Two big news events dominated headlines over the last couple of days. Like a bolt from the blue, the truce and sense of collaboration between the warring Ambani brothers on Sunday, followed the very next day by the most insipid and boring presser by the Prime Minister, his first in four years. Sandeep Bamzai takes stock.
This week Sandeep Bamzai seeks to unravel the telecom tangle that 3G and 2G auctions have turned out to be. One of those involved is Telecom Minister A Raja, who’s taped conversations with a lobbyist rocked the nation. However, majority of the media, which usually relentlessly pursues such scams seems to have turned a blind eye to the development the investigation was not taken to its logical culmination, says Bamzai.
That news television is a bruising business is a gross understatement. Many are still coming to grips with the harsh lessons taught by the vagaries of the meltdown. Quite a few media companies filed their results for financial year ending March 31, 2010 last week. Sandeep Bamzai takes a look at the performance of NDTV and CNBC.
Five straight weeks of high density news and guess what, each and every week has been dominated by a woman. Each woman, hot button, and top of mind in the media and in turn, the political mindspace. This week, Sandeep Bamzai writes about some women who having been hogging news space, and not necessarily for the right reasons.
Now that the can of worms has been thrown open for the world to see and examine, the BCCI chooses to distance itself from the IPL. But the hoi polloi are not willing to buy this argument. Even if they were to accept that Lalit Modi was a flamboyant crook, they reckon that the BCCI is equally guilty, says Sandeep Bamzai.
After Shashi Tharoor’s exit, now all guns are trained on IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi. Does Modi have something left in the tank? Modi’s benefactor Pawar may have turned against him because he reckons he too might be singed by this IPL heat, but KK Modi’s scion has many powerful backers. Will Modi take the fall or will he be able to pull off another Houdini act? Monday will tell us, says Sandeep Bamzai.
This one has all the juice. Expect more. And with allegations of Lalit Modi cooking up this broth to trump Rendezvous’ Kochi IPL team bid for Ahmedabad gaining currency, be prepared for more dirt. Rendezvous has already reacted by calling Modi a drug peddler… so, watch out, many blind curves ahead, says Sandeep Bamzai as he goes deep into the Modi-Tharoor-Kochi IPL controversy.
I am confused, my mind is in a whirl, says Sandeep Bamzai as he wonders whether anyone can make more sense of the Ayesha-Shoaib-Sania triangle. A failed, under-the-scanner Pakistani cricketer is marrying a failed Indian tennis player. Wedged between them is a Hyderabadi woman, who claims she is Shoaib’s first wife and all she wants is an honourable divorce.
Delhi as a metro is not big on graffiti. But lately, one sees its scrawl and the legend inscribed is worrying – Pro rich, anti poor, CWG sucks. The Commonwealth Games are barely 190 days away, but work on the stadiums is yet to be completed. Plus the Capital is a dug out zone with construction material strewn around and burdened by an inflating Games budget. Sandeep Bamzai wonders why most of the media is silent on such an important issue.
Over the last couple of days, the IPL auction has emerged as the hot button subject. Sandeep Bamzai does the math and says that the stiff entry cost is the biggest impediment in the grandiose designs of the new team owners of Pune and Kochi teams. Despite the pie having been made more lucrative by Lalit Modi, there isn’t enough on the table to take away for the newbies. But the early birds have definitely got the worm.
This week, Sandeep Bamzai delves into the murky world of telecom licencing. He cites the peculiar case of CBI investigating the role of the country’s number one lobbyist in the award of a Unified Access Services telecom license to Unitech in 2007-08. But the rabbit hole goes far deeper than first thought.
Safedi ki chamkar where Rin and Tide are slugging it out isn't the only battle zone these days. There is another joust in the media firmament where an ongoing glove fest has everyone riveted. And this has nothing to do with iski shirt meri shirt se zyada safed kyun hai? This one is about an entrenched player and a newbie, says Sandeep Bamzai.
Sandeep Bamzai takes a look at the most relevant news covered by Headlines Today in recent times to stress that if the bulwark of a news channel remains news, then this long and arduous road of perseverance will pay off. The process of distillation at Headlines Today has been slow and capital intensive, but one can safely say that it is bearing fruition finally.
Dang, media is once again in the news. Yup, the newswallahs are very much in the news again. Targeted in the crosshairs, they are once again everyone's favourite whipping boys. Sadly, their role has been thrown into stark relief again. And it does not make for happy reading, says Sandeep Bamzai.
Friday after Friday, the fate of stars and their bankrollers – the producers and bulge bracket distributors – is decided on the Box Office across the world. After ‘Chak De’, ‘My Name is Khan’ is Shah Rukh Khan’s greatest acting performance. Week one and week two will determine its fate and future course. B Town is merciless, replete with crabs, says Sandeep Bamzai.
Even as some of the epicures on telly go on their culinary journeys, they open a window of opportunity in some of us. A window, which allows our taste buds to take over and wander in the hallways of foodland, notes Sandeep Bamzai as he undertakes a culinary journey on Indian television.
Lots of curious things go on in the media. There is a new twist to an old tale every single day. The reported demerger move of Air India and India and the subsequent denial issued saw its fair share of drama, which was further heightened when there were also accusations of a rip off of the media report. Sandeep Bamzai gives the details.
Since 26/11, many searching questions have been asked of our news telly wallahs. In fact, they have failed several rounds of catechism. Against this backdrop, Ram Gopal Varma is readying to release ‘Rann’. ‘Rann’s main protagonist Amitabh Bachchan speaks about the movie and news television in general to Sandeep Bamzai.
The malleability and ductility of select regional media lent itself to jumpstarting a wave of indignation against two business houses in Andhra Pradesh on the basis of a four-month old web post. Veteran journalist Sandeep Bamzai goes deeper into the developments unfolding in the tinderbox that is Andhra Pradesh today.
Comeuppance, just desserts, call it what you will. Karan Thapar was on the other side of the fence recently as he was put on the dock by Mani Shankar Aiyar. The man famed for conducting verbal assaults on his guests had been finally found tongue tied, diffident and hapless, remarks veteran journalist Sandeep Bamzai.