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Sunday, May 20, 2007
Moral policing in India: Vadodara art exhibition, Dera Sacha Sauda, Richard Gere, Da Vinci Code - all offend communities which start protesting
Yes, really. Seems we are all getting offended all the time. Everyone. Today it is the Akalis, before that it was some people in Vadodara about some paintings, before that it was Gere kissing Shetty, then someone in Mumbai who was bothered about a jokebook on sardars, before that it was a book on Shivaji, then Da Vinci Code, then Satanic Verses.

Mind you, these are the ones we know about. In every corner, every char-rasta, there are even more people getting offended all the time.

I mean I get offended when I am watching TV, and then an ad for sanitary napkins appears and a gaggle of women go "Ooooh" and marvel at the speed at which the said pad sucks up some blue colored liquid. In another there is an innovative pad which doesn't spread odours, and a man in the cinema hall looks pleasantly pleased while a woman's waist passes by his face in slow motion. Bloody hell I am offended!

Before that there were some who were offended by the ad for strawberry flavoured condoms. My father - I think - is very offended every time we watch TV and suddenly some girl swirls by on screen displaying flurescent chaddis. Or may be he is not, I don't know; never asked him.

I was in Mumbai for 12 years, working as a journalist. My boss was offended by me having coffee on the office stairs with fair-skinned girls. He was never offended by me having coffee with dark-skinned girls, wonder why.

When I was in college, someone mentioned my village in the Parliament as an example of communal harmony. We have a famous temple there, and pilgrims from all over the country land up in my village. The Christian and Muslim schools provide parking space and sleeping areas; the colors to sprinkle and photos of Sri Ayyappa are sold by Muslim shopkeepers, and the Hindu pilgrims take a dancing parikrama around the sanctum sanctorum of the mosque situated right opposite, across the street. When this was mentioned in Parliament, BJP MPs protested - they were offended by something about the entire idea. I am sure if you mention this in Saudi Arabia, many Muslims too would be offended about allowing Hindus to dance around a mosque.

The point I am making here is; everyone is offended. It is natural and human to be offended; If you tell me you are never offended, I will treat you with some amount of suspicion!

However, the entire idea of freedom of speech is that speech will offend. Freely expressed opinions always hurt, always offend. Speech, when self-censored or censored by others, is not free at all.

What we need to do is understand the concept of freedom of speech well. And then decide if the benefits of freedom of speech are worth it or not.

Indian laws do not give us freedom of speech in its true sense. It is pretty much limited in its nature; otherwise a man who publishes a jokebook on sardars would not end up in jail. Or a court issue an arrest warrant against Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere.

What most of us who say that something should be banned, whether it is a movie, or a book, or a painting, is that it will all come back and bite you in the BUTT! With every one of our demands, we are encouraging laws which restrict our tongues, our looks, our ways of life.

Let me tell you - the Da Vinci Code protests and demands for a ban was entirely because my co-religionists were truly inspired by other communists. Everyone thinks that if Muslims can demand a ban, so can I. If Christians can ask for that, I can ask for this. If they can get angry and their people can burn a few buses, my people can get angry and burn a few shops.

There is no limit to the culture of taking offense.

Say, many of us are married. Many of us have boyfriends or girlfriends. There are many who think that public display of affection is bad, offensive, immoral. So we ban smooching in public. Then once we get used to that, people will get offended by hugging in public. Then, they will get offended by people holding hands. Then it will be about a male and female under an umbrella. Then it will be that mixed, co-ed classes are immoral.

The way to go forward is, support freedom. If someone else's ex-pression of freedom offends us, grit our teeth and move on. Because, the way we ask for restricted freedoms for someone else, tomorrow our freedoms too will be restricted by another, someone more conservative than you.

The artist in Vadodara was treated exactly the way Christians have treated philosophers and scientists (science was often blasphemy), terrorists in Kashmir treat Tv channels and women in jeans. We don't like what you, we are offended, and now we will punish you. This is not a new attitude, history is full of incidents like that. Remeber McCarthyism in US, when everyone who said anything was a communist spy?

This brings me to PrudentIndian, and that 'offensive' picture of Jesus with a commode. I will agree that the art installation by Chandramohan is offensive. Now, what about the picture on PrudentIndian's blog? He was making a point by showing us that picture. But, do you know that even that picture is enough to put someone behind bars? I am sure that if a hardcore fundamentalist Christian sees that pic, he will be extremely offended. And if he files a case in any court, the courts will probably order an investigation into it and ask Rediff to disclose the details and IP etc of the blogger.

Do you get my point now? PI had to make a point, and that pic was necessary for that. I fully support his right to publish that picture. However, legitimate reason or not, it is still enough to get you a few weeks' stay in jail. (This is not a threat in anyway!)

See how restrictions and bans come and bite you in the back!

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posted by a correspondent @ 10:31 AM   0 comments
Monday, February 12, 2007
Internet TV broadcaster JumpTV adds 11 more channels
JumpTV Incorporated, world's leading broadcaster of ethnic television over the internet, announced on Monday that it has signed 11 new exclusive internet broadcast agreements with channels from Pakistan, Thailand, Lebanon, Nigeria and Benin.

The new agreements expand JumpTV's network to 270 channels under licence.

The channels by signed JumpTV include ORTB (Benin), Channels TV, Lagos TV and MiTV (Nigeria), Zam TV and Rung TV (Pakistan), Popper, Rak Thai TV, Panorama 07 and Thai Cable Channel (Thailand), and Mlive (Lebanon).

The 11 new channels are expected to be individually priced at US $ 9.95 a month when launched commercially, and some will become a part of the country/region-specific channel groups at later dates.

The addition of the 3 Nigerian, 4 Thai and 2 Pakistani channels brings JumpTV's Nigerian, Thai and Pakstani channel lineup to 7 channels, 9 channels and 12 channels, respectively. Bundles will be launched for each of these countries soon.

The additional Lebanese channel is to be included in JumpTV's Pan Arab package, which currently includes 23 top Arab channels, for US $ 29.95 a month.

On the partnership with JumpTV, M Julien Pierre Akpaki, general director of ORTB said: "JumpTV is enabling ORTB to grow from a number one national channel, that is available only in Benin, to a global channel overnight. Since a majority of our programming is in French, we believe there is a real market for our content not only among the people of Benin, but anyone interested in West African television."

