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Saturday, March 15, 2008

M J Akbar - Fired With Consent?

Mobashar Jawed Akbar is one of the better ones in the realm of sub continent's journalism. He is acerbic, witty, thoughtful, investigative, knowledgeable, provocative and balanced. He was till recently the editor of Asian Age. He blogs here, here and here.

According to Rahul Singh, M J Akbar sold his 10% of the share in Asian Age to Venkatram Reddy, who owns 90% of shares. Thus on March 02, he was eased out of the editorship of Asian Age. To read Rahul Singh in full click on the heading.


Independent editors have become a rarity in India. The Times of India, which boasts of being the largest circulating English broadsheet in the world, has not had a proper editor for over a decade, with various ‘editors’ given meaningless designations and put in charge of different sections of the paper: edit page, news, sports, supplements. The owners of the Hindustan Times and The Telegraph, the biggest dailies in north and east India respectively, are the real editors of their papers.

The four Fs now rule the Indian press — films, fashion, food and frolic. The wedding of Amitabh Bachchan’s son, the shenanigans of Sanjay Dutt and the liaisons of Saif Ali get front page treatment.

Indian newspapers have become brands and products, not agents of change and enlightenment. This trivialisation of what is one of the main pillars of democracy should disturb all thinking Indians.


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