Friday, February 01, 2008

Drama

Yes, the epic story of NewsX does not end just yet, after getting rid of The V, it seems that the the rival faction has decided to get rid of The V's people. With the help of a person described as a 'snake in the grass', a theory I can concur with with knowing how said snake treated his ex-girlfriend who is a close friend. Anyway, the sequence of events according to a source, which has been corroborated by several other people, went with a meeting being called by wife with several anchors. The snake (not Snakeman, UPDATE : READ THE LETTER ATTACHED AT THE END OF THE POST mind you who also was targeted by the wife) suggested several names who have to be removed, including Avirook and Arunda.
Later on, the wife sent an army of acolytes and security guards to take away Avirook's computer, at which point all hell broke loose in the newsroom. Supposedly names were called and some people were roughed up in the newsroom, and the party ended with not just a few bruised egos, but some bruises. Anyway, the day ended with five people being fired and a further nine quitting. More people were fired today morning and according to one person over fifty people have quit after organising jobs at other channels. Members of the newsroom are wearing black armbands and are looking for jobs.
This has gone from being a televised drama to full-fledged Bollywood tear-jerker. Given the incestuous and friend nature of the media,. events at INX Media are the talking point of every media office today morning and will be for a while. Further updates to come through the day and comments by those who witnessed the events, from 'either' side are welcome to comment.

UPDATE : We have the text of Nag's resignation letter which I have cut-and-pasted from his website.

My Resignation Letter
from: Narendra Nag to: Vynsley Fernandes cc: nick pollard, saubhik chakrabarti, Dhruva Sen, Indrani Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea date Feb 1, 2008 12:49 PMsubject My dismissal
Dear Vynsley,
In a meeting with anchors on Thursday, January 31, 2008, NewsX chairperson Indrani Mukerjea told some of my colleagues that I, along with others like Executive Editor Avirook Sen, Head of Domestic News Rajesh Sundaram and Editorial Adviser Nick Pollard would be asked to leave NewsX "very soon". My email was blocked soon after -- around 6.30 Thursday evening.
That I had to find out my services are no longer required in this manner has left me shocked and disappointed -- especially, considering the email you sent me just last week praising my good work since I joined here April 1, 2007. In the same email you told me I was up for a raise.
As you may appreciate, these events have made my position here untenable. That you would not know about my dismissal -- as you and Dhruva indicated in our conversation late Thursday evening when I returned the laptop issued to me -- is difficult for me to believe.
In recent times I have seen, with increasing dismay, the manner in which this organisation has been run: the scant regard for journalists is only the tip of the iceberg -- the manner in which senior management has chosen to operate leaves me with the firm conviction that professionalism is a word to be bandied about but disregarded in every activity -- that respect and dignity are alien concepts -- that NewsX has become an organisation few would want to work for and almost no one would hold as an example of how a world class news channel should be created, or run. You may, of course, choose to disagree.
As one of the first few employees of this place, it pains me greatly that I have been summarily dismissed in so cavalier a fashion -- I can only hope for the sake of those people who continue to work at NewsX that Thursday's dismissals -- Avirook Sen, Arun Roy Chowdhury, Kailash Menon, Rajesh Sundaram and myself -- are exceptions rather than the rule.
I am writing in protest against the complete lack of professionalism of Mrs Indrani Mukerjea and the way she has ridden rough shod over all journalistic ethics. The last straw was the mistreatment of the channel's Executive Editor by a band of security guards and junior managers acting at the behest of the top management Thursday evening.
Such an incident is unparalleled in the history of Indian journalism. Not only do I question Mrs Indrani Mukerjea's credentials to run a channel, I am also perturbed by questions about the source of her funds. She has told the press that she owns over 60 per cent of NewsX. Is this her own money, or is she fronting for somebody? I believe an investigation is called for.
Please let me know my earliest date of release as per the terms of my contract.
Warm regards,
Narendra Nag

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a war between journalism and corporate. For Mukherjee's and snakes NEWS 'X' is a business but for us it is more than. We die for News.. We have to fight for our rights then only we can bring justice to others... Keep the spirit going! The battle is on.....


A soldier,

J

Anonymous said...

This is not at all a war between journalism and corporate what are we talking here are u guys trying to tell the world that these supposedly fired ppl knew how to make a story with visuals then u must be fooling urself, this was bound to happen sooner or later they hired all their croonies and stated ganging up without knowing ABC of tv journalism. when we talk of tv its not how u put words and make a story its abt producton values in the story .GOD save INX

Anonymous said...

does anyone really care anymore?

warrior of light said...

What happened at the news X office..was not the firing of incompetent ppl...but total disregard of any ethics or professional conduct.
The ppl who were treated like measly gate crashers..being roughed up and thrown out by guards...were the ones who showed us the dream called "news X".
To those who were silent spectators- U dont deserve to call yourself journalists...and those who pledged their support to these corporate dictators are nothing but sell outs and corporate pimps.
Do u think that the mukherjeas care about the news channel? what it wishes ro achieve or the impact we create on society? All they care about is MONEY MONEY and more MONEy...which was quite evident in the morning presentation we attended yesterday by Peter.