Sila Celik, head of content acquisition and global operations at JumpTV said: "JumpTV is thrilled to announce the addition of 11 channels from countries like Nigeria, Thailand, Pakistan and Lebanon. We understand that our subscribers want an array of content from their country or region of origin and these channels add substantially to our offerings."

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, chief executive officer and president of JumpTV International said: "The first phase of JumpTV's business strategy has always been to aggregate the most television content from around the globe. Now, with 270-channel partnerships, JumpTV continues to solidify itself as the largest broadcaster of ethnic programming, providing its subscribers with live television, when and where they want it."

JumpTV, the world's leading subscription-based broadcaster of ethnic television over the internet, has over 250 channels from 70-plus countries. It delivers its subscribers full-screen news, sports and entertainment content on a real-time basis from all over the globe.

JumpTV has subscribers from over 80 countries who view channels on the JumpTV online network via high-speed internet connections on their home computers, laptops, internet-enabled televisions and mobile phones.

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posted by a correspondent @ 9:21 PM   0 comments
Chinese media and restrictions: China initiates points based penalty system against ‘muck-raking' print media
The Propaganda Department of China's Communist Party has launched a points-based penalty system in an effort to contain the increasing incidents of muck-raking the print media.

Media outlets will be allocated a dozen points that the propaganda department, and the government media regulator can deduct one, three, six or all 12 at a time, a Hong Kong newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.

It was not clear how the severity of a perceived infringement would be judged, but penalties would range from warnings and dismissals to closure of the publication.

The Communist Party of China has always exercised control over the media. After some relaxation, control has been tightening in recent years.

The propaganda officials regularly issue lists of banned topics or coverage guidelines for certain subjects.

Later in 2007, the Communist Party of China holds its five-yearly congress, at which leaders are reshuffled and policies are set.

"The new system is a clear message that the top leadership wants a peaceful social environment ahead of the 17th Party Congress and next year's Olympic Games," the newspaper quoted a senior state media executive as saying.

The media point system is similar to China's driver licence point system whereby points are deducted for violations.

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posted by a correspondent @ 9:14 PM   0 comments
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Sky digital terrestrial TV DTT subscription service launch un UK
Sky, the satellite television broadcaster of the United Kingdom, has announced its plans to launch a new digital terrestrial television (DTT) service in the summer.

The new service will allow customers to receive some of Sky's most popular programmes -- including sports and movies -- through a conventional rooftop aerial and a DTT box for a monthly subscription.

The array of channels on the new terrestrial service will offer a range of content including sports, movies, entertainment and news. The sports service will include live coverage from the Barclays Premiership.

This new foray into terrestrial TV will make use of the existing capacity that Sky currently uses to broadcast Sky Three, Sky News, and Sky Sports News on the Freeview DTT service. Consequently, these channels will cease to be available free-to-air via DTT in advance of the launch of the pay-TV service.

Sky also plans to broadcast its pay-TV channels on DTT using the more efficient MPEG4 as opposed to MPEG2 used on Freeview, enabling Sky to offer four video streams in place of the three Sky channels currently available. Further improvements are expected in the future.

The pay-TV service will use the highly secure conditional access (CA) system similar to the one that is in use for Sky's current digital satellite television system.

To access the service, customers will need to buy a new set-top box (STB) that includes the relevant CA software and MPEG4 decoder.

If Sky DTT is being launched with four channels, the STB will also incorporate traditional MPEG2 decoding to view the current Freeview channels. This would be similar to the recently launched BT Vision which allows downloadable content from BT plus standard Freeview channels.

But, if Sky is releasing an STB that allows Freeview channels, Premiership Football, good Sky One programming, and up-to-date movies without the need for a dish as well as better top-up TV on Freeview, people are going to buy the Sky-backed STB, especially if it is not necessary to buy the subscription.

It is highly likely that Sky will also add a similar video-on-demand service that will be strongly coupled to the new Sky broadband provision, again adding incentive to buy a Sky-branded STB as opposed to a bog-standard Freeview box.

In short, Sky could not only be the only satellite service in the UK but also the main dominant player in the DTT pay-TV spectrum.

Of course, all this is conditional on Ofcom allowing the service to go ahead. It remains to be seen whether Sky would be allowed to segment further and dominate the market.

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posted by a correspondent @ 11:33 PM   0 comments
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Net income of Murdoch's News Corporation drops
News Corporation, the media conglomerate controlled by media baron Rupert Murdoch, has reported lower net income for its second fiscal quarter of 2006, compared with the results a year ago.

The company, which owns MySpace, Twentieth Century Fox and the Fox News Channel, earned US $822 million in the three months ended in December 2006, down from US $1.08 billion a year ago, when it had a one-time gain from selling an educational publishing business.

Without that gain of $381 million, the earnings of the previous would have been $694 million. On that basis, earnings from continuing operations rose by18% in the latest quarter from a year ago.

While earnings from movies at the box office and home video jumped by 57%, television earnings dropped by 39% on weaker ratings for post-season baseball on Fox and losses related to the launch of MyNetworkTV, a mini-network on Fox stations.

Rupert Murdoch said the company was "disappointed" with the results at MyNetworkTV, where ratings have been "far below expectations."

He said new management has been brought in and will introduce new programming.

MyNetworkTV has stumbled since its launch with a strategy of relying heavily on prime-time soap operas. Peter Chernin, News Corporation's chief operating officer, said the network would move the ‘telenovela'-style soap operas to two nights a week, add a martial arts fighting show and show movies on Thursdays and Fridays.

Revenue from Fox Interactive Media rose to $125 million in the quarter, mainly from gains at MySpace, where revenue rose by over $50 million.

MySpace, the largest social networking site on the internet, is poised to earn good revenue in fiscal 2007, with profitability increasing dramatically in the following year, Peter Chernin said.

Much of MySpace's future growth is expected to be driven by an advertising deal with online search leader Google Incorporated, which has promised to share $900 million in revenue with the social networking site in the next three years.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the six-month-old deal still has not been finalised because of tensions raised by MySpace's talks with EBay Inc. to tap into the online auctioneer's technology and online payment system. Doing so could make it easier for MySpace's users to buy and sell items from each other.

