manner in which Hazare’s fast has been dealt with by the current “rulers” in contrast to how the British handled Mahatma Gandhi’s numerous fasts.

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Since they were the rulers  of an Empire where ‘the sun never set,’ the colonisers could have spirited Gandhiji out of India, thrown him into a jail in some far corner of the world, and made him totally irrelevant.

Worse, they could have fed him slow poison and got rid of him and by the time the news reached India, it would have been some months, if not years, especially since there was no ‘breaking news’.

In short, the British could have done anything to break the freedom movement. It is to their credit and to their sense of fair play that they did none of the above and allowed Gandhi his right to protest.

Result: the freedom struggle took root and finally they had to quit India.

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Cut to 2011, Anna Hazare’s fast.

Kapil Sibal, P. Chidambaram, Ambika Soni and Manmohan Singh attacked Hazare’s movement in their interactions with the press and in Parliament.

The Congress party’s spokesman Manish Tiwari even declared that ‘Anna was corrupt from head to toe’ for which he tendered a meek apology later.

After inviting civil society members, the government resorted to dirty tricks to damn their character on some pretext or other. They even had the temerity to arrest Hazare and send him to the same jail where Suresh Kalmadi, A. Raja and Kanimozhi were lodged, only to release him when the public reaction got too hot.

Above all, we have seen a number of devious, duplicitous statements unbecoming of a government, which seems to have forgotten that it remains in power only at the pleasure of the people.

Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 and the history books could well tell us a different story of how Gandhi was treated by the colonisers. Still, the question remains: were the British far more humane in their treatment of Gandhiji when an Empire was at stake than the Congress-led UPA has been of Hazare who is merely fasting for a tough piece of legislation?

Photograph: The front page of a newspaper in 1933 with news of Gandhi‘s fast

If we want clean India, why do we vote corrupt?

12 May 2011

The Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari, was once asked in a television show as to why the Congress had given a parliamentary ticket to Mohammed Azharuddin, the former Indian cricket captain found guilty of match-fixing and banned for life from the game by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

“We have only given him a ticket,” said Tiwari with a smirk, turning to the audience, “but you have elected him.”

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Ashok Sanjay Guha of the school of international studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“Why does the Indian electorate persistently reward crime? Why do we elect and repeatedly re-elect to seats of power those whose rightful place is in prison cells meditating on their sins in mournful solitude? Are we a basically corrupt and criminalized society which regards honesty as folly and idolizes thieves, cheats and murderers? Why is a society of predominantly honest people so profoundly pervaded by dishonesty? Why do we, regardless of our personal ethics, tolerate, and indeed reward and lionize, corruption and crime among our representatives?

“Obviously, the problem lies not in our genes, but in the systems we have produced and nurtured, systems that create what the economist calls ‘moral hazard’, rules that generate incentives for cheating and corruption. The main feature of these rules is the discretionary power they vest in particular individuals to control the economic destinies of others. Discretion implies an irreplaceable element of personal judgment which others can question only within very narrow limits. If bureaucrats or politicians are empowered to use their judgment in punishing or rewarding people, in awarding or denying them contracts, in licensing them for, or barring them from, specific activities, the temptation to use this authority for personal enrichment becomes intense.

“If even a handful of those tempted succumb and offer favourable decisions in return for bribes, the beneficiaries of such decisions acquire a competitive edge over honest rivals. The latter must then emulate the former or be driven out of the market which then becomes the exclusive domain of the dishonest. Either way, the proportion of bribe offers to decisions increases. And though one may not agree with Henry Ford that “every man has his price”, many of them undoubtedly do, so that more and more decisionmakers are lured away from the straight and narrow path. Venality becomes all-pervading.”

Read the full article: Carrying the albatross

‘Ravi Varma’s models for a portrait of arrogance’

12 April 2011

T.J.S. GEORGE in The Sunday Express:

“Television has spawned many evils. One of them is the animal called ‘party spokesperson’, a species that is found only in India. By occupational necessity, they are motor-mouths; just turn the battery on and they go blabbering nonstop. They are also robotic; they see and hear and speak nothing except what their creators have programmed them to see and hear and speak.

“Spokespersons come in different shapes, colours and sizes. The only feature that is common to all is pompousness – the air that they know all that is there to know and those who disagree with them are blockheads.

“Look at the staring eyes of Abhishek Singhvi, the self-assured expression, the tilt of the head, and look at the laboured seriousness of Manish Tiwari, his tone, his style and you’ll know at one that if Ravi Varma were to do a portrait of “Arrogance”, these would be his models.”

Read the full article: People’s notice to crooks


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