The behavior displayed by the management has made it clear..that they will treat this news channel like a local "dukaan"..where the "seth" will insult and throw out anyone he doesnt like. This is a news channel..media is sed to be the backbone of a democracy...and if yesterdays events be seen in the bigger picture..they indicate a clear flow of the INdian democracy towards corporate dictatorship.

Guys, we are the voice of the nation. It is our responsibility to fight for those who cant...so will we not fight for some one who we all have loved and respected? Will we just sit quietly and whisper in low tones about how disgusting the incident was...but be scared..lest our "sethani" hears us from the receptors hanging all over the office? and fire us too?

When one hero misbehaves with a reporter...the entire industry attacks him..So will we sit and watch while our editor in chief was roughed up and mistreated by these business men? And dont forget if the editor, bureau head, etc were treated this way...what are u expecting from this management..when u are as dispensable to them as a ball point pen?
Avirook if u ever read this : i want u to know that we (atleast some of us) have shared ure dream...we believed in your vision and looked at u for direction. You are the only reason we did not panick when Vir left, for as long as u were there..we believed that the channel might become what we all together had dreamt it to become.

Anonymous said...

i seriuosly have no clues as to what has happenend.i dont think so newsx is turning out the way it was concieved by vir and avirook...its extremely appalling the way the management handled the whole issue...no other media organisation has ever done anything of this sort..it doesnt say anything good about the channel either....its clear case of corporate guys taking over the editorial policy..guys who dont even have one journalism bone in their body are calling the shots now....its amazing how can everyone just sit and watch this thing happen...

Anonymous said...

I do feel like what ever has been written, but nobody has got guts to stand-up and say whatever he feels... Nobody wants to risk his job 'Dreams' even not the people who were till yesterday tailing around Avirook sir and rajesh sir. All we need a leader who can drive us. There were smses around going about the black bands but the day was 'colorful'. We miss you Avirook and Rajesh.we dream to be a part of a bigger dream.

Regrds,

Anonymous said...

Like many people who have put up comments today, I’m also an employee of newsx and a journo and from print (!!) and having seen all the stuff that’s written about the co. I work for, it seems to me that there is a lot of hot air and all of this is being taken way out of proportion. There were definitely no black armbands or 50 people having quit or quitting today. Yes, there was a lot of talk in the office about Avirook's departure and what is happening. And we are all concerned about what is going on, but ultimately we are professionals and here to do a job the best way we can.

Life was pretty much normal today, with everybody doing their jobs and no real noise. If people want to quit, then so be it. Everybody can have their opinions and make their stand if they so choose. But some of us just want to be able to do our jobs, and this kind of stupid stirring really is rather pathetic.

By the way, i was around when Avirook was asked to hand in his laptop. To be fair to Avirook, he was dignified throughout the process. The only idiot was Rajesh who made a complete fool of himself shouting at the top of his voice like some complete loony in the middle of the office. I'm sure Avirook would have far preferred a quiet dignified exit than the laughing stock he was made of by Rajesh.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why there is so much Mukerjea bashing going on on this blog. Have they done something specific to you all, or are you just cowards who need to find someone to pick on to explain why you are not as successful as you want to be in your jobs. Grow up and get lives. Face it NewsX like all other news channels are here to make money. If the revenue wasn't coming in to the channels, you wouldn't all have cushy journalist jobs. You'd be sitting in some library stamping books. NewsX is a business like any other. Yes it needs great editors and journalists to make its news stories great and ensure that we have viewers, but it also needs good business people to help run it in a profitable way and ensure it makes money. Great stories, and no revenue does not guarantee jobs.

Anonymous said...

DASMUNSI APPEALS TO MEDIA CHANNELS TO HONOUR CONTRACTUAL TERMS WITH THEIR MEDIA PERSONNEL
19:30 IST
A delegation of Senior and Eminent Electronic Media Journalists and News Editors of NewsX Channel called on the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri P.R. Dasmunsi, today and explained about the injustice and the shocking treatment being meted out to them by the security staff and other persons and later on they were sacked.

Shri P.R. Dasmunsi has issued the following statement:

“Keeping in view the independence and autonomy of the Media, neither the Government nor the Ministry ever interferes and shall not intervene in the internal affairs or administration of any media house or channel. But the manner in which the eminent Editors have been treated and the rights of media personnel have been reportedly infringed upon is really a matter of great concern for free and fair journalism in the country. Minister has been apprised of the serious allegations including source of channel funding which Minister is not competent to react, and accordingly, has referred the matter to the concerned desk of the Finance Ministry to ascertain the facts through their investigation wing.