A MySpace partnership with EBay may hit Google's own efforts to build its own merchandise listing service and payment system.

However, Chernin has said MySpace remains "absolutely comfortable" with the Google deal.

Murdoch said the company was close to announcing its long-awaited plans to launch a business news cable channel as a rival to CNBC, which is owned by General Electric Company's NBC Universal.

News Corporation's revenue during the quarter rose by 18% to $7.84 billion from $6.67 billion.

Movie and TV production earnings climbed by 57% to $470 million.

Cable network programming profits rose by 5% on more gains from the Fox News Channel, and profits from newspapers more than doubled to $170 million from $69 million a year ago.

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posted by a correspondent @ 11:10 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Obscene and objectionable shows on Indian TV channels: After axing AXN, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi angry at more `indecent' TV channels
After banning the entertainment channel AXN for showing "indecent content," the Government of India is likely to ban more channels.

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi has said he has listed several other channels with "obscene" and "objectionable" content.

Dasmunshi said he plans to implement the Cable Act and take stringent measures to enforce time scheduling for TV channels and that programmes with adult scenes showing women wearing "objectionable" clothes would be scheduled for late-night viewing.

Channels which do not adhere to the moral code would see "tough days ahead," Dasmunshi warned.

He, however, refused to name the channels on the Information and Broadcasting Ministry's watchlist.

However, Fashion TV and SS Music are believed to be among the lot that are facing ban.

"I do not want to name these channels but there are some of them which are testing our patience. I will speak to them, but if they do not relent, appropriate action will be taken," Dasmunshi said.

In January 2007, the Government of India had banned the telecast of AXN channel till March 15 for showing a programme titled World's Sexiest Commercials as it violated the programme code for cable television.

If at all channels have to show programmes which are best suited for adults, they should show it between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., Dasmunshi said.

Two years ago, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, then headed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj, had made Fashion TV tailor its programmes to suit Indian sensibilities.

Dasmunshi dismissed allegations of "moral policing," saying only that one out of 290 channels has been banned.

The proposed Broadcast Bill and the content code are expected to address comprehensively issues related to programming and advertisements. Issues related to sting journalism will also be dealt with by the Bill.

The Minister stressed that the Bill would be introduced in 2007 itself.

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posted by a correspondent @ 7:10 PM   0 comments
Media worries Media worries US parents more than sex, alcohol
Parents in the United States are more worried about the amount of time their children spend watching television or meeting friends on internet social networks than about sex or alcohol abuse, a new study has revealed.

The study was released on February 5, 2007, by Insight Research Group and commissioned by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based group that studies the impact of media on children.

Over 55% of 1,138 parents in the United States surveyed were either very concerned or strongly concerned about children, from age five to sixteen, spending too much of their time with different media outlets. By comparison, about 45% of parents said they were as concerned about their kids engaging in sex or using alcohol.

"Intuitively, parents have a sense that too much media isn't a good thing, but they can't quite put their finger on why," James Steyer, founder and chief executive of Common Sense Media, said.

Parents also saw themselves as bearing the biggest responsibility for the way media affect their kids, well ahead of the companies that create TV shows or internet content, who ranked third on the list.

Television viewing topped the list of media categories that worried parents, following by internet use and playing video games.

Listening to the radio and reading magazines were deemed as the safest types of media, according to the poll.

Concerns over their children struggling in school or developing a weight problem also ranked higher, at 55% and 46% of respondents, than sexual activity or alcohol use.

Media is a full-time job for the average child, consuming 44.5 hours a week of their time, attention and imagination. And, teens now spend 72 hours a week immersed in the media universe.

And, it is getting more complex. In an increasingly portable and convergent world, this is how kids communicate, learn, relax and express themselves.

As media devices become more portable and powerful, kids become increasingly and intimately wired into the media world. Cell phones, Sidekicks, Blackberries, and Treos all offer immediate access to the internet - instantly connecting kids to each other.

Because kids access media intimately, directly, and often without adult supervision, the images and messages they receive, 24/7, profoundly shape their physical, mental and social development in ways that can be healthy or unhealthy.

Advertisements for junk food, clothing, alcohol and cigarettes saturate the media. Violent and aggressive behavior shows up everywhere, from cop shows to T-rated video games. And, whether it is a sexy music video, a rapper hawking champagne or a TV star's scrawny physique, media is a ‘super-peer,' influencing kids and teaching them that what they see on the screen is ‘real' or ‘normal' or ‘okay.'

Common Sense Media and the Aspen Institute are hosting a conference in New York this week where chief executives from some of the largest media companies - Time Warner Inc., CBS Corp., Warner Music Group Corp., and Comcast Corp. - will discuss the media's influence on children.

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posted by a correspondent @ 7:04 PM   0 comments
Monday, February 05, 2007
China's digital TV operators asked to provide 6 analogue channels
China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has ordered all cable television operators in the country to provide at least six channels of analogue programmes when they digitalise their services.

There have been complaints by users of cable television that local cable TV operators had closed all the analogue cable TV channels and that the charges for digital cable TV programmes and the set-top box used to receive the digital cable TV signals are too high.

It was in response to these complaints that the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has now asked all cable television operators to include six analogue channels for the users to choose.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has also asked digital television operators to reduce the subscription rate.

China plans to replace the existing analogue cable television with digital cable television in all the cities in its eastern and central regions and most of those in the western area by 2010, according to a national five-year (2006-2010) guideline on cultural development, released on September 13, 2006.

The country is promoting digital cable television in urban areas. In all, 25 Chinese cities, including Qingdao, Hangzhou, Dalian, Shenzhen, Taiyuan, Nanjing and Nanning, have switched from analogue cable TV to digital cable TV.

Throughout the country, digital cable TV subscribers have surpassed 12 million, according to the SARFT.

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posted by a correspondent @ 9:56 PM   0 comments
Sunday, February 04, 2007
HT Mint Review: WSJ & HT blaze new trail with Mint

A review of Mint, the new financial daily from Hindustan Times

BY OUR MEDIA EDITOR

Four years since it left a content-sharing arrangement with The Financial Express, the proud masthead of The Wall Street Journal on Monday made a smart comeback in India with the launch of Mint, the latest business newspaper brought out by HT Media in India. Mint, head-quartered in Delhi and published from Delhi and Mumbai, is edited by Raju Narisetti, a Wall Street Journal veteran who left his WSJ assignment to launch Mint, yes, with no holes.

