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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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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.

The Times group has raised staff hackles by appropriating their personal Twitter and Facebook accounts and has inserted clauses in service contracts to the effect that personal and company accounts are merged. According to reports, staff will have to post regular updates. Curiously, the company will continue to hold the account even after the employee quits, privacy be damned.

At a India Today conclave on women being telecast on Headlines Today,  Rahul Kanwal, seated in the audience, popped THE question to Smriti Irani, the HRD Minister : the discrepancy in her affidavit on whether she was a graduate or not. In the first round , she evaded it saying she should be judged 'by her work' . But when Kanwar repeated his question: she told him to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in court and she would then reply to that. Ms Irani, it is the job of journalists to ask questions of politicians. Not file PILs !

It is not only the non family members of the staff who are quitting the Hindu. A tweet on Sunday confirmed what has been rumoured for a while: that the Hindu’s Beijing correspondent Ananth Krishan is leaving  the paper. Krishnan is the son of Nalini Krishnan, editor Malini Parthasarathy’s sister who  is  a shareholder in the Hindu. 

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