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Are private radio channels being pressured by the government to air PM Modi's Mann ki Baat radio chat every month? A Hindustan Times report on December 19 says the PMO pressurised the information and broadcasting ministry last month to "pursue privately-owned media to cut back routine programming and broadcast Mann Ki Baat." The report quotes the head of a leading private FM channel as saying that he didn’t agree when the ministry initially requested his station to broadcast the show, but when the ministry requested us a second time, we agreed.”
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.