These last four years have not been without news. Hopes were raised when in January 2004, Bennett, Coleman & Co, publishers of Times of India and Economic Times, announced a joint venture agreement with Dow Jones, publishers of Wall Street Journal, to bring out WSJ in India. Suman Dubey, WSJ's corporate representative in India, was named editor. Dow Jones officials even made several visits to BCCL to take the project forward.

Mysteriously, the project never took off. It was never officially called off either. Meanwhile, HT Media as part of its aggressive expansion plans, went for an IPO, made its foray into Mumbai, launched its radio channel and decided to kick off a new business newspaper.

It is not as if we do not have enough business newspapers now. India must be the only country to have so many business newspapers clamouring for roughly the same audience. The No.1 slot is taken by BCCL with Economic Times, followed by Business Line from Kasturi & Sons, Business Standard from Business Std Ltd and Financial Express from the Indian Express group. The former No.5 in business print media, The Observer of Business and Politics (OBP), shut shop in 2000.

Mint raised high hopes, especially given the ultra-high secrecy that preceded its launch. The newspaper's name was not revealed till immediately before the launch. Staffers temselves did not know the name or launch date of the paper. According to a staffer who has just breathed a sigh of relief, "we did not know what we were working for. I am so relieved."

This author has learned from experience that the launch day of a paper is not the ideal day to an analyse of the new kid on the block. There are umpteen problems which crop up on launch date, and a wise paper, over time, studies the problems and solves them to make a cleaner product. Mumbai Mirror is a good example. However, my job, reminds my editor, is to do a detailed analysis of the paper as I got it on the launch date, and not philosophosise over future issues. So, here goes:

My first impression of HT's Mint has been positive. To begin with, Mint is not a pink paper. Printed on clean white paper, Mint joins the other white business paper Business Line. The size is called Berliner, a format new to India. This is half-way between a tabloid (think Mid-day, Afternoon) and a broadsheet (Hindustan Times). The format is easy to hold and carry, and at Rs 2 a copy, the inaugural edition had 24 pages. This is approximately equal to about, say, 15-18 broasheet pages. In contrast, Economic Times the same day had a mega edition of 50-plus broadsheet pages.

The paper has a clean design - no gimmicks, no graphic atrocities, no attacks on peace of mind. HT's Mint has been designed by world-renowned newspaper designer Mario Garcia, who was worked with Raju Narisetti at Wall Street Journal. The typography is clean and readable, except in the Market Monitor and some of the stock page sub-heads. Overall, Mint has taken considerable effort to resemble WSJ as closely as possible, including the fonts, the design, and the overall philosophy. Even the grainy illustrations are made to look like in WSJ. This marriage of design is so smooth that the four WSJ pages which go with Mint everyday gel seamlesslessly into its overall design. This effort is commendable.

To me, the front page looked more cluttered than the inside pages. The inaugural edition of Mint reports on the Corus acquisition, RBI's credit policy and an anchor story on how human shit is damaging railway tracks. I disagree with the choice of the anchor story. C'mon - shit, not on Day One. I wish there was something better there. The Page 2 anchor story on mandatory BIS norms for gold jewellers, which went with the meaningless headline - Bringing science into the business of alchemy - would have been a better choice for page 1. I say meaningless headline, because the headline does not say anything about the story. Without a strap or an intro explaining what the story means, no one with a busy time schedule will burrow inside. I liked the "Quick Edit", a short single column editorial on Tata-Corus. This will be a regular feature. I guess the Quick Edit gives a personal touch, which you otherwise see only in the editorial pages. And few people these days have the time and stamina to plod through dozens of pages to find that gem of an editorial buried deep inside the edition.

Page 2 of HT's Mint is an overview of the edition. Basically, it is a compilation of synopses of important stories culled from inside. I dont know how exciting this concept is. However, it is irritating to find a brief on Unitech results, while there are more important stories inside which could have found mention here. Not just in briefs, Unitech also appears as advertisements in Mint print and online editions. Unitech is quoted once again in another story in Page 15. HT Mint must avoid editorial overexposure to major advertisers to, as they say, not just be unbiased, but also to be seen unbiased.

The next news page in Mint is Page 3. The title of the Page is Leading The News. Leading this page is an article by Tamal Bandyopadhyay, Mint Bombay Bureau chief, a veteran of about 20 years in the field, and formerly deputy resident editor of Business Standard. "Govt bank chiefs in line for performace bonus," says the headline. Apparently, chiefs of public sector banks are going to get performance-based bonuses, just like in private sector. This story first appeared in Financial Express front page on January, eight days before Mint launch, written by Mahua Venkatesh. (http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=152628) It is ridiculous to carry the same report for an elite audience which has already read it in another paper, that too in a very prominent spot. Bad news selection. Again, grammar mistake in graphic with the govt bank chief story.

Page 4. Leading The News. Lead headline reads "Yamaha to invest Rs 1575 crore to try regain India market share." Try regain? English or Spanish?

Story on Jet Airways and Air Deccan on Mint Page 4 refers to Air Deccan IPO date as "May 2005." Wrong. Deccan went public in May 2006. Reporter Mehul Srivastava should not have made this mistake. Even if he did, an alert desk should have noticed it because Air Deccan's was the only IPO whose subscription closure had to be extended after last date, poll-axed by a torrid market meltdown.

Page 4 carried Unitech results. Grr! More important results like ITC and Mahindra & Mahindra are pushed to Page 6.

Story on Vindo Khosla refers to Sun Microsystems as "computer server company." Ignorance. Whatever happened to Sun's Java, Solaris and the rest?

The corporate results announcements are littered throughout the edition. Besides, East India Hotels results has gone into marketing and media page. As far I know, EIH is neither into marketing nor into media. It is into hospitality. Again, Gail results are carried in Economy & Politics page. They should have been put together in one or two corporate pages. There is a random feel about the choice, allocation and display of corporate results.

A report on Page 4 reads: "Kingfisher, not related to the airline or beer of the same name, which ended 2006 with a revenue of 8 billion pounds, is in the same business as US company Home Depot, and targets consumers who believe in the DIY (do it yourself) approach to home improvement." There are at least half-a-dozen clauses and phrases in this clumsy 50-word sentence. News reports should have shorter, simpler sentences. Sagar Malviya, take note.

