RESEARCH, REFERENCE & TRAINING DIVISION

(Ministry of Information & Broadcasting)

 

MEDIA UP-DATE

 

Vol.III 16-30 April 2001 4

HIGHLIGHTS

NATIONAL EVENTS

April 18 Rs.811 crore Plan outlay for Information & Broadcasting.

April 19 Transfer of staff, assets to Prasar Bharati begins.

 

April 24 Udayan Sharma, Hindi journalist and activist passes away.

April 30 Avadh Samman honoured to A.R.Rahman and Yesteryears actor Ashok Kumar.

INTERNATIONAL EVENTS

April 18 Pulitzer award honoured to the staff of Miami Herald and for photography to Alan Diaz.

 

April 23 Jack Haley, Hollywood producer, actor and writer passes away.

April 24 Jennifer Lopez honoured for outstanding sound track or compilation for television and film awards Latino Media Arts.

 

This fortnightly service brings to focus major national and international media events for record and reference by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and its media units. Website : http://www.nic.in/rrtd

E-mail: rrtd-ib@vsnl.com

National

April 17

Temporary Radio stations for FM

The government is likely to take decision by early May on whether FM (Frequency Modulation) radio licensees in the four metros can set up temporary radio stations on any tall building or not. According to government sources, Mr. Rakesh Mohan, who is a Joint Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and handles the FM radio issues, will have another round of meeting with the FM licensees after two weeks, following which a decision is expected.

Financial Express

 

 

DD

The Prasar Bharati Channel 9 alliance is probably over. When Doordarshan Metro was privatised last year, the Australian media moghul, Mr. Kerry Packer, who once tried to buy up DD’s Channel 3, picked up three hours of programme time for Rs.121 crore for one year. But after a recent meeting, DD is not keen on renewing it.

The Statesman

April 18

Plan outlay for I&B Ministry.

The Planning Commission has approved a plan allocation worth Rs.811.40 crore and non-plan allocation of Rs.1,132.11 crore for the various sectors of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for 2001-02. This was stated in the 23rd report of the Standing Committee on Information Technology for the I&B Ministry, which was presented in the Lok Sabha on April 17.

The Financial Express

April 19

Privatisation of Prasar Bharati

The government said on April 18 it had no plans to fully privatise Prasar Bharati and that despite the onslaught of private TV channels, Doordarshan maintains its lead in audience share, with DD-1 and DD-2 together commanding over 40 per cent share.

The Financial express

Print Media

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj has ruled out opening the print media to foreign participation, emphasising that the government took the decision after careful consideration of its implications. Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in New Delhi on April 18, Ms. Swaraj said that for the government the 1955 cabinet decision was still valid because it drew a clear line between the print and electronic media.

She said newspapers were not just another trade as they played an important role in influencing views. Replying to a question, she said that the 1955 decision was still "sacrosanct" because of the validity of the concerns that had guided it. On the other hand, the government has permitted 100 per cent foreign-owned channels to uplink from India, provided the country’s programme and advertising code is adhered to, she said. She added, that in the second phase of privatising FM radio channels, the scope would be expanded to incorporate the small cities on FM map.

The Times of India

Prasar Bharati

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has begun the process of transferring assets and employees to Prasar Bharati, a body that still remains headless.

The Information & Broadcasting Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj, said the "process" has begun and it is understood that the assets, probably worth Rs.65,000 crore, would be leased to Prasar Bharati for a very nominal sum. The transfer of personnel will also begin, she said. Each employee will be given the choice of either staying on as a government servant or joining Prasar Bharati. The people who prefer to stay with the government will be transferred to a surplus pool from where they can be relocated after retaining, if necessary.

Though the Prasar Bharati’s unions are not happy, Ms. Swaraj said the move towards the formation of a Public Broadcasting Corporation cannot be stopped.

The Statesman

 

April 20

Award

Mr. Rajinder Agarwal, Chairman, AGL Technologies has been awarded "Best IT Man of the Year" award instituted by Rotary International. Union Home Minister, Mr .L.K.Advani presented the award.

Hindustan Times

Gyan Darshan

Efforts are on to start a full-fledged technical education TV Channel taking IIT and other renowned institutions expertise to the distance learners. This was disclosed at a high-level review meeting on the progress of Gyan Darshan the educational TV channel of India, run by IGNOU.

