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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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The BJP governments in the states are more enamoured of journalists than the ruling politicians at the Centre. On Sunday even as the prime minister was turning on the media, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh was giving away three different awards to various journalists from Delhi and from his state.  Ten days before that he had conferred an award on a senior editor of the Indian Express, which carried a prize of Rs 2 lakhs. 

 

If you are feeling the heat, turn on the media. On Sunday the PM charmingly defended minister V K Singh, author of the presstitutes remark, and slammed the media for failing to highlight the government's good work. On Monday, during the debate in the Lok Sabha on the agrarian crises in the country,  minister Venkaiah Naidu,  responding to Rahul Gandhi's address had a dig at the media :"Newspaper headlines will not set our deadlines". 

 


 

 Media, both print and TV, do like sexing up events. For instance, Headlines Today's Gaurav Sawant said Rahul Gandhi "will aggressively" lead on the land issue even before he had spoken at the rally. The same channel later, with Rajdeep Sardesai anchoring the midday show, debunked Rahul's speech.  Today, Badshah Sen's opinion was that Gandhi's speech in Lok Sabha would be "memorable" even as the breaking news was the scion would speak. When Pakistan only "deplored" the arrest of Masarat Alam, The Hindu had said "Pak slams Alam's arrest". All planned morchas are routinely described as "mamoth" even before they are held. Adjectives, apparently come cheap.

At least 18 news channels may have been showing the Congress rally live on Sunday morning but Doordarshan's DD News found the PM's address to BJP MPs at a workshop in New Delhi more newsworthy.  It spent more news time on this. Are opposition parties not entitled to live coverage on the tax-payer funded public broadcaster?
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