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Newslaundry Podcast - Raaga.com - A World of Music
Newslaundry Podcast

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Indian news and current affairs - what's in the news? Why? Should it be? Tune in for an edgy take on the business of news, politics and current affairs. Newslaundry matlab - Sabki Dhulai.
494 Episodes Play All Episodes
access_time5 hours ago
Online media regulation has garnered significant attention in debates and discussions today, following an Information and Broadcasting Ministry order to form a 10-member committee “to frame and suggest a regulatory framework for online media/news portals including digital broadcasting and entertainment/infotainment sites and news/media aggregators”.

In the light of this contentious move, Medianama organised a discussion at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi. It hosted a panel consisting of media and law personalities - HR Venkatesh from International Centre for Journalists, Durga Raghunath, CEO of Indian Express Digital, Abhinandan Sekhri, Co-founder of Newslaundry, Siddharth Varadarajan, founder of The Wire and former editor-in-chief of The Hindu, along with Amba Kak, Tech and Legal policy fellow at Mozilla.
access_time2 days ago
This week’s Awful and Awesome has Abhinandan and Rajyasree finally lavishing some praise on a film. There are a few trailers, an online series and a commercial to wrap up this episode, and Rajyasree talks about the “grandest wedding in town” as well.
Deadpool 2 replaces the otherwise promised review of High Jack (sorry listeners!) Directed by David Leitch and starring Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 2 is a superhero movie “for adults” that hit the cinemas this week.
Abhinandan says: “I was curious to see what is a superhero film for adults”. He feels it is “brilliantly written”. Rajyasree, while admiring Reynolds, talks about the quirkiness of Deadpool 2 which comes from the “cracks about superheroes” in the movie itself. Abhinandan adds that the “opening credits were hysterically funny”. Rajyasree “loved the music in Deadpool”, while Abhinandan recommends it and calls it a “most satisfying film”.
Next up, the trailer of Race 3 gets hysterical reception from Abhinandan and Rajyasree. Directed by Remo D'Souza, the movie will star Bobby Deol, among others. Rajyasree sounds almost petrified when she says, “Bobby Deol is back and he is bare-chested!” Abhinandan feels it is the “shittiest trailer… I hope they make Rs 20”.
Moving on “from the sublime to the ridiculous and back to the normal”, the trailer of Bohemian Rhapsody seems promising. The film is a biography of Queen singer Freddie Mercury and stars Rami Malek. Rajyasree says: “It’s amazing how much they’ve made him look like Freddie Mercury.” Abhinandan mentions, “Growing up, I have loved Queen’s music, but no I've not been a fan of Freddie Mercury… I was underwhelmed by the trailer”.
Another trailer that Rajyasree really likes is of Bhavesh Joshi: Superhero starring Anil Kapoor’s son, Harsh Vardhan Kapoor, who made his debut in Mirziya. It is a “vigilante drama” revolving around a group of boys “who keep seeing things happening around them” and finally decide to take the law into their own hands.
Abhinandan approves of the trailer and says “definitely makes you want to watch the film”. Rajyasree adds, “it does look like a cool film”. While she seems impressed by Harsh Vardhan, Abhinandan comments, “every time he opens his mouth, he says something so stupid… just pipe down ya”.
The trailer of Mowgli by Andy Serkis wins praise from both Abhinandan and Rajaysree. Abhinandan thinks “it was spectacular” while Rajyasree talks about Serkis' intention to make a dark version of The Jungle Book. Rajyasree adds that it's “spectacularly shot”. Abhinandan, however, talks about how The Jungle Book has “worked in every avatar of its making” and that Hollywood remakes on the original story could jeopardise this film.
Moving on to what’s new on Netflix, 13 Reasons Why (Season 2) has been aired. The show revolves around Hannah Baker who commits suicide because she is bullied in school. Rajyasree informs us that it is a “very popular show, based on a book by Jay Asher”.
The great "Royal Wedding" of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle caught Rajyasree’s attention over the weekend. She says: “More than 29 million Americans tuned in to watch them getting married”. She also joked about the large number of security personnel present at the wedding. “If a terrorist attack had happened, they would have been able to get rid of half of the British entertainment industry and Oprah Winfrey and the others,” she adds.
Finally, a “spectacular commercial” called “Who stole the cup” concludes the agenda of the day. Rajaysree says “it’s a UK production” starring the legends of football. The ad is about a betting site, which Rajyasree could not figure out. Abhinandan asks her: “You didn’t know about the product watching the ad, does that mean it’s a good ad or a shit ad?”
All this and much more. Listen up.
access_time2 days ago
On this week's Reporters Without Orders, Cherry is joined by Rohin and Amit, the latter has just returned from Karnataka. Also, on the panel is NDTV's Shruti Menon.

The podcast kicks off with some good news. A Newslaundry report on the Cauvery dispute authored by TR Vivek has won Mumbai Press Club's prestigious RedInk Award in the Environment category.

The discussion begins with Cherry questioning media’s obsession with Karnataka elections. She asks, “Not all state elections get as much attention. What do you think was different this time?”

Shruti answers, “What was different this time was the way the elections panned out. It demanded the kind of attention and coverage it was given.”

Nevertheless, Shruti points out that various news events got overshadowed by the election coverage.  She says, “One of them, of course, was the Varanasi flyover collapse.”

“It did not get wall-to-wall coverage. One of the reasons for that was it happened on the day of the counting.” Explaining the lapse, Shruti says, “Even after the counting day was over, there were no follow-ups for what happened in Varanasi.”

Amit disagrees with the argument that some of the state elections don’t get as much attention. He says, “Every election post-2014 has gotten an equal amount of coverage in news media.” BJP's electoral juggernaut is one of the reasons behind this, he says. “It’s also because of the kind of electoral juggernaut that BJP is running in the country," Amit says in reference to media's post-2014 election coverage.

Adding to the discussion, Rohin points out the manner in which Uttar Pradesh's 2017 civil polls was covered by media. He says, “It was being shown to the audience in Delhi. It’s importance was projected to such an extent as if the elections were being held at a national level.” He adds, “And TV news journalists were making the analysis of its probable effects on the 2019 (general) elections.”

Amit and Shruti recall their experience of dealing with ‘planted stories’ while they were on the ground covering Karnataka elections. Shruti says, “It’s very easy to fall for a plant because it is very alluring.” She adds, “As a reporter what you need do is to constantly try and check whether the kind of information you’re getting is credible or not.”

Amit says that it is also about how long the reporter can hold out. “It’s also about at what point of time you fall for it or at what point of time you can hold your nerve.”

Rohin talks about the dramatic increase in fuel prices -- a news piece that has received less coverage. Rohin gives a thorough breakdown of petrol's MRP if it’s brought under the GST tax slab. Doing so could reduce petrol's MRP substantially, he adds. Rohin also points out multiple reasons why rising fuel prices call for a serious discussion.

Amit speaks about the march of Aam Aadmi Party leaders to LG’s office over CCTV project fiasco which found no space in national media. Amit says, “On a regular news day when  you don’t have elections, I think this is the news for the entire country!” He adds, “Aam Aadmi Party is the best selling material.”

Cherry mentions two news stories that found limited mention in the mainstream media. This includes the layoff of 34 people at ABP Ltd, reported in a brief by The Hoot. She also highlights the dissonance in media coverage between United States’ embassy shift from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the protests by Palestinians during which nearly 60 people were killed when Israeli forces opened fire at them.

Shruti speaks about another international story that did not receive any coverage -- ‘The Royal Wedding’. Shruti says, “Mainstream media could not pick it up because it was the exact moment when Yeddyurappa resigned.”
access_time3 days ago
Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back this week to bring you the latest from the sports world.
The discussion begins with the Indian Premier League, where Samar observes that not tinkering much with the team has worked to the advantage of Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. “You don’t tinker with the team too much. Once you get it right, you play the same guys,” he says.
The duo discusses the importance of bowling and how IPL is not only about explosive batting. Samar compares Royal Challengers Bangalore with Sunrisers Hyderabad, where good bowling by the Sunrisers helped them find the top spot. He says that RCB couldn’t qualify despite having a great batting line-up. Rahul comments: “What makes the difference is to be able to either control that batting with good line and length bowling or take wickets.”
Rahul and Samar would like to bet on the Chennai Super Kings as they remain the favourites, but Kolkata Knight Riders might prove otherwise. Rahul says: “I think Dinesh Karthik who this season is out-doing Dhoni at finishing matches… He’s just being this guy who comes in and wins KKR matches through his batting.”
Rahul is satisfied with the newly appointed Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, who has a proven track record. Samar says, “The one thing that also goes in favour of Emery is that he’s kind of a low-profile guy.” Rahul comments: “I think so much of the Arsenal conundrum is not necessarily the manager, it’s the board.”
Rahul adds, “Arsenal needs some major surgery. And the fans too… I don’t think they can expect instant success. I think they might have to give in two or maybe three years to try get this right.”
“That’s a long time in modern day football,” comments Samar.
Rahul looks at the history of the Champions League, and observes that it has witnessed changes when it comes to expected winners of the trophy. He says: “When you look back at the season, maybe 10 years from now, you’d probably put your finger on a particular season, as a season where things have changed. You’d probably see the end of a bunch of eras. Barcelona, I think there was an end of an era there.”
He expects even more changes in the next seasons, full of surprises and shake-ups.
Samar observes that because of everybody being busy with the upcoming FIFA World Cup, we might witness a lot of player transfers between clubs. Rahul comments, “The World Cup will always throw up lots of new success but on the other hand it will throw up a bunch of failures.” He adds, “The World Cup will push up prices again and there’ll be a sort of wage inflation.”
On the upcoming Champion League Finals to be played between Real Madrid and Liverpool, Samar thinks that it’s not going to be a high-goal scoring game. He says: “Both teams will be wary of the fact that whoever concedes the goal first is going to be on the backfoot big time!”
Rahul adds: “Liverpool’s best chance is to get a goal in the opening 20-25 minutes.”
access_time6 days ago
On this week’s NL Hafta, Abhinandan is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal and guest Ajoy Ashirwad, Deputy Editor at The Wire. Journalist TS Sudhir from India Today joins the panel on the phone to discuss the Karnataka results.

The talk kicks off with the elections, with Sudhir sharing the possible political manoeuvrings that can be adopted by the BJP to prove its majority in the Assembly. Enumerating on the vulnerable spots in the JD(S) and Congress, he says: “Caste and Cash, these are the two things that are being used to kind of ensure a majority for the BJP government.”