A flyer headline on Mint's Page 6 reads: "Galloping prices at home spell boom for cement manufacturers." Isn't this stating the obvious? Rising commodity prices, be it steel, cement, oil or gas add to the bottomline of the respective manufacturer. There is no news in stating the obvious. This is not a story, but a statement. The story also says that oil price has gone up from "under $40 (Rs 1760) per barrel to above $60 (254)." At the forex conversion rate of 44/$ used by Mint, $60 should be equal to Rs 2640, not Rs 254. Even then, the front page of Mint says a dollar is now worth Rs 44.11. So, the figure should have been Rs 2646. HT Mint editors must pay better attention to numbers.

Page 9 - Economy and Politics - has a story about how govt may lose Rs 6000 crore if the Supreme Court rules against it in a duty credit scheme. Apparently, the hearing of the case is on Thursday. I read the Friday edition of Mint to see if the paper has carried a follow-up on the Rs 6000-crore case. Not a word. If Mint editors felt this story was important enough to credit a four-column display one day, shouldn't they at least mention in passing what happened to the case the next day to pamper the reader's curiosity aroused by the report?

Page 10 - Economy and Politics has a report titled "Groups rally to make anti-SEZ stir national." This is a biased, lefty report. At one point, the reporter calls SEZs as "so-called special economic zones." Besides helping Medha Patkar's PR and busybody campaigns, it helps none. There is nothing in his story to merit this display. Basically, it lists out anti-SEZ programmes planned out by Communists and activists who spend ther lives in Communism and activism. There is no effort to throw light on the human aspect of SEZ development, like displacement, poverty and farmland acquisitions. It just delves on the lefty programme sheet. The report, by Sukhmani Singh, should not have found place in the paper.

Page 11. Technology. Mentions Sony Ericsson as Sony in a single column report. It is not one and the same.

Pages 12 & 13. The story of Mint. Written by Raju Narisetti and Mario Garcia. It narrates how Mint was built and the philosophy of Mint. It details how the "Mint" name and logo were crafted. At the top of the page, the graphic says that Gazetta, the Italian coin was used in "circa 1563." Below, Mario Garcia's column says the gazettas were born only in 1586. Whom to believe?

Page 14 is Money Matters. It has a story which says that lack of adequate number of registrars is going to be a problem with a number of IPOs coming up. Fine. The reporter repeatedly refers to "India's stock market regulator" but does not name "Sebi." Why not? If we can identify RBI as banking regulator and Trai as telecom regulator, why not Sebi as stock market regulator? Ignorance or miss? This is not the promised "clarity", either way.

Market monitor graphics use fonts which are unreadable.

Page 15. Money Matters. Reporter Biju Mathew's name is splet wrong as Biju Matthew. There is a column called Breaking Views, which makes the statement that "Ratan Tata may have been motivated by a desire to keep up with the Mittals. That may have given him an a powerful adrenalin shot, but it's not so good for outside shareholders." The statement is preposterous. One, even after Corus acquisition, Tata Steel is way below Arcelor-Mittal in global steel rankings. Besides, Tata Steel has already made several global steel acquisitions even before the Mittal buyout of Arcelor-- Natsteel and Millennium Steel for example. The acquisition could have been made at a high price due to any number of reasons - higher expenditure which would have to be made if Tata was to set up his own plant with similar capacity, concerns over ability to meet capacity targets he had set for his own company, expanding global footprint in a cyclical industry to ride out seasonal price fluctuations - but not adrenalin, as Taron Wade so blithely puts it. Secondly, Ratan Tata's calculations have never been - think Indica - be motivated by short-term stock movements. Tata is known to take medium-to-long term gambles like the Indica and the Tetley acquisition, to take his companies to greater heights, screw the share price for the time being. Those who have hung on to the Tata stocks have always benefited. It's ignorance to say that Tata's adrenalin is not good for outside shareholders.

Mint Page 16 is stocks, followed by Commodities in Page 17. In the stocks tables, headers to the sub-sections are not visible enough. More clarity required.

Pages 18, 19, 20 and 21 are WSJ. Page 22 and 23 are editorial pages, one of the articles being a defence of the principles behind Mint, ardently written by Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, Editorial Pages Editor. The Editorial Pages Editor spells "hundredth" as "hundreth" in another article on Credit Policy. Spell-check, please. However, Rajadhyaksha's article is quite readable. Page 23 has an essay by Manmohan Singh. Quite decent.

After reading HT Mint from cover to cover, I was left with the feeling that I did not get enough, especially while looking at competitors Economic Times and Business Line. Mint takes a track different from the ones set by its older predecessors. It's refreshing, but gives a feeling of "not-enough." Since I am used to the kilo tonnes of newsprint that lands up on my doorstep every morning, Mint gives a feeling of a "piddly little paper." The first two days of Mint did not have any exciting or breaking stories worth remembering. Most reports are run-of-the-mill routine types. I hope as Mint goes forward, it will infuse more clarity, and gather more newsy content. I am looking forward to that. Economic Times and Business Line have little to worry from Mint, since the new kid, instead of trekking the trail, tries to blaze a new one. Mint's success will hinge on how many followers it can attract to its new way of doing business journalism.

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posted by a correspondent @ 9:20 AM   1 comments
Star Movies returns to Mumbai on February 5
For the Star Movies fans in Mumbai, here is good news - after an absence of about five months, the leading English movie channel will be back on their television sets from February 5, 2007.

Having complied with the High Court ruling, Star Movies' vast film library has been re-certified as ‘U' or ‘U/A' by India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and will continue to televise blockbusters.

According to India-wide data recorded in the last six months, Star Movies has been the leading channel in the English film genre, despite its absence in Mumbai, which contributes an average of 15% each week to the viewing of the English film segment.

For the period January 1-13, 2007, Star Movies increased its share to 49%, compared to 41% in the last two weeks of December 2006.

Ajay Vidyasagar, executive vice-president, Star Entertainment India, says: "We are happy that Star Movies is back on air in Mumbai. All the titles that will be showcased have been cleared according to the rules of the High Court. We look forward to entertaining our viewers in the New Year with exciting properties and titles and sustain the excitement, further strengthening our position in the English movie entertainment category."

