Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chetan Kunte, Blogging Hero

No one creates heroes better and faster than old media. Sometimes, they do it inadvertently. Like in the case of blogger Chetan Kunte (Chyetanya Kunte), who 'dared' to question the work of a mainstream media journalist Barkha Dutt of NDTV news channel.

Chetan Kunte was not alone in criticizing the media coverage during the Mumbai Terror Attacks NDTV - the Navy Chief, the NSG, the local panwallah, even those good-for-nothings who live and die by the reporting ethos of India TV, there were few among us who liked the coverage.

But, in the end, it was Chetan who got the Golden Notice, the letter that makes careers, the letter from the lawyers.

This incident once again illustrates Indian Media types have thin hides and a sense of self importance almost as big as that of the assorted religious gurus.

NDTV is a fine news channel but not in the league of the New York Times, which is covered in unflattering terms on blogs such as on weekly if not daily basis.

I haven't heard about the Times suing any blogger so far.

Commenting about the coverage, Miss Dutt said in the Indian Express, "If they hated us so much, why are they watching us?"

Because, we have no choice, boss. If we don't watch NDTV, we have to do with a hyperventilating, loud Rajdeep Sardesai on CNN-IBN or a hyper-opinionated, 'are you talking to me?' Arnab Goswami on Times Now. The only news channel worth watching is NDTV India, in hindi, especially when Ravish Kumar or Vinod Dua are at the helm. Let the news take over, dear.

Chetan was forced to take down his 'offending post' but you can access the Google Cache version here.
Incidentally, it is more than 3 years, after the IIPM scandal, since a major lonely blogger vs. big business story has broken out in the Indian Blogosphere scene.

Note to Miss Dutt: the Online publishing world is bigger than anything you have ever seen so far. Enjoy your days of media hegemony while it lasts.

Why so serious?

Coverage of the issue continues on these fine blogs:
Kunte's withdrawal post.
Patrix's Post.
Sandeep's Post.
Gaurav Sabnis (the man who wrote about the IIPM scandal) Post

Related on Mediavidea
The Greatest Moments in Indian Blogging History

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At 5:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Real Talibans of India - Media

When a female journalist called Soumya Vishwanathan was killed in India’a national capital, the Chief Minister of Delhi Smt Sheila Dixit blamed the dead female journalist for her own tragedy by saying that she was too adventurous. The Media wholeheartedly supported Mrs Dixit and went gaga over her shortly afterwards, when she won the Delhi Assembly elections.

When Scarlett Keeling was raped and killed in Goa and the needle of suspicion pointed to a strong nexus between the Goan Ministers, the drug mafia and the sex racketeers, the media played it very safe by conveniently choosing not to pursue the leads from the investigation.

When a 14-year-old German girl was raped by Rohit Monserrate, the 21-year-old son of Goa Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate who is also a powerful political figure in Goa, and the girl’s mother was repeatedly harassed and their lawyer was grievously injured in order to coerce him to withdraw from the case, the Media didn’t find anything extraordinary in that.

When Taslima Nasreen’s press conference was rudely disrupted and chairs and all sorts of dangerous objects were thrown at her in full glare of the cameras by the “secular” muslim jihadis of Hyderabad lead by the MLAs of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the Media didnt at all find anything amiss in that.

When Laxmi Oraon, an Adivasi woman was brutally thrashed and paraded naked through the streets of Guwahati, Assam, with the whole police paraphernalia and official state machinery in tow, the Media chose to downplay the episode since, the victim was a hapless adivasi woman from the lower strata of society.

The Media felt that since all the above unsavoury incidents had occured in the states lead by Madam Sonia Antonia Maino’s puppets, it is all perfectly legitimate and absolutely secular and progressive.

Kudos to the Media who are the Real Talibans of India.

At 2:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't the irony of the situation strike Ms Dutt? Freedom of expression endangered etc etc? Try shutting her up and see what you get...Sanity.

I remember when Kargil happened, Capt Batra's mom and sister has hit out at Madam D for having compromised his life, because the sat phone that she used to report back compromised the army's position and they were attacked. Silence from messrs NDTV back then.
In fact, she got an award for that coverage.
When 26/11 happened and she got in front of the camera and declared that the Indian army was strengthening its position along the border, did NDTV bother to retract their story after it was found that the report was not true? Did anybody send them a legal notice to apologise for the factual incoorectness of that story? Nah.

At 2:38 PM , Blogger Beau Peep said...

Oh! Ms. Barkha Dutt has lost it ages back. She is no longer the same Barkha Dutt she actually never was. Her only cause to have become so well known was the Kargil War, the first televised war in India, and that too because of Capt. Vikram Batra's martyrdom.

I have nothing but abhorrence for the female who fancies herself to be a journalist. She is far from it.

At 8:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't expect those standards from NDTV, a corporate owned news channel. A reporter who relies on emotionalism rather than reporting in an unaffected, unbiased manner will continue to be treated like a hero. People do like sensationalism. But what do these corporate news channels choose to sensationalize?
If they were willing couldn't the same amount of attention be given to those 1,50,000 farmers who have committed suicide in the last eight years? How many hours did these heroic reporters spend asking the farmers' families 'what was the last thing he said?' The BIG BAD terrorists will continue to get most of the attention, what guns they used, what bombs. How about where does all the money come from?
Check out the videos at the following link, they have some inaccuracies but definitely worth watching.

At 10:28 PM , Blogger Rakesh Singh - राकेश सिंह said...

Barkha Dutt ia not a good journalist at all. She is arrogant and thinks that her opinion is the best. For her Indian culture is garbage but western culture is Gem.

what to expect from Daughter of Meclay .

At 5:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

At 4:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all i thank you Mr.Pramit Singh & Mr.Kunte,i have been trying a long time to vent out my anger against this "enunch"calls "herself" as Barkha dutt..bloody shit for Pranoy roy..ridiculously arrogant reporter..i wonder she calls herself as a Women.hahaha.when i saw the mumbai reporting first,i was really shocked,in a hostage crisis they are airing happenings outside the combat area that to a hotel,earlier i thought that they must be watching t.v and getting clues,,but to my surprise they were not that much capable and were receiving instructions from pakistan.why the hell they are not talking about farmers suicide in maharastra, vedanta's environmental destruction,its new SEZ -irregularities..shall i get the post of Mr.kunte i couldn't view here..

At 7:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pramit,

your last words on this blog post have proved prophetic going by the fall of Barkha Dutt. I wonder if you can contact Chetan kunte and bring him forward at this time to talk publicly again? Now no Burkha Dutt can gag him. He was the first one to speak against her and the events have now proved that "bhagwan ke ghar der hai, andher nahi hai."

At 12:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's happening in India is similar to what happened in the West. The introduction of Democracy [tyranny of the majority], lead to Oligarchy [tyranny of the elites]. What we have in India right now is our own brand of Fascism [merger of state and corporate power]. M. K. Gandhi's vision for India was the opposite. But our people are saddled with too many fears, that they prefer to become either tyrants or slaves.

As far as the media is concerned, its bias is the by-product of the immaturity of the population. No corporate media can survive without an audience and our audiences reward the media for selling trash.

The only reason we haven't seen the full force of Fascism after formation in 1947, is that the millions under poverty create the counter-balance to the extreme measures of the elites. If there are no poor in the country, that is when the 'great squeeze' will reign upon the people.


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