Daily routine of foreign journalist in India: A guideline

Dateline India: (top) Vanessa Dougnac of Le Point at her office-in-residence. Priyanka Parashar / Mint; and veteran Mark Tully, who worked with BBC in India for 30 years. Ramesh Pathania / Mint

A foreign correspondent is a journalist who covers news for a newspaper/ radio/ TV channel/ magazine/ website/ wire service in another country. He could be stationed in a foreign country working for a media outlet in his homeland or based in the latter, working for a media outlet of another nation. One must be well qualified to become a foreign correspondent. But your growth and success depends primarily on your performance. Your qualification only helps you find the first job. Later, what matters is your work and performance. Reporting as a foreign correspondent not only involves international affairs, but it also entails local stories covered from an international perspective or with a human interest.

The appetite for news from India is expected to constantly increase in the West which will increase the number of foreign correspondents in India. Vishal Arora a journalist who writes on politics, religion and foreign affairs in south and south-east Asia lists down some guidelines to be followed and the practical schedule being followed by the foreign media correspondents in India in his article titled Faraway messenger in Hindustan Times HT Education:

9am: Watch/read news at the log-in service (to access the newsroom) provided by the organisation 

10am: Follow the local media  
10.30am: Talk to contacts
11am: Explore the day’s development
Noon to 5 pm: Cover the day’s news
6pm: Discuss the coverage with the editor and discuss the modalities of publication
One also goes for media briefings, mainly by the government/army authorities. Often, travel to other cities, towns or villages for stories

The payoff
You can earn Rs. 1,00,000 per month as a foreign correspondent (for which you have to spend atleast five to 10 years in the industry). After that, compensation would rise depending on your experience

* Curiosity – the essence of any form of journalism

* Open-minded approach where you don’t dismiss anything as futile

Getting there
After working as a journalist, for a few years, you can work your way up. There are few journalists who become foreign correspondents quite early in their careers, especially in news agencies. For that, one has to be extremely focused in one’s approach

Institutes and URLs
* Asian College of Journalism,Chennai, 

* IIMC, Delhi/ Dhenkanal, 
Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi 
Pros and cons 
* Relatively better paying as compared to other areas of journalism
* RYou get to explore the world
* Though it’s not a thumb rule, usually you don’t stay in one country for a long time 
* Risky job. You may be sent to areas embroiled in civil, military or political unrest

Aamir Khan’s “moral” marriage code of conduct

Bollywood’s ” aam aadmi” (ordinary man) Aamir Khan writes in his column titled ‘ It’s your entire life — not just an event’, in The Hindu about his thoughts on marriage:

Second time lucky in love!- Aamir Khan, who divorced first wife Reena Dutta after 15 years of marriage, fell in love with Kiran Rao during the shooting of Lagaan and married her. (photo courtesy: Hindustan Times)

Let’s give marriage the importance it deserves — in every sense, financial, emotional, mental.

Marriage is a terribly important part of life. It’s a partnership you form, a companion you choose, hopefully for the rest of your life. Someone who helps you, who supports you and vice versa. The way we view marriage and the way we approach it determines how our life could end up being.

Today, I want to largely address youngsters, because most of you who are older are already married and for better or worse have already made your choices.

….Should you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone just because he/she carries an attractive label such as IIT or MBBS? Is one marrying the person or the label? Shared interests, like-mindedness, companionship, shared sensibility, sense of humour — shouldn’t all this matter?

….Instead of spending all that money on the wedding day, why not decide to take the amount set aside for the girl’s wedding and give it to her to use to kick-start her new life with her spouse? Instead of that lavish function, why not just have a simple, sharbatwedding and give the girl the money instead? It will be so useful for her life? I believe sharbat weddings are a great idea. Call as many people as you desire, serve them a soft drink and say thank you for coming and for blessing the newlyweds.

Have fun. Enjoy the day. Make merry. But with simplicity.

…And please take your time over that decision. Understand, probe, check, go deep. The better you do this, the happier life is likely to be. Take the step of marrying only when you are fully satisfied about the character and temperament of the person you are marrying.

…. Should we not invest in our daughter’s education instead of saving up for her dowry? Make her so accomplished and independent that she is capable of crafting her own future, and becomes the master of her own happiness. Then she won’t need a greedy, useless groom to complete her life. Let her marry a person who respects her. Let her marry a man who she believes is worthy of her. Whom she is happy to spend the rest of her life with. 

Read the full article:  ‘ It’s your entire life — not just an event’, in The Hindu

Shankar’s ‘Varnashram’ Cartoon speaks!!!

