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Another defamation notice
Posted/Updated Wednesday, May 16 12:13:23, 2012
Rs 100 crore defamation notices are now par for the course. After Justice Sawant's suit against Arnab Goswami, and Times Now's legal notice for the same damages to The Hoot, we now have Shekhar Gupta and other authors of the Indian Express page one story on April 4 asking Vinod Mehta and Open magazine for  Rs  100 crore in damages for defaming them. In an interview to Open magazine Mehta had described the Express story as "a mistake of Himalayan proportions" and asserted repeatedly that it was a planted story.
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After two months of speculation about when the India Today masthead would change to reflect Shekhar Gupta's takeover there, it turns out it won't. Proprietor Aroon Purie sent around an internal mail which said that that they had agreed to "restructure our arrangement to our mutual benefit". Gupta is being redesignated editorial advisor for the group while Purie will go back to being chief editor. Gupta will pursue his "creative and entrepreneurial interests", Purie said. Gupta tweeted meanwhile that Purie was speaking for both of them. Now what went wrong there?

Public memory is indeed short. Soon after the Delhi gangrape case, there was a legitimate hue and cry about the Yo Yo Honey Singh whose lyrics were shown to be extremely vulgar and sexist. His rock show in Delhi was cancelled that December thanks to the protests. But in August-September 2014 Yo Yo Honey Singh is back on TV channels. They are broadcasting promos of the new DVD he has made with Bollywood heroine Sonakshi Sinha, daughter of BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha. The 'India Today Mind Rocks' youth summit on September 6 in Delhi will feature him. His sexism is forgotten.

The much awaited   TRAI recommendations on community radio were released last week but despite numerous demands from community radio stations (CRS), no headway was made on the contentious issue of independently-produced news on community radio. Instead, they can only use AIR news. So do they become  extensions of an official organ?

A front-page Loksatta report today says leading Maharashtra newspapers are into pre-election paid news business. A Hindi newspaper is marketing its reach with data on its readership as voters. Another has stopped routine coverage of ticket aspirants unless Rs 1.5 - 2.5 lakh was forked out per constituency. Coverage of foundation-laying, ribbon-cutting ceremonies to beat the imminent code of conduct was only if they were paid for. No newspapers were named but the paper said Loksatta was not  among them.

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