Abhinandan brings in the Karnataka governor’s decision to call the BJP first to form the government. Madhu weighs in with a pertinent reference to 1996. The Suresh Mehta-led government in Gujarat, under which the present Karnataka governor held a cabinet portfolio, was dismissed by then Prime Minister Deve Gowda. She remarks, “So, this was his Karmic chance.”

Ajoy says: “The governor was facing a kind of complicated situation where he had to choose between constitutional responsibility and party loyalty, and we know what he chose now.”

On the matter of “horse-trading” of MLAs, Abhinandan comments: “One thing it definitely shows is that our democracy is very immature.” He adds: “For one, something like this happens… and no reporter is out there who will question the MLAs who flipped! Why did you flip? What were the specifics?”

Abhinanadan wonders about the possibility of turncoats being re-elected. Sudhir says it depends on the constituency, for instance in places like Ballari ‘muscle power’ can be used to ensure no formidable candidate stands against them.

The panel also discusses the ‘supremacy’ of certain individuals and groups that still persists, despite the system discouraging discrimination.

Talking about whataboutery, which has become the trend nowadays, Abhinandan weighs in by saying: “This whataboutery has just become the default setting of not just politicians but every journalist in the country.” Madhu adds: “They don’t have any credibility at all. I think we’ve come full circle on that.”

Raman points out that “we've hit the bottom already. If you check the TRPs… people have stopped watching TV”.

Adding to this, Madhu talks about the ban on Republic TV in a chain of hotels because of the thought process of the owner.

Talking about Smriti Irani and the recent cabinet reshuffle, Abhinandan asks: “Why do you think she was asked to go?” Madhu responds: “I will really miss her. She’s very articulate, she’s very well dressed… I don’t think any of the things she’s done, they weren’t done by herself alone. They were done with the PMO’s knowledge and approval. The government has its eye on the 2019 elections.”

Raman agrees, saying “she used to pick up fights and creates controversy… the government doesn’t want it, very simple.” Ajoy adds that “all the controversies she created actually worked out to the advantage of the BJP."

Abhinandan updates the panel by reading a report on News18. "Security to be withdrawn from the resort where all MLAs are staying - they’re being moved to Punjab or Kerala." To this, Madhu asks, “Why has he chosen Punjab and Kerala?”

Abhinandan points out that there is a non-BJP government there.

He jokingly asks Ajoy: “Would you say Odisha’s biggest contribution to the country has been Sambit Patra?” Ajoy in his reply highlights the stereotypes and adds: “Why would I say that… He represents the Odiya face in Delhi. Not the food or dance forms and diverse cultures.”

The panel talks about Patra’s crassness that is conspicuous in his verbal and online communication. Abhinandan feels that “he is just a very vile man” while Madhu says “he is very entertaining”.
access_time6 days ago
कर्नाटक में चुनाव नतीजों के बाद जारी दांव-पेंच, सुनंदा पुष्कर की मौत में शशि थरूर का पुलिस चार्जशीट में नाम, बनारस में फ्लाईओवर ढहना, गुड़गांव में सार्वजनिक स्थल पर नमाज़ के खिलाफ हिंदुत्वादी समूहों का विरोध, असम का नेशनल रजिस्टर सिटीजन बिल व अन्य मुद्दे इस हफ्ते चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय रहे.

चर्चा के विशिष्ट अतिथि रहे वरिष्ठ पत्रकार उर्मिलेश, ओपिनियन राइटर आनंद वर्धन और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज. कार्यक्रम का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.
access_time7 days ago
NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here's a little sneak peek into the complete episode where Abhinandan is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, guest Ajoy Ashirwad, Deputy Editor at The Wire, and journalist TS Sudhir on the phone to discuss the Karnataka results.
access_time9 days ago
We have a full in-house panel for this episode of Reporters Without Orders. Apart from Rohin and Cherry, we have Nidhi joining us from Kashmir and Amit reporting from Bangalore. 

Amit, who is camped outside the Raj Bhavan, is giving the panel latest updates on the Karnataka verdict. Oh! he also has a warning for the listeners.

Speaking to the panel, Amit says that the BJP was looking at forming the government until the afternoon, however, soon after, the prospects began to diminish. While the Governor has agreed to meet the Congress and JD(S) leaders between 5:30 and 6:00 in the evening, “as per the convention, the Governor should ideally give a chance to Yeddyurappa as the BJP is the single largest party", Amit tells the panel.

Amit also shares that the JD(S) supporters were wearing t-shirts with 'E Sala Cup Namde' which means, “this time the cup is ours”. Amit says, “This was their very famous and successful social media campaign where they claimed that this time Vidhana Soudha (Sabha) trophy is ours.”  When Cherry asks Amit if JD(S) would play the kingmaker’s role, Amit responds, “It is not playing the kingmaker’s role but it is the king right now!”

Nidhi also chips in on the Karnataka conundrum and how Kerala Tourism saw an opportunity in all this. On May 15, amidst the thrill of minute-to-minute political/electoral updates, Kerala Tourism tweeted out an invitation "to all MLAs to unwind at the safe and beautiful resorts of God's own country." Speaking of which, Nidhi tells that panel that the tweet also pointed to a strategy practised by parties to prevent horse-trading of leaders elected to the Legislative Assembly.

Nidhi tells the panel that a news piece that was under-reported was the arrests made in the case of the murder of a 15-year-old girl in Ghaziabad that happened in December 2017. The Crime Branch of Ghaziabad police has arrested five people, including the father-son duo, who hatched the plot to kill the girl. Sharing the details of the case, Nidhi adds, “To ensure that she was dead, they drove over her body and then eventually dumped her in a field!”

Nidhi says that since then the DSP in-charge of the case has been transferred, the police station in-charge has been suspended for neglecting his duties. Despite this, the news did not find enough space, apparently, because it does not involve any political leader.

Rohin speaks about the murder of Bhim Army’s leader’s brother, Sachin Walia, which took place in Saharanpur. He points out that Walia was shot on the day when preparations for Maharana Pratap's Jayanti were being made. He also finds various inconsistencies in the police investigation that indicate that the police had foreknowledge of the mishappening. Rohin says, “It’s interesting that the deceased receives a phone call from the Saharanpur SSP on the day of his death who asks him if he’s going to contest elections. And then they talk about the Maharana Pratap rally, a day celebrated by the Rajputs.” Rohin adds that the SSP makes a strange, grave statement, “Kisiko bhi ragadne ka yahi waqt hota hai (It’s an opportune moment to eliminate anyone.)"

Rohin emphasises that such an event can have consequences as elections are near. Even the BSP is aware and apprehensive of the Bhim Army. He adds that this is an important political development with serious implications as Bhim Army led by Chandrashekhar is a big force in the state politics.

Cherry speaks about media's recent coverage. She says that the Karnataka elections overshadowed a lot of news pieces, including the namaz row in Haryana.

Rohin also speaks about four high-profile weddings and the confusion created by Dainik Jagran's reportage. All this and more in this episode of Reporters Without Orders.
access_time10 days ago
This week’s Awful and Awesome episode with Rajyasree is loaded with entertainment and a little bit of gossip. Abhinandan and Rajyasree talk about Raazi, Mother’s Day ads, and Rajyasree talks to Abhinandan about the celebrity wedding and engagement that flooded everyone’s social media feed, and lots more.
The podcast starts with Abhinandan interviewing Meghna Gulzar, where she talks about her new film as a Director and Writer, Raazi.
On being asked about the kind of positive reviews the film is getting and does it matter to her, Meghna says: "They will never not matter because you’re creating something to put out there for the people to opine on. That opinion will always be relevant and important. So yes, it is overwhelming because there’s been complete approval across the board barring one or two here and there. The numbers, the way the film is performing at the theatre, are still really growing so there’s a word of mouth. There’s an acceptance from the people. Then you come across messages which people are sending and forwarding, which say we were watching it in this theatre, the audience stood up and clapped at the end. That is my biggest payoff."
Then she goes on to talk about her first film Filhaal, problems during the shoot of Raazi, nepotism and more.
Abhinandan and Rajyasree then discuss the film that stars Alia Bhatt. While Rajyasree says “I didn’t think Alia acted well”, she also adds, “All the actors were very well cast… I just find it really nice that a mother and daughter played a mother and daughter on celluloid also”.
Abhinandan, in agreement with Rajyasree, says, “All the reviews had built it up so much for me” and adds that “I really liked its politics… it kept me hooked throughout”.
Rajyasree shares trivia about Hansal Mehta’s films Shahid and Omerta before moving on to the trailer of The Spy Who Dumped Me. Abhinandan comments on it, saying “very ordinary trailer… montage of funny moments”. However, he acknowledges that the movie has a “spectacular cast”, the kind that “will pull you in the cinema”.
The Susanna Fogel movie starring Mila Kunis, Justin Theroux and Hasan Minhaj among others will definitely be “very funny”, according to Rajyasree.
Chef Vikas Khanna makes his directorial debut with the film The Last Colour, starring Nina Gupta. Rajyasree says “the plot revolves around the Supreme Court order against the age-old tradition of not allowing widows in Vrindavan to play Holi”, which was apparently not obvious in the trailer. She feels the trailer was more of an ad for “Exotic India” and the movie is “highly avoidable”. Abhinandan says the “film is going to be below average”.
Rajyasree talks about the “weddings we virtually attended” - of Sonam Kapoor with Anand Ahuja and the engagement of Isha Ambani to the “Piramal boy”. Rajyasree talks about the “romantic” engagement in the temple and Abhinandan talks about how these weddings and engagements went viral on social media.
“Every third thing on that day was ‘watch the viral video of Nita Ambani dancing’,” he says.
Mother’s Day celebrations catch Rajyasree and Abhinandan’s attention, with ads released by Mother Dairy and Kotak Silk. Rajyasree feels the first ad has a “nice concept” focusing on not just the mother, but “a galaxy of women that bring you up”. Abhinandan, however, calls it “too goody, goody nice acting”.
Rajyasree confirms “they are very loving, these mothers I have to say… nobody has a natural reaction”. Abhinandan adds “there should be some reality to these ads”.
The Google Assistant ad is the last on the agenda. Rajyasree talks about what is happening and “technology which makes you think you’re talking to a human” and how this feature may be the “beginning of the end of humanity”. Abhinandan agrees and says, “artificial intelligence has gone to a different level”. Lastly, they discuss RJ Naved’s latest prank and what's funny and what's not funny with such pranks.
access_time10 days ago
Raazi's director Meghna Gulzar shares the challenges she faced during her latest shoot. Gulzar also talks about Kashmir, nepotism in the film industry and more.
access_time13 days ago
अपरिहार्य कारणों से इस हफ्ते न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा रिकॉर्ड नहीं हो सकी. इसका हमें खेद है.