The Indian Express

April 21

DD chronicles the magic of celluloid maestroes.

Director of Mumbai Doordarshan, Mr.Mukesh Sharma and National award-winning documentary film maker Dinkar Chowdhary have embarked on a mission: to chronicle the lives and times of all Dadasaheb Phalke Award-winners since 1969.

This programme begins airing from July 7.

The Indian Express

April 21

Foreign TV channels

The government has made it clear that as per its policy, it was not mandatory for foreign television channels to uplink from India. In a written statement in the Lok Sabha on April 20, Information & Broadcasting Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj said that since the Convergence Bill was still at the drafting stage it was not possible to say whether it would have any provision for compulsory uplinking of foreign channels.

She, however, insisted that it did not mean absence of any regulation or control for foreign channels. "The programmes of foreign TV channels, when transmitted through cable networks, are required to adhere to the programme and advertisement code prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act, 1995," she said in reply to a question from CPM member Hannan Mollah.

The Times of India

April 23

Crisis in Film industry

Dispelling notions that the high profile film industry in the country was thriving, ace filmmaker Shyam Benegal has said that on the contrary the industry was in dire financial crisis and in tremendous need of State support.

Hindustan Times

April 24

Obituary

Leading Hindi journalist and political activist Udayan Sharma died on April 23 at the G.B.Pant Hospital of multiple brain tumours. Sharma was coordinating editor of the Amar Ujala newspaper. He was 52.

Besides his journalistic work, Sharma also took an active interest in politics and contested for the Lok Sabha from Agra and Bhind.

The Indian Express

April 25

DD

A probe has indicted a number of senior Doordarshan officials for flouting official norms to favour a private producer at the cost of other competitors and DD’s own interests.

The inquiry conducted by director (BP&L) in Information and Broadcasting Ministry Shri S.C.Tewary, has revealed that apart from various concessions to Ramesh Gandhi of Rainbow Productions, the DD authorities had ignored the fact that "the concentration of programmes in the hands of an individual, even if it generates revenue, may not be in the interest of the public service broadcasters".

The Times of India

 

April 26

Yudhvir award

Media baron and founder chairman of Eenadu group of newspapers, Mr. Ramoji Rao was selected for the "Yudhvir award", given annually by the Yudhvir Foundation for his outstanding contribution to the growth of the state in different fields.

The Statesman

April 27

Obituary

Eminent actress Chhaya Devi passed away. She was 82.

The Statesman

April 28

Media Council

The proposed Media Council to safeguard the interests of electronic and print media and to monitor them may well become a reality if one considers the overwhelming support that the concept has attracted. While Information and Broadcasting Minister Ms.Sushma Swaraj chose the democratic way of enlisting the views of different sections of the media, the Ministry will start work only after it has received in writing the views of the Indian Broadcasting Federation and the stake holders of the Press Council of India. Broadly, they would be looking into the composition, structure, funding and functions of the proposed media council before submitting final report on May 15.

The Indian Express

April 30

Decision on temporary FM Stations

Before getting busy with her election tours and trip to France for the Cannes Film Festival, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj, is in the process of settling a few things at home. Topmost on her agenda now are some crucial decisions on the FM Radio. All issues related to FM Radio will be taken up at a meeting on May, according to Ms. Swaraj. The Minister will hold this meeting with top I&B officials.

Among other things, the scheduled meeting should be able to give an indication to the private FM licensees, particularly in the metros, on the modus operandi of their transmission.

The Financial Express

Awadh Samman

U.P. Governor, Shri Vishnukant Shastri on April 29 handed out the Awadh Samman at Begum in Luknow. Yesteryears actor Ashok Kumar and music composer A.R.Rahman were among the awardees. The award of Rs. 1 lakh, a citation and a memento is conferred on artistes, writers and scholars for contributions to their fields.

The Indian Express

 

International

April 18

Pulitzer Prizes

The story of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy who became the centre for an international custody tug-of-war, earned prestigious Pulitzer Prize on April 17 for Miami Herald newspaper that reported the drama and a photographer who captured it on film. The Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters and Drama and Music are awarded annually on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University in New York.

