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Sarkar as censor

The proposed Cinematograph Bill 2010 is geared to cracking down on piracy, but does little to protect freedom of expression, leaving the power to define public order, morality, decency and national interest to the executive wing of government at the centre rather than to people’s representatives, says Sarim Naved


Confused coverage, damaged credibility

Following severe criticism of media handling of the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai you’d think media coverage of the recent blast at German Bakery in Pune would be different. But the same kind of speculative and insensitive reporting has been witnessed once again, says Kalpana Sharma


Entertainment + education: Why Balika Vadhu worked

As Indian TV serials finally get away from kitchen politics to tell stories set in real social milieus, Gajra Kottary, writer of the hugely popular Balika Vadhu, points out what it takes to make a serial about a serious social issue like child marriage click with rural and urban audiences


Balika Vadhu: Showcasing reality through drama and text

Far from “encouraging” child marriage as some politicians feel, Balika Vadhu is the rare serial that induces audiences to engage intellectually with social conflicts, albeit on an entertainment platform, says Sanjay Ranade


Content regulation initiatives in India

The recent controversy over the TV programme Sach ka Samna has led to renewed calls for regulation of the broadcast media. P N Vasanti who was involved in drawing up self-regulation guidelines for the broadcasting sector for the I&B ministry, explains the content of the guidelines which, she says, could have addressed the current issues. Instead, it has been put into cold storage


Maid in the media

Indrajit Gupta comments on two bizarre articles in the press on the Shiny Ahuja rape allegations


How the media helped 'out' LGBT issues

The media’s positive reaction to the overturning of Section 377, and the debates it initiated across the public spectrum, gave the LGBT issue a much needed airing and buttressed the enlightened ruling of the Delhi High Court, says Siddharth Narrain


Through a child's eyes

Several studies suggest that viewing violence on screen prompts aggressive behaviour in children. Parental control of TV viewing and responsibility on the part of programmers is urgently required but there is surprisingly little debate or action on this issue, says clinical psychologist Malavika Kapur


The tricky road to media regulation

By Siddharth Narrain

Does the media – particularly the broadcast media -- need regulation, and if so, of what kind? India TV’s recent rejection of the Broadcasting Standards Disputes Redressal Authority ruling, and the proposal by the home minister of Karnataka of a state-appointed media ombudsman, show just how perilous is the path to regulation


Media in the time of crises

By Darryl D'Monte

Did the media – and indeed all the economic gurus – miss the telltale signs of the impending financial meltdown? The Asia Media Forum in Bangkok recently analysed media in the time of crisis


Name game

Calling someone by a diminutive such as “boy” or “little” is a way of one race subjugating another. Calling a land a “new world” is a way of wiping out its history and prior identity. The media has inherited many of the assumptions and attitudes of the colonialists, with naming often taking on specific class and gender contours, says Sharmila Joshi


Figure it out: Reporting on trafficking in women

By Rajashri Dasgupta and Laxmi Murthy

Media coverage of trafficking of women and children, migration and sex work is confused and inaccurate. Media wrongly uses the terms ‘sex work’ and ‘trafficking’ synonymously, perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatisation and contributing to the violation of women’s right to free movement and livelihood options, say these authors


The regulator's wish list

By S Nandan

The recent recommendations made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the entry of certain entities into radio and television is full of good intentions, but how many of them are implementable in the current confused state of broadcasting in the country?


No, we can't

With its breathless coverage of the American elections, the Indian media has demonstrated once again that it simply cannot shake off its colonised worldview, says Sharmila Joshi


Engaging with the media

By Shangon Das Gupta

Media advocacy is a way of getting an important issue adequate and accurate coverage. An initiative in Bangalore showed how media advocacy highlighted the issue of a dying river and resulted in questions being asked in the state assembly


The ten commandments of news broadcasting

By Siddharth Narrain

The big difference between the code of ethics drawn up by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and that of the I&B ministry is that the NBA has set up an independent disputes redressal authority, whereas the ministry’s code gives overarching powers to the central government


The stress is on conflict, not its resolution: Chindu Sreedharan

By Aditi Bhaduri

Conflict is at the heart of every interesting news story, says Chindu Sreedharan in this analysis of how the Indian and Pakistani media cover Kashmir. But journalism tends to simplify issues and see things in black and white, which won't do in reporting conflict


Terror reporting and the gullible pen

By Kalpana Sharma

The recent serial blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad have exposed, yet again, the dilemma the media faces in covering such events. While reporting in detail the horror and the tragedy surrounding the event are a natural part of the media's task, how should it handle the speculation about the culprits behind the attack?


Indecent proposals

By Siddharth Narrain

The National Commission for Women has recommended amendments to the Indecent Representation of Women Act, broadening the definition of “indecent representation” and introducing more stringent punishment under the law. But with this move, is the NCW taking the debate on representation of women in the media forward in any meaningful way?