इस बार हम कर्नाटक चुनाव पर पिछले हफ्ते की एन एल चर्चा में हुई विस्तृत बातचीत का अंश पेश कर रहे हैं, इस वादे के साथ कि अगले हफ्ते फिर से एक नई चर्चा के साथ हम अपने श्रोताओं, शुभचिंतकों के साथ होंगे.
access_time14 days ago
On this week’s NL Hafta, Abhinandan is joined by Anand Vardhan and Raman Kirpal, with Manisha joining in on the phone from Bangalore.
The discussion is kicked off with the Karnataka elections, with Manisha weighing in on the scenario at the local level, saying that the Mandya district held strong support for Kumaraswamy.
Talking about the massive coverage of the elections, Anand attributes it to the proliferation of media, and the resulting “over-coverage” of certain issues, adding that it leads to exchange and oversupply of narratives. Raman asserts that he is sure the 2019 elections will see Rajasthan or UP being the deciding factor.
The panel has a good laugh as Manisha reveals that BJP leaders like Sambit Patra are doing road shows in order to garner support. She brings the topic to a close, saying that multiple narratives exist in Karnataka with regard to the elections and it is difficult to single out just one.
Abhinandan then brings up the recent case in Gurgaon, when there were protests against people offering namaz on the streets. Abhinandan finds it unnecessary and Anand agrees, adding: “The state government had no business making a statement on this issue.”
While acknowledging the availability of separate spaces for offering namaz at hospitals and airports, Raman says there have been “no formal complaints in the past”. Manisha concludes the topic by adding: “It’s got nothing to do with obstruction. This crackdown is about religion and showing Muslims their place.”
Anand brings up a “news which didn’t gather much attention” in the media, in which a Dalit funeral procession was stopped from going through a Muslim area in Tamil Nadu. Raman feels there is no connection between this and the namaz incident in Gurgaon. Abhinandan brushes off the topic by adding: “A Khattar equivalent is not there.”
The “Angry Hanuman” sticker at the back of the cabs caught the panel’s attention. Abhinandan feels it is “used as a symbol of identity”. Anand seems in disagreement over the conspiracy theory behind “Angry Hanuman” and says “you need to have a preconceived notion to see it like that”. Manisha, who is in the ‘Land of Angry Hanuman’, talks about Ram Sena in Karnataka using the photo “as a propaganda”. Abhinandan says the ‘angry’ face is not of relevance to him, but the way it is being used is a matter of debate.
The “sheer contempt on the Centre’s delay” over transferring the water of the Cauvery in Karnataka takes the next spot on the agenda. Manisha and Abhinandan feel it is an issue that is rather less discussed in the Karnataka election campaign.
On the Iran nuclear deal, Anand feels “Mr Trump has unexpectedly delivered not badly on foreign policy” while walking out of the deal. Raman applauds Iran for the way the Iranian President “handled it really well”. Abhinandan adds: “Trump likes to cock a snook or show a middle finger to what you’d call the presidential way (of) decision-making… he thrives on that”.
access_time15 days ago
This week’s Just Sports comes to a full package of cricket and football trivia. With the English Premier League and the IPL on, Samar and Rahul just cannot seem to stop talking about anything else!

“Few unusual choices made” by the Indian cricket team that’s been selected for England. Samar says “Ambati Rayudu is a strange choice because it’s just been the IPL, he has performed… you dropped Rahane because he has not performed in the IPL”.

Rahul expresses his skepticism and says, “It’s where he has come back, what I find strange… Having the IPL of his life but he is not in the T20s”.  Rahul seems not very happy about Rayudu’s absence from the Indian team. Samar particularly thinks “if it’s a T20 team, players that play well in the IPL should be there”.

Virat Kohli not playing the Afghanistan test series is another bone of contention in the sports world. Rahul feels: “It’s a tough one, you feel bad for Afghanistan” for not playing with the best that the Indian cricket team has to offer. Samar points out his disappointment over Kohli and adds, “He has not performed well in England”.

With the IPL coming closer to its end, Samar remains unsurprised by Mumbai gaining sudden resurgence. He feels CSK and Sunrisers are “pretty much assured in the top four”.

The relegation battles at the English Premier League grounds take the spotlight. Samar says, “Swansea might just get relegated, South Hampton can still go down”. Rahul feels that South Hampton remains “effectively safe”. More conversation on the teams that are being pulled in the relegation battle and “big clubs gown down”. Rahul dwells more on “there is no such thing as ‘safe manager’”.

Samar celebrates the “invincible” FC Barcelona in the Spanish Premier League. Rahul feels, “They’re not particularly a great Barcelona side”. He mentions how the results of this year are a reflection of how poorly the other teams have played, “particularly Real Madrid”. Samar feels, “They’re not the best Barcelona team”. Rahul brushes off their win and adds, “At the end of the day, history is history and it’s a fabulous landmark for Barcelona…. a lot is riding on the world cup”.

Get well soon wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson for a ‘speedy recovery’ mark the end of the agenda for the day. Samar discusses the beauty of football beyond the field while talking about the wishes received by Sir Alex from his team and other football players.
access_time16 days ago
On this podcast of Reporters Without Orders, The Caravan's Nikita Saxena joins the panel to discuss her recent articles on special CBI judge Loya's death. The panel also discusses Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar-owned Asianet News and the change in its 'posturing' over time.

Amit Bhardwaj, who is currently in Karnataka covering the upcoming state elections, joins the panel over the phone to talk about RSS' Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, who is a key player in BJP's Karnataka election campaign. You can read Amit's detailed story on Bhat here.

Amit also makes an observation about the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) role in Karnataka. He says, RSS is furiously campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), something unlike before. He adds that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign rally in Karnataka can severely impact Congress’ vote share despite the governing party's edge in the state.

Rohin asks Amit if the remarks, circulating on social media, made by Prakash Raj, a popular, South Indian film actor, will have an effect on the voters’ choice. According to Amit, Prakash Raj has been able to galvanise only anti-BJP vote bank. He says, “Prakash Raj’s comments may reinforce the beliefs of an anti-BJP voter but will not affect neutral and BJP voter”.

Cherry asks our guest panellist Nikita about the challenges she faced while following-up on judge Loya's death. Nikita explains how she investigated the case and gives a detailed breakdown of the events that lead to revelations indicating a foul play in the case. She says, "Here a judge has died. And he was staying at the guest house at that time, as we are told. And none of them find out, that’s very strange, none of them seemed to know what had happened with his belongings for example…” She adds, “Why the reception was not called?! Why it was thought that it was a better idea to wait for two judges to come to the guest house and then take him to the hospital which I assume is going to lead to a lot of loss in time is something that was not clear at all.”

To that, Rohin adds that a recent viral image which showed an auto rickshaw with “who killed Loya?” written on it, is a positive sign in the view of public perception. It suggests that the important, controversial issue had seeped into the otherwise obscure segment of the audience, especially the ‘hindi belt’, he says.

Rohin talks about the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) controversy where installation of a photograph of Muhammad Ali Jinnah has sparked a row. Apparently, the photograph has been hanging there since 1938. Rohin also points out that several facts have been left out by the media while reporting on the issue. He adds that the matter of the ‘security breach’ of former Vice President Hamid Ali Ansari, who was present on the campus when the protesters created a ruckus, found less space in the media.

Rohin also talks about the VK Dikshit committee report on the Banaras Hindu University controversy that happened in September 2017. “The BHU chief proctor said to the media that the protesters were sponsored in exchange for pizza and pepsi," says Rohin.

Nikita examines the editorial stance of Asianet News. She speaks about the changes in the channel since Rajeev Chandrasekhar took over. Asked if the channel has been able to change its 'anti-RSS- stance, she says, "The opinion seemed a little divided but it seemed to me that it had been fractured enough for people to start having some misgivings.”

Citing a previous Newslaundry report, Cherry adds, "Their new website that’s coming up will be positioned as a Centre-right news property and it will counter the left narrative.
access_time16 days ago
This week’s Awful and Awesome episode ends the trauma of having “nothing good to watch or read”.
Abhinandan’s favourite actress, Madhuri Dixit, takes the spotlight with the trailer of her upcoming Marathi film Bucket List. While Rajyasree says “she’s pretty much playing her age… her face moves”, Abhinandan comments on the issue of "dramatic" acting by “80s’ actresses when they act in 2018” and also says “this trailer is a really good trailer… although it seems like a regular, feel-good film, the plot seems interesting. There seem to be some really good humour points”.
Rajyasree doesn't seem too impressed by Veere Di Wedding starring Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania. Abhinandan says “it seems like a more fun version of Angry Indian Goddesses”. He talks about the “first-half comedy and second-half tragedy” approach used in Bollywood. Rajyasree talks more about Bollywood “moving away from the stereotype of portraying leading women as ‘good girls’”.
Rajyasree gushes over Saif Ali Khan in his upcoming Netflix TV series Sacred Games, based on the book by Vikram Chandra “Not from NDTV, to be clear”. The story revolves around the two characters from the Bombay underworld and the Maharashtra Police.
Next on the agenda is the Rajkumar Rao-starrer Omerta, in which the actor plays the criminal mastermind behind several major terrorist attacks around the world - Omar Sheikh. Abhinandan praises the works of director Hansal Mehta and Anurag Kashyap, but says, “kept (the movie) me hooked… it was really flat but wouldn’t want anyone else making it". Rajyasree feels Omerta is worth watching simply because Sheikh's is an “interesting ‘life”.
Avengers: Infinity Wars makes it to this episode, having clocked a billion dollars in its opening week. While the world is going crazy over the movie, Abhinandan says it's “not my favourite”.
Moving on to the world of literature, Rajyasree discusses the sexual harassment charges against author Junot Diaz. Rajyasree talks about the #MeToo movement and how it has helped people gather the courage to speak up. Abhinandan comments on how the “Nobel Literature Prize will not be given this year because of similar reasons”.
Finally, Priyanka Chopra makes the news of the day with her comments on the controversy around the character “Apu" from The Simpsons. The controversy was triggered by a documentary released by Hari Kondavola addressing the issue.
Rajyasree says: “Priyanka Chopra is doing the rounds of the talk shows and so on” for her upcoming season of Quantico. She talks about the actress coming from a privileged background and feels “her trauma is something I have not been able to wrap my head around".
Abhinandan dwells more on stereotypes reinforced in Bollywood and the extent of political correctness. And then comes the advice that everyone should take into consideration – “If you’re so offended by Apu, then get a life”.
access_time20 days ago
कर्नाटक चुनाव, प्रेस फ्रीडम में खिसकता भारत, बिहार के जहानाबाद में लड़की से छेड़छाड़ की घटना, अलीगढ़ मुस्लिम यूनिवर्सिटी में जिन्ना की तस्वीर पर विवाद, न्यूज़ 18 के एंकर सुमित अवस्थी का पैनलिस्ट पर हाथ चलाना रहे इस हफ्ते न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा के मुख्य विषय.