Since the countdown for the 79th Annual Academy Awards (Oscar awards) has begun, Star Movies will feature, all along February, movies that have been honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the past, on its programme titled Oscar Fever.

Star Movies will also telecast live the Oscar award ceremony on February 26.

In addition to this, the channel will telecast the exclusive premiere of some of the biggest blockbusters to hit the silver screen like The Myth, Hotel Rwanda and Proof, according to Star Entertainment India.

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posted by a correspondent @ 7:15 AM   0 comments
Rupert Murdoch hands out $100 million each to his six children
Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire media tycoon, has, in a quite unexpected action, shared some of his enormous wealth with his six children through a family handout of $600 million (£305 million) of shares in his global News Corporation.

Documents lodged with American financial regulators on Friday reveal that Murdoch has given $100 million worth of shares to each of his offspring - but he has made sure that none of them can meddle in the business by distributing stock with no voting rights.

A spokesman for the News Corporation said in New York that the gifts, which changed hands on Wednesday, amounted to "normal financial planning."

He stressed that the children had been treated equally - "each of the six children got an identical number of shares in the disbursement."

News Corporation is the ultimate parent company of British newspapers including the Sun, the Times and the News of the World. It has a controlling interest in the satellite broadcaster BskyB and owns America's conservative Fox network.

The handout represents only a fraction of Rupert Murdoch's entire holding which is over $8 billion in shares.

It is said the careful equality of the handout reflects sensitivity within the Murdoch family over the respective treatment of his children from three different marriages.

Murdoch's adult children - Prudence, Lachlan, Elisabeth and James - reportedly fought their father's efforts to amend the family financial trust to include his two toddlers, Grace and Chloe, from his marriage to Wendi Deng in 1999.

Under the terms of his divorce from his second wife, Ana, the beneficiaries of the trust are limited to his four oldest children.

According to the regulatory filing, Murdoch will be custodian of the shares transferred to his youngest daughters until they reach maturity.

Insiders believe that the handout is more about giving his older children more personal financial wherewithal than any attempt to pass on control of his empire.

Until recently, several of Murdoch's older children were jostling to become heir apparent in running the News Corporation. Lachlan, 35, was regarded as the favourite until he abruptly resigned as the company's deputy chief operating officer in July 2006 and returned to Australia with his wife.

Lachlan was said to be frustrated at interference in his work and he was rumoured to be the most upset of the family at Murdoch's attempts to extend equal financial rights to his new daughters.

For much of the 1990s, Elisabeth, 38, ran BskyB but she left the business and has been running her own production company, Shine, since 2001.

Murdoch nominated James, 34, to the top job at BSkyB four years ago. Despite opposition from minority shareholders who described the appointment as nepotism, he has held the position ever since.

Of Murdoch's adult children, only Prudence, 48, has shown no interest in working in the media industry, though her husband has worked as a senior executive at News Limited.

Though 75 and has survived a cancer scare, Murdoch continues to run his media empire with an aggressively hands-on approach. He has about 38% of News Corporation's voting stock, giving him an effective final say in all significant decisions.

He takes a close interest in day-to-day content of his newspapers and his television channels, In 2006, he admitted that he had intervened in Fox's reporting on riots in Paris because he was unhappy with repeated descriptions of those involved as Muslims.

Starting out with a modest portfolio of Australian local newspapers inherited from his father, Rupert Murdoch has built the world's most extensive media empire.

His News Corporation publishes 175 newspapers, including the English speaking world's top seller, the News of the World. Others include the Sun, the Times, the Sunday Times, the New York Post and the Australian.

News Corp has a 39% stake in BSkyB, owns America's IB Network and Star TV in Asia. It has a 38% share of America's biggest cable network, DirecTV.

In Hollywood, News Corp's Twentieth Century Fox studio was behind recent hits movies such as The Devil Wears Prada and A Night at the Museum. The digital interests include the social networking site MySpace and, in book publishing, it owns HarperCollins.

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posted by a correspondent @ 7:10 AM   0 comments
Is the murder of Lan Chengzhang a warning to China's media?
For Lan Chengzhang, 35, it was the first month of work with his newspaper, the China Trade News.

While he sat in a car outside the office of a mining company in Shanxi Province in China, two of his colleagues ventured inside to make inquiries.

Lan Chengzhang, the reporter, had taken on what anyone in the area knew could be a dangerous assignment - investigating the illegal coal mines that have proliferated in the sooty hill country of Shanxi Province.

Within minutes, a gang of men armed with crude weapons set upon Lan, beating him up so badly that he died within a few hours.

Though severely beaten up, Lan's colleague from the China Trade News survived to tell the tale.

Attacks against journalists are not uncommon in China, even if deaths are rare. But in ways that few could have expected, the murder of this untested reporter for an obscure publication on January 11, 2007, has become a watershed event.

Reporters and editors across China are seeing the murky case as a warning against their booming but troubled profession.

Lan's death has become a national event. Chinese President Hu Jintao, in an unusual statement a few days afterwards, demanded that justice be done.

But it also highlighted the culture of corruption that many journalists acknowledge pervades the industry, particularly the practice among some reporters of demanding money from subjects to avoid damaging articles.

President Hu, who has spoken often of the need for the government to strengthen its control over the news media, has not been seen as a friend of journalists.

After several days of intense commentary about the killing in the international news media and on Chinese blogs and websites, Hu may have been compelled to protect his country's image.

Inside the Chinese news media, introspection over Lan's killing has been unusually forthright, mixing criticism of the government with harsh self-examination.

While Beijing is condemned for limiting the scope of honest, aggressive journalism, journalists themselves are being condemned - indeed by themselves - for giving in to corruption as a professional way of life.

"This kind of control and degeneration are inseparable," Zhang Ping, a veteran reporter at Southern Metropolis magazine, said. "The control dims the hopes one has for a career in journalism, and many reporters, such as people at Xinhua (news agency), don't have any honourable feelings from being a journalist. They get no rewards the normal way and discover that in China only lie-telling can bring you income."

Huang Liangtian, who was recently dismissed as editor of Baixing magazine because of its probing investigative style, was more caustic in his assessment. Said he: "China basically doesn't have any journalists in the real sense. Everybody is part of the machine, a propagandist for the party's policy."