This Cartoon which was published in the year 1933 in Telugu News Paper Krishna Patrika showing M.K. Acharya trying to increase the taint of untouchability in Hindusim and M.K.Gandhi was trying to clean it , whereas B.R. Ambedkar was trying to break the foundations of Hinduism called Varnashram , while the Western society was laughing at the whole situation . This Cartoon was actually published in Hindustan Times and was later republished in the Telugu news paper, this is drawn by the famous cartoonist Shankar.

YOUBIHAR: Are Indian newspapers agents of the Congress Party?

Shalu Sharma, a homemaker from Patna writes in YOUBIHAR, (http://www.youbihar.com) a social networking site dedicated to Bihari viewsissues and history of Bihar.

If you read news from major news channels such as Hindustan Times, Times of India, Tehelka you will be surprised to know how they manage to cover stories of the Congress Party. We know that Bofors is in the limelight again but you never hear about that in these newspapers. This is perhaps because these newspapers are sold to the Congress Party. None of the newspapers highlighted the Singhvi Sex CD Case. Some even went to the extent of saying that it was a private affair. All of the major newspapers of India and News channel are trying to cover all bad stories relating to the Congress party. Hindustan Times and Tehelka in particular seems to be publishing paid articles for the Congress party.

They are all bukwas. They have sold themselves to the Gandhi family. They are pimps. HT has cheap crappy articles with lots of errors. The editors are pimps nothing more nothing less.

Ragini Bhatia from Delhi adds a comment on Shalu’s posting:

Most Indian TV channel and newspapers have special journalists ready to take split the hair when it comes to what to report report and how especially for the present government. They are sold newspapers and not to be trusted. A few Indian agencies try to remain honest and impartial but I believe amongst the very few most of them have paid news. 

The purpose of YouBihar is to communicate with people in and outsideBihar, to facilitate easy access to her glorious heritage; and to track Bihari issues. This site as a Bihar social network is dedicated to Bihar’s supreme past and to addresses today’s Bihari issues.

Textbook for needy children by Hindustan Times

The power of idea! 

As a part of the ‘You Read, They Learn’ (YRTL) initiative launched on 18th April, Hindustan Times has committed to contributing 5 paise from every Metro Copy in Delhi-NCR. To build on that initiative, Hindustan Times printed a beginner’s textbook in every copy of the newspaper in Delhi-NCR on April 19, 2012.

Sanjoy Narayan, Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan Times, said

“the text book is one of our initiatives to help readers join the ‘You Read, They Learn’ campaign by sharing it with needy children or even using it to help someone learn the alphabet. We are committed to ensuring that the YRTL initiative addresses the nation’s urgent need of raising its literacy level.”

In line with the initiative’s mission to help educate underprivileged children, every page of the newspaper includes a page of a textbook. Following three simple steps, readers can cut out these pages, staple them together to form a textbook and then share it with an underprivileged child.

In addition, there will be textbooks inserted in copies of Mint and Hindustan circulated in Delhi-NCR. Through this simple and powerful idea, readers will be able to reach out to over 1 million children in Delhi-NCR on a single day and help them take their first step towards an education. courtesy: BestMediaInfo.com

Worldwide ‘news blackout’ by PTI on Friday for salary hike!

India’s leading news wire agency ( PTI) is going on a 24 hours ‘pen down’ strike Friday demanding the implementation of the wage board recommendations.

Below is the full take of the PTI news advisory to subscribers.


Attn: All Subscribers

PTI news and photo services are likely to be affected from 2:00 am on April 20, 2012 to 8:00 am on April 21, 2012 due to strike called by the trade union in PTI over the Wage Board issue.

We regret the inconvenience that may be caused to you.

General Manager – Admin
PTI, Delhi


Press Trust of India (PTI) is the largest news agency in India. It is headquartered in Delhi and is anonprofit cooperative among more than 450 Indian newspapers and has a staff of about 2,000 writers spread across 150 offices nationwide. It took over the Indian operations of the Associated Press and Reuters soon after India’s independence on August 15, 1947. It provides news coverage and information of the region in both English and Hindi.