चर्चा के विशिष्ट थे इंडिया न्यूज़ के डिप्टी एडिटर सुशांत सिन्हा और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के ओपिनियन राइटर आनंद वर्धन. कर्नाटक से फोन लाइन पर जुड़े न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज. चर्चा का संचालन किया न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने.
access_time21 days ago
In this episode of NL Hafta, our in-house team of Madhu Trehan, Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Vardhan, Raman Kirpal and Manisha Pande is joined by NDTV news editor Madhusudan Srinivas.

The team discusses the grisly case of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and another case of rape in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao in which a Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Legislative Assembly is accused.

Manisha, while pointing at the chilling details of the charge sheet in the Kathua case, says the case was reported by local media since January but took time to reach Delhi TV news studios. Raman Kirpal says, “The national media picked it up really late. If you see the local newspapers in Jammu, they were talking about it. they had been reporting since January. But not the national media.”

Attempting to explain why that happened, Abhinandan says, “I think the national media actually took notice of it when a bunch of lawyers chanting Jai Sri Ram prevented a charge-sheet from being filed. That, I think, was the trigger.”

Anand speaks on the scary statistics on child rape in India. Being the son of a police officer, he says, he has read up many police diaries that detail the horrific nature of crime in India. “All these cases have horrific details. It is just that we only know few.”

Moving on, the team speaks on Mark Zuckerberg’s apology and how unaware the senators questioning him seemed to be. Madhu details how closely the media reported the scene -- focusing on the cushion Zuckerberg sat on, the clothes he wore, the way he drank water, when he smiled and when he smirked.

Moving on, our panel talks of violence against journalists in West Bengal while covering Panchayat elections. Journalists from the Times of India and The Indian Express were assaulted, and one was even forcibly undressed.

Prompted by a subscriber’s letter, the panel then ventures into a discussion on ‘generalisations’ and wonders if there’s any truth to them. Abhinandan says, "Every sort of humour device rests heavily on generalisations." Anand says that the important thing about generalisations is that they are always done by others.

Abhinandan takes the discussion forward by talking about the Cauvery protest in Tamil Nadu. Anand says there is guilt at play on part of the media: “The whole year you don't report about farmers issues. IPL comes and then you juxtapose corporate jazz, owning IPL times.”

Madhusudhan points out, "Even Rajnikanth didn't say I am at the gate, stop the damn thing. He just said it would be a nice idea to stop the IPL.”

Talking about the fast held by the Congress, Madhu considers it as psychological manipulation. "Psychological trip of you not eating, really people should not care. It might be good at the British times but now its misuse has become ridiculous,” she says.

All this and more in this episode of NL Hafta. Listen up.
access_time21 days ago
On Awful and Awesome this week, we bring to you from the archives Abhinandan in conversation with Sabrina Dhawan, who has written Monsoon Wedding, co-written Kaminey, Ishqiya and Rangoon and been a consultant for Haider. She also teaches screenwriting at New York University. The movie Monsoon Wedding shot her to stardom at a very young age in her career.

They talk about the factors that make a film successful, what works and what does not.

Films like Kaminey and Ishqiya did well at the box office while Rangoon didn't. Abhinandan questions what could be the reason behind a film's fall and success. Sabrina says: "Unlike writing a book, a film is an intensely collaborative medium. So the writing is one part of it. Even the directing is one part of it. Any one element can sink a film. Eventually, it is a good story that is well told. Because you can have a good idea but if it isn't well told, then that doesn't work. That said, even a great script is not director-proof, it's not casting-proof."

Furthermore, she says it is a "miracle" if a movie does well because that means everything came together.

Talking about the screenwriting course that she teaches at New York University, she discusses how screenwriting is a "craft" similar to carpentry or plumbing. She acknowledges that one needs to have stories to tell, nobody can teach you that. "What I am teaching them is how you actually craft your idea, a lot of it is also teaching them how to externalise or dramatise something because unlike a book, a script is a story told in pictures."

Regarding Monsoon Wedding, she recalls the time when she pitched the idea to a bunch of executives. Her idea was appreciated but the executives felt the movie wouldn't be commercially viable.

"But we made that film, super low-budget and it ended up finding audiences throughout the world. This taught me a really important lesson, that it's really important to write the story you want to write and write it as truthfully and authentically as possible,” she adds.

Abhinandan asks about her challenges when she rewrote the script of Monsoon Wedding from film to theatre. Initially, she thought that since the film is a musical, it would only be a change in formatting because a film and play have different formats.
"But it doesn't work like that at all. Going from screen to stage, the fact that you don't have a camera changes everything. You can't cut to location. Of course with sets and production like how many transitions and how do you transition, you can't just keep coming back to the location."

Sabrina mentions her love for Zoya Akhtar’s film Luck By Chance. "I thought it was brave and incredibly compassionate. It had this great look and was very satirical and very dark. And the fact that it was made by someone who is an insider in that world and to look into the perspective of an outsider is incredible.”

Other films lined up in her list of favourites are Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Deewar.

Tune into Awful and Awesome for more!
access_time21 days ago
This week on Just Sports, Samar Khan and Rahul Puri discuss the impending 2018 UEFA Champions League final and the IPL.

The duo starts off by talking about Liverpool’s unexpected ascent to the finals. Samar disagrees with the general opinion on how Liverpool got there - “I don’t think it was a favourable draw…. they played good football. You don’t reach the finals because you’re lucky, you reach the finals because you deserve to.”

Although Rahul admits Liverpool had a relatively easier group this time, he says, “There are no pushovers in the Champions League anymore.”

They go on to discuss what changed about the Liverpool team this year, both asserting that with the average age of the team being 18, the younger crowd has definitely had an effect on the performance of the team as a whole.

“Liverpool is building up to an elite force in Europe,” says Rahul, when discussing that Liverpool does certainly stand a chance against Real Madrid after having emerged from being the underdogs in the League.

They end by both agreeing it will be a defensive final, while also lamenting the sorry state of refereeing in world football.

Moving on to the IPL, Samar begins on a sceptical note - “the big bucks have always been kind of a curse to people in the IPL,” and they both agree that big money does not necessarily guarantee good results.” They go on to try and decipher why the cricketers who are being paid enormous amounts are the ones who are not performing well on the field - like Ben Stokes on the Rajasthan team “who doesn’t look like he has any confidence,” says Rahul. They also appreciate Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant for their exceptional performance.

The conversation moves forward as Samar and Rahul both express their confusion over why the Indian Board has set the ultimatum of a year-and-a-half before they start playing day and night cricket - to which the Australian Board has written back saying the Indian team is afraid that the night-time conditions won’t be favourable for their players.

Samar brings the discussion to a close by calling out the Indian Board on its ignorance, “Indian Board has always tried to be the bully.”

As for the Champions League, Samar admits he expected a “fairytale send-off” for Wenger, and while that is true, Rahul opines “it was a fair reflection of where Arsenal are - good but not great.”
access_time21 days ago
On this week’s NL Hafta, a day that also happened to be World Press Freedom Day, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, and Diksha Madhok, journalist and Digital Director of The Print. The panel was also joined by Newslaundry reporter Amit Bhardwaj who was on call from Mangalore to speak about the Karnataka elections.

The panel gets together to discuss issues in the current Indian political system, like the upcoming polls, the state of the Indian judiciary, and more.

Abhinandan begins with the subject of the young girl being disrobed on the street by eight youth in Bihar. On this, Madhu points out the dearth of detail in these reports because of lack of on-ground reporters.

On the Karnataka elections, the panel discusses it’s coverage in the media, and the narrative adopted by the reports. Diksha opines that the narrative is being controlled. She says that ever since PM Narendra Modi has gone to Karnataka, “he has been trying to turn it from a (CM) Siddaramaiah versus Yeddyurappa battle to a Modi versus Rahul Gandhi battle”. She says “they are clearly trying to deflect attention from the Reddy brothers’ scam”.

Amit weighs in, saying the narrative depends largely on which region of Karnataka is being spoken of - “no party whether BJP or Congress has been able to create a pan-Karnataka issue.” However, Madhu expresses doubts on Diksha’s opinion, saying “Modi has been able to avoid corruption, so why would they pick up the Reddy brothers?”

As for Raman, he says “in Karnataka, there is an urban-rural divide… Reddys getting ready to fight is not going to affect BJP’s chances.”

The panel also discusses exactly how independent or compromised the Supreme Court really is, with reference to Arun Shourie’s latest book Anita Gets Bail. Madhu praises the book: “Everything there is based on facts, on documents - none of it is conjecture.”

Moving on to the scenario in AMU and the row over Jinnah’s picture, Abhinandan asks the panel to deliberate over whether or not it is at all an issue. “It is an international issue,” says Madhu, comparing the situation with the taking down of the Confederate statues in America and the statue of Queen Victoria which used to stand by India Gate. She calls it a “satirical art form” that could be laughed at.

However, the issue cannot be classified as black or white, according to Abhinandan, and Diksha also points out that with instances like these, it becomes difficult to draw the line at what is acceptable and what isn't.

On the Red Fort being “adopted” by the Dalmia Group and outsourcing maintenance of monuments to private parties, Diksha says, “India’s monuments are in a terrible shape right now… It won’t be a bad idea to try some private donors… not the first time this is happening in the world”.

Madhu confirms the unfortunate condition of monuments and museums in the capital. Keeping in mind the other end of the spectrum of private firms’ goals - profit generation - Madhu says, “I don’t think national heritage places should be money-making enterprises… very few countries have what we have”.

Raman talks about the DND flyover and how it became a money-minting project. Concurring with Madhu’s opinion, he asserts, “Final print is not yet clear; I am a little apprehensive”.

Abhinandan acknowledges the “private sector by itself is not evil” but brings the conversation to a pondering note: “Why would someone want to do that (work towards benefit) from the goodness of their heart”?

The panel then analyses the statements of Tripura CM Bilab Deb. Diksha refers to him as “a gift to the headliners”. Raman says: “We should certainly tell him he’s a foolish man and whatever he is speaking is garbage… he has to be fixed up.”