In fact, the scope for reporting has expanded significantly in the last decade, causing worry to the Chinese government. But along with the explosion in the number of titles have come strong commercial pressures, bringing about what many describe as a compulsion to mix newsgathering and advertising.

Many reporters say they are given revenue quotas they must meet by selling news coverage to the subjects they write about.

The issue of this sort of corruption has emerged as a major subtext of the discussion of Lan's death.

In Datong, the city where Lan was killed, he was quickly labeled an impostor - the implication being that he had visited an illegal coal mine to shake down its owner, promising not to write about him in exchange for a payment.

Lan's newspaper itself added little clarity to the picture. While acknowledging that he was employed there, the paper denied that he had been assigned to write about illegal coal mines.

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posted by a correspondent @ 6:50 AM   0 comments
Friday, February 02, 2007
Allan Thompson's The Media and the Rwanda Genocide: New book analyses media role in Rwanda genocide
Radio reports fuelled genocide in Rwanda, says Allan Thompson

In the first book of its kind, Allan Thompson, Canadian journalist and scholar who teaches at Ottawa's Carleton University, has compiled the accounts of foreign journalists and analysed the role played by local and international news outlets in Rwanda during the killing orgy in that country in 1994.

Local radio stations have been singled out in Thompson's The Media and the Rwanda Genocide for arousing Rwanda's transistor radio-listening public and fuelling a killing campaign between the dominant Tutsis and the majority Hutus.

At the same time, the international media is blamed for having failed to grasp what was unfolding until it was too late and for giving too little attention to the story.

According to Prof Thompson, scholars will be studying the issue for a long time to come.

"Frankly, I think the one thing we need to learn is that we have a lot to learn. I think it is really useful to re-examine the way news organisations conducted themselves, both inside Rwanda - particularly hate media - and also the other part of the media equation - international media," he says.

Thompson says that, 12 years after the killing spree, there is still an urgent need for a free press in Rwanda, where journalists do not feel constrained from covering significant issues and developments.

"Radio is still king in Rwanda. Since the 1994 genocide, there have been a fair number of new, independent FM stations, but there is still concern about the overall media environment. I’m not suggesting that it would contribute to another genocide, but there are very real concerns about freedom of the press - sort of a climate of self-censorship among a lot of journalists, which, I think, means everyone still has something to learn from the events of 1994."

"An important lesson," Thompson adds, "is that we missed all the warning signs. We did not seem to understand what we were hearing on the airwaves, didn't see how this was connected to a sort of demonisation campaign to lay the groundwork for genocide."

Unlike the Rwandan genocide, the mass killings in Sudan’s Darfur region are receiving high-profile international media attention, even though coverage is severely limited on the ground in such a remote region as western Sudan.

Thompson notes that there are lessons for the international press to draw from this situation as well. "What's the connection between media coverage and political decision-making by those who would be in a position to mount an intervention in a place like Darfur or could have done so in Rwanda?" he asks.

"Rwanda did not register in our consciousness until months later, when we started paying attention to the plight of refugees in Goma, who had fled the country after the genocide. Darfur has probably received more coverage, but it still has not become the `tsunami' that we experienced in the media a couple of years ago," remarks Thompson.

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posted by a correspondent @ 10:39 AM   0 comments
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release date announced
Yes, the release date for the latest and final instalment in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been announced. The book will be available in bookstores in USA and UK on 21 July, 2007.

Expect the regular hungama, interviews, rumours and and normal mania around the time of the book release.

Deathly Hallows from Amazon!

The plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is very much close to JK Rowling's heart. She and the publishers are very secretive, and so despite whatever rumours swirl around before for the book's official release, expect nothing to be true. Of course we can all play our guessing games as we love to do.

Rowling has already said two main characters in the book will die in Deathly Hallows. One we can safely assume to be Lord Voldemort himself. The other might even be the boy magician Harry Potter. It might be Hermione, Ron...

The movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will reach movie halls exactly a week before the release date of Deathly Hallows. I can imagine the feverish anticipation already!

My personal opinion is the last couple of books in the Potter series dragged and crawled, and were just too long - I truly hope Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows do not take the same route!

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posted by a correspondent @ 2:37 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
UK crackdown to hit TV quiz channels hard
Television channels in the United Kingdom, which have been for long raking in millions from unsuspecting viewers through phone-in quizzes, are being bridled.

Phone-in quiz TV companies are set to lose a fortune in the crackdown.

UK's gaming regulators will force some shows to change the ways in which they operate or they will have to give at least one-fifth of their revenue to good causes.

The quiz channels have been criticised for charging about 75 pence for a call - and more if the call is from a mobile phone - whether or not the callers even get through.

The Gambling Commission of the UK is considering how new laws, coming into force in September 2007, will affect lotteries, prize competitions and free draws.

The commission, which regulates gaming in Britain, will publish its findings in the spring.

Some of the quiz shows have been asked to effect changes in their style of operation such as making it easier for people to play for free, which could result in a channel losing its revenue significantly, or being classed as a "complex lottery."

Said a government official: "They will have to be registered as a lottery. Lotteries are for good causes. They will have to get a complex lottery licence, and a part of that will be that a minimum of 20% has to go to good causes."

TV companies, which have been using the channels to make up for lost revenue as advertising continues to fall, may move court against the Gambling Commission's decision.

TV quiz shows have mushroomed in recent years in the UK and are now said to be making up to £180 million a year. People taking part in the games can pay between 60 pence and £1.50 a call.

ITV Play, which made over £9 million in profits in the first half of last year, is the best-known since it airs the quiz programme on ITV1 after midnight.

British Members of Parliament (MPs) had last week called for TV quiz to be classed as gambling.

A report by the MPs warned that viewers risk being "ripped off" by call TV shows, where the odds of getting through to the studio can be as long as 8,500-1.

The report, by the all-party Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, had called for tighter regulation of the shows and warned that players are generally not told that the chances of getting through to the studio are very slim.

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posted by a correspondent @ 10:02 AM   0 comments
HT Media launches business daily Mint in alliance with WSJ : priced at Rs 2
HT Media Limited, publisher of Hindustan Times and Hindustan, has launched Mint, its business newspaper in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal.