It exchanges information with several other news agencies including 100 news agencies based outside India, such as Associated PressAgence France-PresseThe New York Timesand Bloomberg L.P.. Major Indian subscribers of PTI include Times of India, the Indian Express, the Hindustan Times, the All India Radio and Doordarshan. PTI has offices in Bangkok,BeijingColomboDubaiIslamabadKuala LumpurMoscowNew York and Washington D.C..[3]

Press Trust of India is the only news agency in South Asia which operates its own communication satellite, an INSAT, to broadcast news and information. Its current chairman is Mr. Vineet Kumar Jain

India’s Hindi Newspapers: ‘NaiDunia’ vs ‘Dainik Jagran’

Tears are being shed for NaiDunia and its exasperated new owner is wondering why

Talking Media | Sevanti Ninan

Two newspapers were started back in 1947, in towns of the Hindi belt not that far from each other—Jabalpur and Jhansi. Last week, one acquired the other. In their 65-year trajectory, one produced some of the most venerable Hindi language journalists the country has known, the other achieved growth which has made it the most read and highest circulated paper in the country. No prizes for guessing who acquired whom.

Dainik Jagran, the country’s leading newspaper, acquired NaiDunia, now headquartered in Indore, in a cash deal. NaiDunia, which has been much romanticized for producing Rajendra Mathur and Prabhash Joshi, towering figures in Hindi journalism, and for nurturing a culture that set the journalistic benchmark for the Hindi press, finally succumbed to market realities. It suffered huge losses in the last few years. But it began to lose the battle a long time ago.

n early 2005, Ajay Chhajlani, son of one of the three founders and the man who had presided overNaiDunia’s heyday, explained to me how the paper came to lose out. In 1967, it was the first paper in the country to make the technological shift to offset printing. From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s it was in technological transition, even as its three original owners died one by one. Meanwhile, newspapers across northern india were becoming multi-edition. “By the time we thought of multiplying, newspapers had become capital-intensive.”

There was another factor not mentioned then. Whereas the third generation of other leading newspaper families in the Hindi belt entered the media business, Ajay’s son Vinay went into software. When things became critical in the family newspaper after an expansion to Gwalior, he came in, got an infusion of finances from a leading industrialist, and led a short-lived revival and expansion which included an edition in Delhi. But the losses only mounted till the backing for Vinay Chhajlani dried up.

Dainik Jagran, meanwhile, was less about scaling the heights of journalism than about expanding from early on, and getting masses of readers.

The editor of Prabhat Khabar, Harivansh, a noted figure in contemporary Hindi journalism, recently published a long piece over three days extolling the high-minded, spartan living tradition of NaiDunia’s early editors. One took no raise for eight years on a salary of Rs150 a month. The other asked for a salary of Rs75 a month. He wrote about NaiDunia’s glorious contribution to the intellectual life of the period.

But that was in the past. Is small and high minded now unviable?

Harivansh’s essay invoked Marx, Engels and Darwin, among others, to warn that it was inevitable in a market economy that the big fish would gobble up the little fish. And, it diagnosed the changes in the newspaper industry that are making it near impossible for the small, family-owned newspapers of yore to survive. Rising costs of raw material, including newsprint, the fact that advertisers favour big publications, and the advent of papers like Sakshi andDNA in a crowded market where it needs an investment of upwards of Rs1,000 crore to launch a newspaper.

Tears are being shed for NaiDunia and its exasperated new owner is wondering why. The way Sanjay Gupta, India’s leading media baron, sees it, he is not gobbling up NaiDunia, as is being made out. He is giving it a capital infusion that will put it back in the race for readership in Madhya Pradesh.

“I am not gobbling them, I am making them grow strong. I am giving them their right place to survive in the market. If (Dainik) Bhaskar buys them, they will close it down. I am buying and mentoring an old brand which would have withered away. Today a Mid-Day is standing up to a DNA and HT (Hindustan Times) onslaught and even a Mumbai Mirror because I have given them an infusion of capital.” (His company acquired Mid-Day a couple of years ago.) He adds: “If a newspaper is about an idea of journalism and not able to survive, it needs to go and sit in the lap of a media group. Whatever its tradition, it is going to be a stronger paper.”

Gupta says that today the debate is twofold. Should you earn out of journalism, and if so how much should you earn? “I don’t think we should start disowning capitalism and start moving towards socialism.” And he adds dryly, today nothing can be small or it will be gobbled up. “This logic was applied in our family 30 years back. Expand, or perish. We began in Jhansi and then in time we launched in Gorakhpur.” They were not an entrepreneurial family backed by large funds, but they were clear that it was a business. “Back in 1947, it was also to make money. We were not some kind of an NGO.”

And for one journalist involved, the wheel has come full circle. Shravan Garg, who is now NaiDunia’s chief editor, has to help the newspaper regain ground from Dainik Bhaskar. He was the man who in September 1993 took over running Bhaskar in Indore and oversaw its overtaking of NaiDunia in that market. The challenge is now reversed.

Sevanti Ninan is a media critic, author and editor of the media watch websitethehoot.org. She examines the larger issues related to the media in a fortnightly column.