Madhu confirms that Deb’s suggestions to people to rear livestock and set up paan-shops serves the government’s ulterior motive of promoting entrepreneurship.
access_time23 days ago
In this NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan come together to discuss Asaram’s conviction, Saroj Khan’s statement, Karnataka elections, formation of Bahujan Azad Party, Yashwant Sinha quitting BJP, and more.

On the apparent absence of violence after Asaram’s conviction, Madhu said: “I don’t think everything is peaceful. I read the judge had to go into hiring police. I read there’s been a reaction from the followers”.

While opining on capital punishment, Madhu also recommended a piece written in Hindustan Times by Ishita Manek on why she doesn’t support the death penalty. Her own experience of being sexually exploited in her childhood made her believe that instead of seeking revenge, she wanted an atmosphere that can help children report the crime and the criminal.

Giving his views on the verdict, Anand said, “I am not a supporter of capital punishment in any condition. So this is no exception. But there is a culture of knee-jerk political response to things and this is part of it. It may actually be counter to deterrence. If the punishment for raping and killing is the same, there is an incentive to kill. There is an element of seizing the narrative.”

Moreover, Manisha pointed out that since almost 90 per cent of child molesters are people the victims know, the death penalty will naturally make families reluctant to report against the victims. For Raman, “If u really want to deter such offenders, you need to have fast-track courts where nobody will be able to tamper with the evidence.”

In other words, as Anand put it, “The certainty of punishment is a better deterrent than the rigor of it.”

Moving on to Saroj Khan’s statement on the casting couch in the film industry, Abhinandan and Manisha disagreed on the implications of it. While for Abhinandan, two separate sentences were being joined and misconstrued, Manisha found no justification for such a remark in any circumstance. Madhu added, “I don’t think she should have defended any industry. The action is wrong no matter what.”

What was worse, as Manisha said, is that no Bollywood celebrity spoke against it.

Further, on the strategic importance of the Karnataka Assembly elections, Anand said, “It would be important only if a spillover effect is factored in: will it set a narrative for the general elections?”

For Raman, “The election here is relevant because Karnataka is the only state except Punjab where the Congress rules. It is also a major election in a run-up to 2019.”

Abhinandan asks the panel to deliberate on whether the UP-based social media adviser from VHP who turned down the Ola cab because his driver was a Muslim, deserved coverage or not. Raman and Madhu feel such news shouldn’t be covered. She said: “I don't think it deserves coverage because it legitimises it. It’s about one loony person tweeting. There are enough aunties and uncles doing crazy things.”

While Manisha thinks it should have been covered, “I would report it like a fun anchor story. I wouldn't block it completely.” Anand calls it a “drawing room communal joke getting its way into social media.”

Moving on, the panel discusses the 50 IITians who left their jobs to form a party called Bahujan Azad Party, that aims to uplift the Dalits.

In the case of the impeachment issue, Abhinandan feels it got balanced coverage.

Abhinandan asks the panel to elaborate on the rationale behind Yashwant Sinha quitting the BJP. To which, Madhu answered: “This is no country for old people. In politics, one has to at some point face reality that if you have become irrelevant or people see you as irrelevant, you don't wait till you are dropped, humiliated and pushed out. You walk away with your head held high.”

All this and more on this week’s podcast!
access_time23 days ago
On this podcast of Reporters Without Orders, we have a guest joining the panel. A reporter from Catch News, Priyata Brajabasi, joins the team to discuss recent remarks made by BJP leaders, fake news conviction in Malaysia, 2018 World Press Freedom Index and more.

Cherry discusses the comments made by Biplab Deb, chief minister of Tripura, who was recently summoned by Modi for making controversial remarks. She also talks about the comments made by Kavinder Gupta, Jammu and Kashmir's deputy chief minister, who called the Kathua rape a “minor” accident. The media coverage given to insensitive and unsubstantiated remarks made by political leaders shouldn't be aired as much, she says. "While it is important to call them out, the media should abstain from giving them so much attention," Cherry adds.

Priyata and Abhinandan agree that the media does serve as a platform for such leaders to draw the limelight, but Abhinandan adds: "I also understand the importance of a chief minister or deputy chief minister, their utterances kind of suggest or convey how their administrations will move or treat certain issues of governance."

Furthermore, Cherry adds that it's a journalist's job to give context and background of a story. She points out that the 'fake news' conviction in Malaysia should have got more coverage. On April 30, a Malaysian court convicted a Danish citizen for inaccurate criticism of the police. The 46-year-old was the first person to be prosecuted under Malaysia's recent 'fake news' law.

“In India, we are talking about internet regulations, so if these regulations are going to be used to crack the whip on people who criticise the police then it's problematic," says Cherry.

Talking about Biplab’s comments, Rohin points out that, according to a source, whatever Biplab is saying is being told to him. "I don't think we should be shocked because when Modi, at a science conference, said Ganesh's trunk was a result of cosmetic surgery, then we shouldn't take ‘internet in Mahabharata times’ seriously," he says.

Regarding media coverage, Rohin feels that Tripura is getting coverage because of Biplab’s comments. “Otherwise there is hardly any ground reporting of Tripura in mainstream media,” he adds.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released the 2018 World Press Freedom Index with India slipping to the 138th position. As per RSF’s observation, Rohin reads: “Ever since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, Hindu fundamentalists have been referring to journalists in extremely violent terms. Any investigative reporting that annoys the ruling party or any criticism of Hindutva elicits a torrent of online insults and calls for the death of the reporter or writer responsible, most of it coming from the prime minister’s troll army.”

Referring to the murder case of Ankit Saxena, who was in love with a Muslim girl, Rohin points out a new development that should have got media coverage - his parents are collaborating with an NGO to promote inter-religion and inter-caste marriages.

The panel then deliberates on the Tamil Nadu governor touching a journalist’s cheek. "I think it does talk about how women journalists are seen,” says Priyata.

Abhinandan further discusses the difference that he noticed in recent debates on TV channels. “There was an absence of Hindu-Muslim India-Pakistan kind of thing. I am wondering if this has anything to do with the Karnataka elections,” he asks.

Rohin tells the panel that such issues are still being talked about on Hindi TV channels. “People are saying the Kathua case is being talked about because a Muslim girl is involved but nobody talks about the Ghaziabad case because a maulvi and a Hindu girl are involved,” he says.

All this and more on this week’s podcast.
access_time24 days ago
अंतरराष्ट्रीय संस्था रिपोर्टर्स सां फ्रांतिए (रिपोर्टर्स विदाउट बॉर्डर) की ताज़ा रिपोर्ट में अंतरराष्ट्रीय प्रेस फ्रीडम इंडेक्स में पिछले साल के मुक़ाबले भारत दो पायदान नीचे खिसककर 138वें नंबर पर चला गया है. सुनिए इस विषय पर क्या सोचते हैं पत्रकार.
access_time27 days ago
आसाराम को आजीवन कारावास, सरोज खान का कास्टिंग काउच को लेकर विवादित बयान, कर्नाटक चुनाव में रेड्डी बंधुओं को भाजपा का उम्मीदवार बनाया जाना, मुख्य न्यायाधीश के खिलाफ महाभियोग के निहितार्थ और संजय दत्त के जीवन पर बन रही फिल्म का ट्रेलर इस हफ्ते न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा के मुख्य विषय रहे.

चर्चा में इस बार दो मेहमान शामिल हुए. वरिष्ठ फिल्म समीक्षक और पत्रकार अजय ब्रह्मात्मज और भारतीय जन संचार संस्थान के एसोसिएट प्रोफेसर आनंद प्रधान. इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज और कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया भी चर्चा का हिस्सा रहे.
access_time28 days ago
NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here's a little sneak peek of the complete episode where Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan come together to discuss Asaram’s conviction, Saroj Khan’s statement, Karnataka elections, formation of Bahujan Azad Party, Yashwant Sinha quitting BJP, and more.
access_time29 days ago
Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back with their weekly roundup of sports. They share their views on the legacy left behind by Arsene Wenger, Gautam Gambhir stepping down from captaincy, the rediscovery of MS Dhoni and more.
On Arsene Wenger, Rahul says: “I think he is the last of the managers that you will see have a role like that. That's for the clubs today, they limit the managers' authority.” Adding to it, Samar feels, “It's a lot to do with the new owners. People who are coming with new money, they need far more control.”
On the ownership model, Samar points out that previously people who had a passion for football owned clubs. In agreement, Rahul says now they are just corporations.
Furthermore, Rahul calls Wenger a "complete control freak" and that he had so much power at Arsenal, the only way in which he would leave was by somebody taking a harsh call. Samar recalls the famous Wenger and Alex Ferguson rivalry.
Rahul mentions that Manchester United fans are struggling with the fact that Ferguson is no more the manager. Talking about instant success, Samar points out that it has been a while since Liverpool tasted instant success. Rahul appreciates the kind of football being played by Liverpool.
The duo then discusses the ongoing Indian Premier League. On Gautam Gambhir stepping down as the captain of Delhi Daredevils, Samar calls it "pretty much the end of the road for him."
Regarding the CSK versus RCB match, Samar says, “At 36 or 37, Dhoni has rediscovered his form.” To which, Rahul calls Dhoni a “phenomenal finisher of a match.” He adds that Dhoni might not be a consistent player, but “if he scores 10 runs in one over, he is capable of getting 30 in the other over.”
Apart from Dhoni, the duo feels Ashwin is another one to surprise with his captaincy skills in the Punjab team. One interesting fact that they notice is that in this IPL season, young Indian boys and lesser-known names are doing well.
All this and more on this week’s podcast.
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On Awful and Awesome this week, Abhinandan and Rajyasree are joined by our very own Deepanjana Pal (DJ). This time, she's back as a guest to talk about her first novel Hush a Bye Baby, a thriller about a gynaecologist, Dr Nandita Rai, who is accused of conducting sex-selective abortions.

Sekhri and Sen question DJ about her choice of genre. In response to which, Pal says, “So, at a very basic level, I think it’s fair to say that Hush a Bye Baby is kind of in the middle of many genres. It is a thriller, I hope. But it is also a social drama like you’re describing. It does have a lot to do with the society in which all of this is taking place. It isn’t a conventional murder mystery which is what most thrillers tend to be. There are no dead bodies in this. In many ways, it’s a little bit of a cross-genre kind of a thing.”

After having discussed the novel extensively, and DJ’s view on abortions and a woman’s autonomy over her own body, Sekhri and Sen move on to discuss the bizarre, shocking, and extremely disappointing comments made by Bollywood celebrities on rapes in India.