The brand and logo of Mint was unveiled by HT Media's vice-chairperson Shobhana Bhartia and The Wall Street Journal's Asian managing director Christine Brendle at an event in New Delhi.

Mint, scheduled to hit the newsstands on February 1, 2007, will initially be available in New Delhi and Mumbai from Monday to Saturday.

Mint is priced at Rs 2.

As a part of the pre-launch campaign, there is a yearly subscription package of Rs 299.

Every weekday, four pages of news will be sourced from The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones. These will be articles selected by the editors of Mint with the Indian reader in mind, says a company release.

Shobhana Bhartia says, "Mint is the product of a unique collaboration between HT Media and The Wall Street Journal, which will bring life to the world of business and participate in the business of life. Further, Mint is constructed around Indian business and economy and the way it is impacting the world and captures the trends of the world for India to leverage."

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posted by a correspondent @ 9:44 AM   0 comments
Sidney Sheldon, best-selling author, dies at 89
Sidney Sheldon, 89, world-renowned writer and film-television producer, is no more.

Sheldon, one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century, has written hits for the theatre, film, television and most recently, his best-selling novels.

He died at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Florida, the United States, after suffering complications from pneumonia.

Sidney Sheldon leaves his wife Alexandra, daughter Mary Sheldon and two grandchildren.

"I've lost a long-time and dear friend," said Sheldon's publicist Warren Cowan. "In all my years in this business, I've never heard an unkind word said about him," Cowan reminisced.

Sidney Sheldon, who started his career as a script reader for major production houses in Hollywood, soon went on to writing and producing his own works.

He career saw him write 25 films and many hit shows, including the popular I Dream of Jeannie.
Sheldon's best-selling novels made their mark after he reached his 50th birthday.

His books, including the bestseller, The Other Side of Midnight, and Rage of Angels, sold over 300 million copies and saw many of his titles turned into TV mini-series.

Sheldon's novels were often based on women who triumphed in the world of men, making them a popular read with both sexes.

Analysing why so many women bought his books, Sheldon commented: "I like to write about women who are talented and capable, but most important, they retain their femininity. Women have tremendous power - their femininity, because men can't do without it."

Sheldon's books were cleverly plotted with a high degree of suspense and sensuality and a device to keep the reader turning pages.

"I try to write my books so the reader can't put them down," Sheldon had explained in a 1982 interview. "I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she has to read just one more chapter. It's the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial: leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter."

Sheldon was obviously not aiming at highbrow critics, whose reviews of his books were generally disparaging. He remained undeterred, promoting the novels and himself with genial fervour.

A big, cheerful man, Sheldon bragged about his work habits.

Unlike other novelists who toiled over typewriters or computers, he dictated 50 pages a day to a secretary or a tape-machine. He corrected the pages on the following day, continuing the routine until he had 1,200 to 1,500 pages.

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posted by a correspondent @ 9:41 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
ULFA ultimatum to TV channel: Prove charges or leave Assam
The outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) on Tuesday asked a television channel to leave Assam or face action if it fails to prove its allegations that the outfit is being bribed by the Assam Government to lie low during the coming National Games.

North East Television (NETV), a Guwahati-based television channel, had last week reported that the Assam Government had paid money to buy peace with the ULFA for the smooth conduct of the National Games in Guwahati from February 9 to 18, 2007.

"Let NETV prove to the public about the ULFA taking money from the Assam Government. If it fails to prove the allegation within a month, it will have to leave Assam or else face dire consequences," ULFA `commander-in-chief' Paresh Baruah said in a statement.

The National Games has come under a cloud with ULFA blamed for a wave of violence beginning January 5, 2007, in which 90 people were killed. But the Assam Government has vowed to hold the Games as scheduled.

Meanwhile, over 10 Myanmarese soldiers and three militants were killed in fresh fighting when Myanmar launched a massive military crackdown to evict anti-India guerrillas from its soil.

According to a spokesman of the SS Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), Myanmar's military junta had burnt down the outfit's general headquarters and two other camps in Myanmar's northern Sagaing Division.

The NSCN-K, which is fighting for an independent homeland for the Nagas in Nagaland, has at least 50 camps with 5,000 guerrilla fighters entrenched in fortified bunkers in the Sagaing Division.

Myanmar's offensive comes a week after India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee visited Yangon, capital of Myanmar, and sought the country's help in cracking down on the rebels from India's troubled North-East, who are seeking refuge across the border.

Pranab Mukherjee's visit came after reports from Indian security officials that hundreds of rebels from Assam have fled to Myanmar since New Delhi launched a military operation against the guerrillas earlier in January, 2007.

At least four other militant groups from the North-East, including the ULFA, have training camps in northern Myanmar's thick jungles.

The NSCN's Khaplang faction has been observing a ceasefire with New Delhi since 2001, though peace talks are yet to begin.

Myanmar had earlier pledged that the junta would not let Indian rebels operate from its soil. In 2006, Myanmar had launched a military operation against the NSCN-K and overran several of their bases.

India and Myanmar share a 1,640-kilometre unfenced border, allowing militants from the North-East to use Myanmar as a springboard to carry out their hit-and-run strikes on Indian soldiers.

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posted by a correspondent @ 8:20 PM   0 comments
HT Mint or WSJ Mint new Hindustan Times Wall Street Journal business newspaper
Okay guys. The name is Mint, HT Mint. Or WSJ Mint. Or Hindustan Times Mint. Or Wall Street Mint. The name of the new business newspaper from the alliance between Hindustan Times and Wall Street Journal, helmed by Raju Narisetti.

Why do I sound so breathless about it? Because there are a lot of journalists reading this site, and as we all know, we are major rumour mongers. The name of the new business paper has been kept a tightly guarded secret, to be revealed tonight or tomorrow night according to some bloggers like Presstalk

So the entire newspaper fraternity is waiting, chewing up their mobile phones and we would be cruel if we do not feed them what they need, even if it might be incorrect information.

Another interesting bit is that a site has been registered by HT Media (thats what the registration details say) at www.livemint.com This might be the website of the WSJ / HT Mint; and we shall keep an eye on it definitely. If this is the online version of the business paper, then the name makes sense.

But why a name like Mint? Why not Menthol? Or Pint? I have no idea. Anyway the truth will out, as the cool ones say.

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posted by a correspondent @ 5:39 AM   1 comments
 

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