The staff of the Miami Herald newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting for its coverage of the raid that led to the six year-old Cuban being reunited with his father. The Pulitzer board cited the newspaper "for its balanced and gripping on-the-scene coverage of the pre-dawn raid by federal agents that took the Cuban boy from his Miami relatives and reunited him with his Cuban father".

The Pulitzer for breaking news photography was awarded to Alan Diaz. The prize for Public Service Journalism was awarded to the The Oregonian newspapers for its "detailed and unflinching examination of systematic problems within the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service".

The Prize for investigative reporting went to David Willman of the Los Angeles Times. The prize for feature writing was awarded to Tom Hallman Jr, again of the Oregonian, and the prize for explanatory reporting was given to the Staff of the Chicago Tribune for "Gateway to Gridlock", a profile of the chaotic US air traffic system. David Cay Johnston of the New York Times won for beat reporting for his articles on inequities and loopholes in the US tax code, while the national reporting prize went to the staff of The New York Times for its series on racial experiences and attitudes in America.

Two reporters won the international reporting award-Ian Johnson of The Wall Street Journal for his stories about victims of the Chinese Government’s crackdown on the Falun Gong movement, and Paul Salopek of The Chicago Tribune for reporting on political strife and disease in Africa. The prize for editorial writing was awarded to David Moats of Vermont’s Rutland Herald and the prize for editorial catooning went to Ann Telnaes of The Los Angeles Times Syndicate. Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal won the commentary and the prize for criticism was given to Gail Caldwell of the Boston Globe. The amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon and published by Random House won the prize for fiction, and the prize for general non-fiction was awarded to Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P.Bix and published by Harper Collins.

The Indian Express

 

April 20

Award

Dr. Sumit Ganguly, a leading Indian American academic and South Asia analyst, has been appointed editor of a new social science journal devoted solely to India. Frank Cass and Company will publish the India Review from London.

Hindustan Times

April 23

Time magazine

Malaysia has banned the latest issue of Time magazine for "insulting" Islam by publishing an article with a picture of Prophet Mohammad, a report said on April 21.

The Statesman

Obituary

 

Jack Haley Jr. Long-time Hollywood producer, actor and writer has died. He was 67.

The Indian Express

Bhutan to launch first Internet daily

The secluded Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan will soon have its first daily newspaper on the Internet to help reach out to a global readership. The Internet daily, yet another sign of the opening up of the reclusive country, will be launched by the state-run Kuensel Corporation which also publishes the weekly Kuensel.

The Indian Express

April 24

Award

Jennifer Lopez receives an award for "outstanding soundtrack or compilation for television and film" during the American Latino Media Arts Awards in Pasadena on April 22.

Hindustan Times

 

April 25

TB5 channel’s programmes free

To show or not to show. Or how much to show. For quite some time now, ever since the French Government made the friendly gesture of offering its channel TB5 (no associate of the notorious TB6 Russian channel) free for Doordarshan’s Metro Channel, Mandi House officials are agonising over what to make of the offer. The French, it is learnt, have offered the TB5 channel’s programmes free, for six months to begin with, the future of the association depending on a review later.

The French, it is understood made the gesture of offering their channel to deflect criticism on Fashion Television, which is available free to air for viewers across the world. Information and Broadcasting Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj had even invited the French ambassador and Monsieur Theillet (FTV owner) two months ago, to explore ways and means of regulating the channel whose contents had attracted considerable criticism from certain quarters.

It is learnt that a screening committee of DD will also try to arrive at an informal rating system to sanitise the programmes on TB5 to render it fit for its viewers.

The Indian Express

China Praises Indian IT

China on April 24 praised India’s success in the IT sector and said it had much to learn from the Indian experience. They noticed that Indian software industry has been developing rapidly and software bases have been established," a Chinese minister said.

Hindustan Times

April 29

Cannes Film Festival

India’s sole entry in the Cannes film festival 2001 rests with Murali Nair. His film Oru Pattayude Divasam (A Dog’s Day) is selected for the UN Certain Regard section.

The Indian government is gung-ho about taking an Indian Pavilion in Cannes this year, which marks a first. In earlier years, the National Film Development Corporation of India rented a market stall. This year, the plans are of whole India Pavilion, an endeavor boosted by the rising sales graph.

The Times of India