The greatest superstar of the country, Amitabh Bachchan, also the brand ambassador of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, when asked to comment on the Kathua rape case, said: “‘Don’t bring up this issue, it is terrible to even talk about it.”

While it is a disgusting incident, that doesn’t mean you don’t comment on it. As Sekhri commented: “He is a superstar and we respect him but he is like every other uncle.”

Next in line is Saroj Khan, who had something to say about the existence of the casting couch in the industry: “Tum film industry ke peeche kyu pade ho. Woh kamse kam roti toh dedeti hai. Rape karke chorh toh nai deti”. To Sen, the justification that she is making is hardly some salvation.

While Bachchan’s and Saroj Khan’s old age can be held up as an excuse for making such statements, what reason does Ranbir Kapoor have? Speaking about the casting couch, the Rockstar actor said: "I don’t know if it exists. I have never been expected to do it” and then laughed!

Sen had a very obvious remark to make to that, “For everyone who comes from a level of privilege in their sphere of life, to say I’ve never seen this deprivation is ridiculous.”

Moving on, the duo discusses the teaser of Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Sanju, produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Both are highly impressed by the actor’s uncanny resemblance to Sanjay Dutt, but the teaser fails to make a mark on them.

According to Sen, “I didn’t think much of the teaser. I thought it was a bit farcical. Like they had just slapped it together. And for some reason, I got the feeling that it was making a hero out of Sanjay Dutt’s stupidities. Because I do think he’s a silly man. He came from the lap of privilege and went wayward. That has been made into a virtue.”

Sekhri, however, is less harsh in his opinion on the teaser, “What they’ve attempted is very clever. His life is more tragic than comic. But rather than make the trailer tragic, they attempted to make it almost farcical. I don’t think it works. But it was a clever thing to have tried.”

Next, the new Durex Kohinoor Meetha Pan condom ad is reviewed. For Sekhri, the ad is "wrong in all sorts of ways". He also adds, “Ever since Pooja Bedi’s Kamasutra ad, nobody has come up with a classy condom ad. All condom ads have been sleazy.”

Talking of advertisements, the next topic of discussion is a print ad commissioned by the ministry of health, to promote healthy eating and being slim. But of course, it’s only directed at women. No surprises there.

Sekhri brings out the fallacies that this ad, which shows two women of different sizes, displays.

Lastly, Sen talks about an Amazon original that she watched, written and acted in by Sumukhi Suresh, called ‘Pushpavalli’.
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On this podcast of Reporters Without Orders, we have Ramnath Goenka award-winner Rahul Kotiyal joining the panel. Currently a freelancer, he has earlier been with Scroll.in's Hindi website Satyagraha and Tehelka. The panel discusses the issues of death penalty, the Dainik Jagran article on Kathua rape, Judge Loya verdict and more.

Rahul describes the story that won him the Ramnath Goenka award for Hindi reporting under the print category. “It was a two-part series on organisations in north India that are running an anti-jihad campaign called Beti Bachao, Bahu Lao. This campaign stops girls from having an inter-caste marriage. I reported this from Dehradun,” he says.

Nidhi Suresh, our in-house reporter on the ground in Kashmir, elaborates on her story about a 16-year-old minor girl from Kulgam who went missing and the chargesheet was filed a few days ago. Disappointed by the preliminary chargesheet, she says, “The girl said she was drugged. To establish that, they should have conducted a medical examination. It has to be done within 24 hours.”

Abhinandan feels that the whole excitement about the death penalty for child rapists is “such a dumb celebration by dumb people for dumb policy and intervention by dumb policymakers.”

Amit adds that the incidents that were in the news last week deserved to be covered. They include the sacking of Atishi Marlena, Judge Loya verdict and the impeachment process. On the other hand, “Swati Maliwal’s indefinite hunger strike was not covered by the mainstream media,” he says.

On the issue of death penalty, Rahul points out that the media didn't take it the way it should have been taken. It took it as a welcome step. “It was brought in as an ordinance but an ordinance should come in emergency situations; this will bring a regressive change in our legal system.”

Furthermore, he discusses that the Dainik Jagran front page article was a culmination of baseless allegations. The article claimed that the Kathua rape never happened. No evidence substantiated the claim. “They claim there were two post-mortem reports but they haven’t presented the reports anywhere. The major and only difference they found is that one had seven injuries and the other one six injuries.”

Nidhi calls this as “reflective of our lack of understanding of rape.”

The Loya case, Abhinandan believes, deserved more coverage. He points out that the reporting wasn’t dissecting the judgment page-by-page. “On one hand in the same order, they said a judge cannot lie. On the other hand in the same report, there is another judge who says the ECG machine was not working, so he was mistaken.”

In the case of death penalty, Rohin argues that when the state cannot give life, how can it take life away? “Nobody is a rapist by birth. Social conditioning contributes to it largely. Even if you give death penalty to the rapist, whom will you blame for social conditioning?” he questions.

He further points out that in remote areas, organisations such as Newslaundry, Boom Live, Alt News find it difficult to reach the masses. Hence, publications such as Dainik Jagran circulated a narrative in those areas. Now they feel people are unnecessarily blaming Modi in the Kathua case.

While working on the Kulgam case, Nidhi shares that she was disappointed to see that there is interest in the case as long as there is a politician involved. “Let’s face it, Kathua caught fire only because two BJP leaders were involved.”

Abhinandan adds: “From the news point of view, there are certain mechanisms that are outcomes of civilisation, governance, democracy, bureaucracy. When that process becomes a perpetrator of the crime, from a macro point of view, it is a failure of the system as opposed to a crime which like Anand Vardhan once said is ‘the banality of crime’.”

All this and more on this week’s podcast.
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This week’s NL Hafta brings together our in-house team of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Raman Kirpal along with Rohan Venkataramakrishnan, Associate Editor, Scroll. The panel discussed a range of issues -- the Supreme Court calling the public interest litigation for an independent investigation to Justice Loya’s death ‘frivolous’, the continuing outrage over the Kathua case, the Mecca Masjid blast verdict and a lot more.
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सुप्रीम कोर्ट के चीफ जस्टिस दीपक मिश्रा के खिलाफ सात विपक्षी दलों द्वारा महाभियोग लाने का प्रस्ताव, जज लोया की संदिग्ध मौत की जांच की मांग वाली याचिकाओं को सुप्रीम कोर्ट द्वारा खारिज किया जाना, प्रधानमंत्री का विदेश दौरा और वेस्टमिंस्टर सेंट्रल हॉल में उनका साक्षात्कार और मक्का मस्जिद केस के आरोपी असीमानंद समेत सभी आरोपियों को कोर्ट द्वारा बरी किया जाना इस हफ्ते न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय रहे.

चर्चा में शामिल रहे ओपिनियन राइटर आनंद वर्धन, कैच न्यूज़ के असिस्टेंट एडिटर चारू कार्तिकेय और संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.
access_time1 month ago
A snippet of NL Hafta for non-subscribers.

NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here's a little sneak peek of the complete episode where

our in-house team of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Raman Kirpal is joined by Rohan Venkataramakrishnan, Associate Editor, Scroll. The panel discussed a range of issues -- the Supreme Court calling the public interest litigation for an independent investigation to Justice Loya’s death ‘frivolous’, the continuing outrage over the Kathua case, the Mecca Masjid blast verdict and a lot more.
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Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back this week with their latest round-up of sports. And they have a lot in store -- Manchester City winning the Premier League, Indian Premier League (and Virat Kohli’s fate), the Formula One races and more.

For Puri, Manchester City’s win was something that was just bound to happen sometime, and the title was, indeed, well deserved. The part that money might have had a play in giving the team an upper hand is undeniable, but both agree that money cannot be enough. The problems, however, that the money factor brings into the game are pointed out by Puri when he says, “What worries me about this money thing is that it won't surprise me at all if all these teams including Liverpool, increase their squads. And I don’t think that is good for football -- that all the elite players should congregate at just a few clubs. That’s not how the English game has ever been.”

Regardless, whether Manchester City will be able to retain the title was a question both Khan and Puri seemed to have answered in the negative. Puri says, “Winning back-to-back titles in England is not a joke. And nobody’s won back to back since ten years.”

Moving on, the duo discusses IPL and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s unwise decisions in the game. As Khan says, “Virat Kohli and the IPL just do not seem to get together. He makes unquestionable decisions about team selection. Bangalore has always struggled with the bowling attack. It just seems to be like a jinx that Kohli cannot get together for the IPL.” Partially agreeing with this view, Puri adds, “But I think that we all need to understand that IPLs and tournaments like IPL, you cannot win with two men. You need a team. Bangalore’s problem throughout is that it is not about teams.”

What is it about, then? For Khan, it is more about ‘big flashy individuals.'

Further, about the IPL, Khan and Puri make it a point to give a special mention to Kolkata Knight Riders -- the team that is pretty much coming together. It has Andre Russell, after all, who Khan likes to call a ‘butcher’, and Puri calls him a ‘weightlifter’. Two teams they are worried about are Delhi Daredevils and RCB. All in all, both foresee an interesting IPL season, considering they still don’t have favourites.

The last topic of discussion was the Formula One races and Lewis Hamilton’s defeats. But both agree how Hamilton does not give up, and that it will be interesting to have Formula One competitive again.

Tune into #JustSports for all this and much more!
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On this podcast of Reporters Without Orders, we have a surprise guest joining the panel. A reporter from The Quint, Meghnad Bose, joins the panel to discuss the Kathua rape case, fire at a Rohingya refugee camp, Rahul Gandhi’s midnight march and more.

Meghnad tells us about the story that he broke on CBSE class 12 exams wherein the marks were being unfairly moderated. “A data scientist had observed a very odd marking pattern that an unbelievably high number of students in CBSE were getting the number 95." The numbers like 91, 92, 93 and 94 were obtained by 60-70k people and 195k people got the number 95. We realised that CBSE adopts a moronic system, Meghnad tells the panel.

Cherry talks about an article published by The Sunday Guardian, authored by Sushil Pandit. She says that the article should not have been published. “The editor is still defending the piece stating that it is the reporter’s right to write fiction and once you have given a disclaimer [that the story is a concotion] it's okay." But what the piece is doing, in reality, is using actual facts, actual events of an eight-year-old Kathua girl’s rape and murder to delegitimise an entire sequence of events, Cherry says.

Abhinandan adds, “Some people are saying it's a satire. I don't see the satirical bit in it.”

Cherry also spoke about that the fire at the Rohingya refugee camp where 50 shanties were burnt down. She says while it was reported upon, it did not get wall-to-wall coverage.

Rohin, who covered this incident says, “People couldn't decide whether somebody started the fire or it happened on its own. As per the police, it could have been due to a short circuit but people are saying they don't have such wires that could lead to a short-circuit. Their Burmese IDs and refugee cards from the UN were burnt down, technically they are illegal now.”

Talking about propaganda related to the Kathua case, Rohin says that it is very insensitive of people to raise questions like -- how come the girl was wearing the same clothes in pictures released before and after the death? Did she have only one set of clothes?

Meghnad feels that despite Kathua and Unnao cases receiving wall-to-wall coverage, the questions related to political leadership have not been asked.

He tells the panel more about a documentary that he made on rape culture in Haryana. He wanted to investigate why so many rapes happen. “Societal attitudes are so intensely patriarchal that it creates conditions where sexual assault against women is normalised, legitimised and justified.”

He feels that the electoral bonds that were told to be anonymous by the government did not get enough coverage. “You have gone to the extent of putting numbers there but people can't see on the face of it. I am surprised that no one picked it up.”

The panel discusses the midnight march by Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Amit calls it a “spontaneous” decision because around 9 pm, Rahul Gandhi tweeted that he will take out a march at the India Gate. Amit spoke to some members of the Congress party, who told him that they were informed about the march in the afternoon. He goes on to say that various TV channels and news portals covered it, but there was no reportage in the newspapers.

Cherry says that the crime should be talked about and not just the protest. “I don't think it is right to use a protest which is now turning into a brand to peddle your own agenda even if subtle. It is absolutely necessary to talk about that heinous crime that was perpetrated when we talk about rape."

To which Abhinandan adds, “There are certain tipping points and that tipping point is usually an incident or a specific event. "It's like the biggest problem that we had with the British was imposing a tax on salt but you can use that as a hinge to set off a bigger protest.”

To read more visit: https://bit.ly/2qIvoao
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The Awful and Awesome is back this week to give you a dose of the latest pop cultural updates. Rajyasree and Abhinandan take you through three Hollywood trailers, two films (A Quiet Place and October), the National Awards and Beyonce’s performance at Coachella.

Starting with ‘A Quiet Place’, the duo believed it wasn’t half as good as the trailer promised. Regardless, both Sen and Sekhri did appreciate the skill required to direct and act in a horror film with minimum dialogue. Abhinandan says, “I won’t say I hated it but when you take up such a difficult job, you have got to be super brilliant to pull it off.”

Then we have Sen reviewing Shoojit Sircar’s ‘October’ alone because Abhinandan has pledged to not watch a Varun Dhawan film again (the last Dhawan film he watched was ‘Judwaa 2’, that must explain it). Sircar’s direction and Juhi Chaturvedi’s writing is back after Piku in this film. Dhawan plays a grumpy and disgruntled hotel trainee, Dan. When one of his fellow trainees goes into a coma after an accident, he suddenly finds a purpose in life. Sen finds it difficult to relate to this unusual obsession but liked the way Sircar portrays Delhi. Commenting on Varun’s acting, she says, “He has acted better than he has acted before.”

Rajyasree and Abhinandan also discuss the National awards, which started off with understandable awardees such as Newton for best Hindi film and Baahubali for best action, direction and special effect. But Sridevi getting the best actor female award for Mom, according to the two, reeked of sentimentality.

Moving on, both our reviewers were highly impressed with the trailers of ‘The Wife’ starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, and ‘Can you ever forgive me?’ starring Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant. For the former, Sekhri says, “It is one of the most compelling trailers I have seen in a long time. Think it is going to be great. I hope it is not like ‘A Quiet Place’ where the trailer was 20,000 times better than the film.”

However, the two were quite unhappy with the trailer of ‘Solo’, next in the series of Star Wars. A new Star Wars film every year is a ‘money-making machine for Disney’, feels Sekhri.

Sen then discusses Beyonce's performance at Coachella and how this was the first time since 1999 that a black woman had headlined the fest. But that wasn’t the only reason why Coachella was making news. Philip Anschutz, the owner of Coachella’s parent company, is, in fact, a Republican donor and a huge supporter of anti-LGBT groups. Which has been all over the news lately. Regardless, Beyonce’s two-hour-long power-packed performance, in which she went through five outfit changes (and also nail polish changes), was definitely worth a watch.

Listen up now for all this and more at The Awful and Awesome, and as Sen rightly said, “Pay for free news and better jokes”.
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जम्मू-कश्मीर कठुआ और यूपी के उन्नाव में बलात्कार की घटना और आरोपियों को सत्ता का संरक्षण, पश्चिम बंगाल में पंचायत चुनावों के स्थगित किए जाने की मांग को लेकर हिंसा, राहुल गांधी और प्रधानमंत्री का उपवास, डेटा लीक के मामले में फेसबुक मखिया मार्क जुकरबर्ग की कांग्रेस में पेशी, कुमार विश्वास को आम आदमी पार्टी के राजस्थान प्रभारी से हटाया जाना व अन्य मुद्दे इस हफ्ते न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय रहे.

चर्चा में शामिल रहे वरिष्ठ पत्रकार जितेन्द्र कुमार, न्यूज़ नेशन के अभिषेक पराशर और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज. चर्चा का संचालन किया न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने.
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Journalist Shivam Vij joins us this week to weigh in on weekly affairs along with the Hafta team. Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan, along with Vij, discuss TDP quitting the NDA. Abhinandan talks about the interesting history of Chandrababu Naidu's political life. Moving on, they talk about the 84th Congress plenary. What went wrong with the speeches of Rahul Gandhi and Navjot Singh Sidhu? Madhu Trehan tells us why Sidhu is not out of his mind. Apart from this, they talk about how the Cambridge Analytica controversy has rocked Indian politics. At last, they discuss Arvind Kejriwal apologising to Bikram Majithia, Nitin Gadkari and Kapil Sibal. Also, emails from our subscribers. Listen up, there is a song dedication in the end too.
access_time1 month ago
NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here's a little sneak peek of the complete episode where we discuss Kathua, Unnao and the politics around the two rape cases.
access_time1 month ago
#JustSports 77: Champions League, Indian Premier League, Commonwealth Games & more by Newslaundry
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On this podcast of Reporters Without Orders, the panel is joined by Ishan Kukreti, a reporter from Down to Earth magazine, to discuss the Kathua rape case, Kashmir killings, Salman Khan’s conviction and more.

Nidhi comments on how the mainstream media did not have any coverage on the lawyers’ protest in the Kathua case, "When the charge sheet was filed by the crime branch, the lawyers protested against the same. There was no front-page coverage in the mainstream media. Only Times of India reported it on the front page, everybody else carried it in the inside pages."

She also puts forth the fact that 3 killings in the last 7 months in the Kashmir valley have gone under-reported. She finds it “bizarre” that they have only reported the incidents and there have been no follow-ups and investigations.

Ishaan discusses the farmers protesting against the Cauvery issue outside an IPL match between CSK-KKR and media's doing "lazy reporting as it is giving attention to IPL through the Cauvery issue”.

Cherry also adds on to the Kathua rape case and feels that it deserved more coverage. “Considering the coverage that Salman Khan got wherein at least 9 leading dailies put it on their front page, how does a girl's repeated rape for at least a week does not get a front-page coverage except one column in TOI?” she questions.

Manisha states that the probable reason for less coverage could be the 8-year-old victim’s disadvantaged background. “I guess this is also to do with the fact that the girl is from the Bakarwal community. If it happens to a middle-class family and an upper-middle-class person, there is media outrage.”

While Nidhi feels Salman Khan’s conviction was all over the media, Cherry discusses excessive coverage given to Congress’ 'chola bathura' breakfast.

In the Salman Khan case, Nidhi points out that there was no Bishnoi community representative in the prime-time debate panels. To which Manisha adds, “ As per a news report, two Bishnoi members came to stop Salman and he pointed his gun at them. Even under so much pressure, the Bishnoi members haven’t changed their testimony in 20 years. There should have been news of their struggle to get justice and not just Bandra people saying Salman is so great.”

In relation to the non-filing of FIR against the SC/ST Atrocities Act (2015 amendment), Ishaan talks about how smartly mass land encroachment is happening in areas such as Raigarh.

The panel also discusses, I&B ministry's April 4 order to set up a panel to frame regulations for online media. "Even if I want to express my opinion in a Facebook post or on Twitter, there are chances that the government might crack its whip it,” Cherry tells the panel.
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The Awful and Awesome has a lot in store this week. A special treat for all book lovers is Rajyasree Sen’s interaction with Seema Goswami, author of ‘Race Course Road’, followed by a discussion on the IPL, Salman Khan, ‘Missing’, and Russell Crowe’s genius.

Starting off with the book, Goswami’s past work experience with ABP and Sunday Magazine is reflected in her approach towards politics in this fictional political thriller, which starts off with the assassination of Prime Minister Birendra Pratap Singh, and goes on to answer the questions -- Who was behind it? Who will become the next PM?

Although fictional, Rajyasree finds the characters mirroring many Indian politicians and doesn’t hesitate in naming them. According to her, these characters are obviously inspired by real-life personalities -- there’s an Arnab, a Barkha Dutt, and there is definitely, definitely a Mamata Banerjee. Sen feels that the book surpasses other thrillers by dealing with themes like the invasion of privacy, the treatment of women in politics, and the role of media.

Moving on, we have our dear own Abhinandan Sekhri joining Sen. The ‘Awful and Awesome’ duo makes it a point to discuss as much of ‘awful’ as ‘awesome’ and comments on the glamorisation and commercialisation of cricket, which Sekhri does not even consider a sport (thank you, IPL!). The grand opening ceremony with performances by Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandes, and Mika Singh are not spared, with Hrithik Roshan being the only one praised by our hard-to-please reviewers. If all this isn’t enough, there are two awards -- ‘the most stylish player award’ (Gautam Gambhir seemed as disgusted receiving it as Sen and Sekhri felt discussing it), and the ‘Star Plus nayi soch award’ (what does that even mean?). Abhinandan had one answer to all this, “We just fuck up everything.”

Further, Sen and Sekhri have both had their own shares of torture this week, watching ‘Midnight Sun’ and ‘Missing’ respectively. The former has nothing to offer except a cliché teen story where nothing bad happens. The latter, on the other hand, is a disappointing psychological thriller about a child who goes missing during a family ‘business trip’ to Mauritius. As Sen says, Missing can easily go ‘missing from the halls’.

Next, they go on to discuss the new iPad advertisement that shows the gadget's use in homework for children -- much to Abhinandan’s distaste, and the commonwealth film by Edelweiss Group, which again fails to impress Mr Sekhri due to its ‘terrible writing’.

Of course, this week had to have a discussion on the media coverage of the conviction of our beloved Bhai. It was, as Sekhri puts it, ‘news as entertainment about an entertainment superstar’. Apart from Khan’s non-discrimination among species and colour of skin, unnecessary details (his popularity in China, his earnings from Big Boss) given by the media are discussed. Priya Gupta, co-producer of movies like Blackmail, gets a special mention for her defences given for the superstar.

Sen goes on to enlighten us about the innovative method that Russell Crowe has come up with to pay his divorce alimony of 20 million dollars by an auction called the ‘Art of Divorce’, that, ironically, he opened on the day of his wedding anniversary.

All in all, the awful and awesome will take you through all this and more, including books, movies, advertisements, and mastering the art of divorcing your wife in style.
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Parth MN from People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) joins the regular Hafta panel to share his ground experiences during the Maharashtra farmers' protest. Has the state government’s assurance satisfied them? How did Mumbai treat the farmers when they carried on the protest in the city? Parth tells us why it was a well organised march. Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, Anand Vardhan and Madhu Trehan also talk about Naresh Agrawal's comment on Jaya Bachchan, which he made after he was denied a Rajya Sabha ticket to make place for her. Anand dissects the comment and tries to explain why he said that. They also discuss Finance Bill 2018, which was passed in Parliament without discussion. Anand brings up a funny comment by Akhilesh Yadav which was not talked about much in the news. Also, emails from our subscribers. Listen up, there is a song dedication in the end too.
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डिजिटल मीडिया रेगुलेशन के लिए सूचना प्रसारण मंत्रालय द्वारा कमेटी का गठन, फेक न्यूज़ की स्थिति में पीआईबी कार्डधारक पत्रकारों की मान्यता रद्द करने की अधिसूचना, एससी-एसटी एक्ट में बदलाव के खिलाफ दलितों का भारत बंद, मध्य प्रदेश में बाबाओं को मंत्री का दर्जा और सलमान को सज़ा इस हफ्ते की न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय रहे.
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NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here's a little sneak peek of the complete episode where we discuss fake news, Salman Khan's conviction, ICICI-Videocon, Minister babas & more.
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Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back with their weekly round-up of sports. The duo discusses Champions League, the amazing goal by Ronaldo that has rocked the world of football and the IPL madness. Samar Khan starts the discussion on Ronaldo by saying: “He might not be as masterful and crafty as Messi or as pleasing to the eye but he gets the goal and gets it in emphatic fashion.”

Rahul Puri expresses his views on Ronaldo. He says, “I may not be Ronaldo’s biggest fan because of the team he has chosen to play for and there is biased attached but you can’t take away the fact that this man isn’t just a phenomenon. He’s not Messi and he doesn’t have that complete influence on a game from a sheer footballing point of view but look at the number of goals he scores.”

Khan brings in the statistics. “Ronaldo has scored  119 goals in the Champions League, that’s actually more goals than Liverpool has scored in their entire history of Champions League.” Puri adds, “The most fascinating is that it boiled down into this rivalry where they both ended up in one country playing for these two great rivals and that further enhances this…but then again, what a goal!!”
 
In the world of cricket, they talk about IPL. Khan puts forth his first point: "More than Steve Smith, David Warner would be a big miss for the Sunrisers Hyderabad because he has been an inspirational captain." Puri says: "They (Sunrisers Hyderabad) will now need more runs from the middle order engine."

Talking about other teams Puri says: "I don't think either Delhi or Punjab have great strengths in bowling so they have to focus on their batting. Bangalore and Mumbai are very well run franchises that have got core players. Chennai Superkings have got good reputation and pedigree in IPL."

All this and more on this week's Just Sports.
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रॉबर्ट्सगंज लोकसभा से भाजपा सांसद छोटेलाल खरवार ने मुख्यमंत्री योगी आदित्यनाथ और पार्टी के अन्य लोगों पर अपमानित करने का आरोप लगाया है. खरवार अनुसूचित जनजाति से आते हैं. उनका कहना है कि उनकी छोटी जाति के कारण अगड़ी जाति वालों ने मिलकर उन्हें अपमानित किया. उनकी शिकायत पर मुख्यमंत्री ने ध्यान भी नहीं दिया और आरोपियों पर एफआईआर तक दर्ज नहीं करवाई गई.

सांसद छोटेलाल खरवार से न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री की पूरी बातचीत यहां सुन सकते हैं.
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In this episode of Reporters Without Borders, the team engages in a conversation about the I&B ministry's order to regulate fake news as well as media reportage on the nationwide Dalit protest.
While discussing Uttar Pradesh government's decision to officially include 'Ramji' in documents mentioning BR Ambedkar, Rohin points out the importance of adding historical context to debates. "Ambedkar's critique on Ram and casteism would actually scare the Hindutva forces," he tells the panel.

Amit talks about media’s demographic bias, and how newsrooms highlight issues from certain states only. "Jharkand's government has drafted an amendment saving officers accused in the forgery of land sale and conversions had there been a similar draft in Uttar Pradesh, it would have been covered by national media," he states.

Discussions on Dalit agitation has Abhinandan questioning media's sympathetic coverage of the protesters, despite compelling evidence of violence. "Dalit protests are usually not covered by TV channels or newspapers. It was the narrative of this protest that led to such mass coverage," says Amit.

Rohin points out how the protests have deepened class differences and talks about Savarna reporters looking at the protest with a biased lens.

Cherry shares why I&B ministry’s amendment to journalists’ accreditation guidelines was problematic. The amendment threatens to take away a journalist's accreditation even before the journalist’s guilt is established, she says. She also speaks about the responsibility of verification being given to self-regulatory bodies. “The PCA and NBA have proved to be ineffective in the past are we really expecting them to look into these cases in fifteen days and tell whether they are fake news or not ?" she asks. She also points out that the guidelines do little to curb the menace created by social media websites, which have widely contributed to the spread of fake news.

Abhinandan tells us why Mayawati becoming a chief minister at her time was a bigger deal than Barack Obama, an African-American, becoming the President of the United States.
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In this episode, we bring you a full dose of entertainment and cinema. Rajyasree discloses her illegal access to cinema, while Abhinandan’s habit of name- and place-dropping is pointed out by Aditi, our Awful & Awesome enthusiast.   

Sekhri and Sen review Call Me By Your Name, which was banned from being shown at the Beijing Film Festival for no good reason. And they discuss James Ivory’s comment on the lack of full frontal nudity and normal sex scenes in the film.

According to Sen, “The film stars a very beautiful man called Armie Hammer whom we’ve seen play the Winklevoss twins in the Facebook film, it also stars Timothée Chalamet, whom we saw in Lady Bird as the rebel boyfriend." She also gives us a sneak peek of the plot, “Timothée Chalamet plays a boy called Elio whose father is a professor. Armie Hammer plays Oliver, is a graduate student of Elio’s father It’s about the love affair that starts between both of them” and is an “extremely well scripted, beautiful film”. Sekhri and Sen also discuss the significance of the year 1983, which the movie is set in.

There’s also talk of why the trailer of Nude was in the news and why it was pulled from the International Film Festival Of India in November. According to our Awesome & Awful duo, the film has a “spectacular trailer”. Sekhri says, "It makes you watch the film. The plot unfolds with a brilliant cast, it’s beautifully shot with perfect lighting. It has a promise to make a political statement but not an in your face sort of political statement.”

There’s a little insight about the trailer of the film, Dundee, with Sekhri giving millennials a bit of context about Crocodile Dundee which was a pop culture phenomenon when he was in school (in the Dark Ages). 

Then, of course, there’s the man for all seasons, Salman Khan’s Being Human summer campaign – Look Good Do Good - where he promotes people who are trying to change the world by doing noble things. Sekhri says, “Salman Khan is ‘looking good’ and others are ‘doing good’”…The purpose of this campaign is to change Salman’s image.”

Unsurprisingly, Tetley’s green tea advertisement starring Deepika Padukone is Sekhri’s favourite campaign of the week. There’s an interesting anecdote from Sekhri about Tea and Egypt!

There’s also Anurag Kadhyap’s Karta, a short film presented by Kashyap and directed by Randeep Jha – which Sen quite enjoyed. The pièce de résistance though, is a musical rendition of a Punjabi song by Sekhri, while commenting on Punjab government’s proposal to set up a committee to eradicate vulgarity from Punjabi songs. And there’s Sen’s question with an un-Googleable answer (or so she hopes) at the end.  

Much to look forward to this time.
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इतिहासकार व लेखिका राना सफवी के मुताबिक बहुविवाह और हलाला जैसी प्रथाएं गरीब तबकों में एक हद तक मौजूद है. क्योंकि कम पढ़ा-लिखा आदमी अकसर सही और गलत का फैसला करने में नाकाम रहता है. उसे धार्मिक आधार पर रगलाना भी आसान होता है. मध्य वर्ग मुसलमानों के बीच यह प्रथा लगभग खत्म हो चुकी है. साथ ही उन्होंने राव नवमी के मौके पर हिंदू-मुस्लिम हिंसा पर कहा कि पिछले चार सालों में पहली बार उन्हें यह बात लगने लगी है कि वे मुसलमान हैं.

सुनिए निकाह हलाला पर पत्रकारों की बातचीत.
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Journalist Prabhu Mallikarjun joins the Hafta panel this week to talk about Karnataka elections and the Lingayat controversy. Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal and Meghnad also discuss Cobrapost's exposé. Raman tells us why he hates sting operations, while Madhu tells us why, in some cases, a sting operation is the only way forward. We also have Abhinandan telling the panel his 'sting' experience. The gang also talks about Cambridge Analytica and the data breach issue. There is also some discussion about how targetted advertisements on the internet can impact our lives. At last, they talk about Anna Hazare's protest and why it wasn't a big deal this time. Also, emails from our subscribers. Listen up, there is a song dedication too!
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निकाह हलाला पर सुप्रीम कोर्ट की पहल, राम नवमी के बाद बिहार व बंगाल में सांप्रदायिक हिंसा, आईसीआईसीआई-वीडियोकॉन का अवैध लेनदेन, कोबरापोस्ट स्टिंग व अन्य विषय इस हफ्ते की चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय रहे.
 
इस बार की चर्चा में शामिल हुईं दिल्ली की इतिहासकार और लेखिका राना सफवी और अमित भारद्वाज. इसके साथ ही फोन पर हमारे साथ जुड़े वरिष्ठ पत्रकार शांतनु गुहा रे. चर्चा का संचालन किया न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने.
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