Minister makes an appeal to all media channels that whenever any media personnel is engaged on some contract, their contractual terms should be valued and honoured including the financial clauses. Otherwise, hire and fire mechanism shall not provide honour and confidence to the engaged media personnel in the country, wherever they may be”.

http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=35094

Anonymous said...

Who is wimpy last anonymous? "You'd be sitting in some library stamping books. NewsX is a business like any other...." huh sorry NONE of us great writers & journos are stamping books either before or after wotever NX this is...let's b clear..may be ur a part of management or NOT.

A. Have the courage to state ur name if u want to make eloquent but inane speeches like this.

B. Stop being a baniya..yes news is business we are NOT against it, but u nuclear scientist, news is to do with EDITORIAL - wc is all about ETHICS, news sense, attitude, intelligence & other skills besides numbers, figures (digital & literal)!

We have been in this field for nearly 2 decades so honey NONE of us came here seeing the high salary bait...get real news is NOT only about business u CANNNOT sell a shit product...

as for the wotever NX gossip, well scams are all around us, even Harshad Mehta is considered god by gujjus, so may b V has his fan following???

Anonymous said...

Journos
Welcome to the Real World, This happens every day in every Industry. Nothing New. grow up, Move on. Have heard of worst cases. Wake up and smell the coffee dudes. Just because you guys are journos that doesnt mean that you can get away with Non Performance, Obviously its a much thought over decision by the Management.

Cheer up, Avirook will get a job very soon.

Anonymous said...

YOUR Earlier Blog States and I quote
"Vir's first hiring at this new channel was a person who lost two jobs in quick succession, but in his next-to-last job, he was quite the favourite."

So Now Avirook has lost his THIRD Heavily paid Job, Obviously something wrong with that dude. Must be a LOOSER.

Sudeep said...

This is really funny. All these guys go and join and then get thrown out. Some of them get thrown out of three jobs in succession. They are known only for hanging around one single successful (?) editor type. They know nothing (rpt) nothing about television. (Let me tell you, it's not rocket science, but at least scooter science!) INX and the Mukherjeas want to launch a TV news channel with these worthies. The Mukherjeas put in the money. Both sides make mistakes: the journalists (i cringe when i use that word here) for joining without knowing ANYTHING of what they are getting into and the Mukherjeas for letting them in. Now, the moneybags says enough, you guys can't do this job and sacks them. That's pretty much the story. Both sides deserved each other. One of them has the money. Guess which side wins?

thalassa_mikra said...

For all those who said that the channel is a business and should be run like one, I'm in full agreement with you.

This being the case, tell me which professionally managed business is literally handed over on a platter to the wife of the man who lined up the investments?

Who then proceeds to muck up matters to such an extent that their top hire leaves in disgust?

Let's look at Indrani's credentials so far:

1. Was an independent HR consultant
3. Wife of Peter Mukherjea

If she wasn't Mukherjea's wife, she wouldn't even get a middle management job in the company based on those qualifications, let alone run a huge news channel.

I'm astonished that investment funds like Temasek allowed someone like Indrani to helm affairs, and the only sane explanation is that they thought she was a place-holder till Peter sits out the non-compete clause. Or Peter has friends in the right places in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Time 2 let loose some name. Akash Banerjee and Sanket Upadhyay, the fraudulent loudmouths at NewsX, were the ones who pushed for the removal of Rajesh Sundaram and Jitarth during the meeting wid d anchors. “For those who cudn’t crack the nut, Akash banerjee is the well put – snake in the grass”. The duo were at their best when d nincompoop mukherjee couple were in dilli and wasted no time when they saw their only chance to move up the ladder. The banerjee fella has saved his back with an offer from Headlines Today in his pocket. Dats wat I wud call craft. Sanket meanwhile was playing his witless sidekick.
While things were still good and happy at INX, Rajesh and avirook saw through Akash’s con job and dats what made Akash pull out his cards. One did foresee a termination coming avirook and nag’s way after the larger fallout and wud have expected them to move out in grace (so wud have rajesh), but wanting to make it to the good books of Indrani, saw Akash playing a pivotal role in the entire firing process. One would be forced to think, that after the showdown between Palash Kumar and Akash (they both deserve each other), would Mr. Kumar be on his way out, even though he has pledged his loyalties to the mukherjea camp?
All said n done, even if one could validate the termination of the likes of Avirook, Nag, Arunda and Rajesh (which according to me was totally uncalled for), what could have led them to try n sabotage the career of a consistent performer like Kailash Menon, who is at the threshold of this line of business?

K said...

there will be severe comment pruning tomorrow. But before there is lets make one thing clear i know there were no cases of harassment of any nature against any of the people fired. However to save skin i do believe that this will be the strategy used by one side calling the other perverts. Though the last two comments stink of pr talk.
Lets be honest noone will come out of this smelling like roses. However i believe that the v will have his revenge and yesterday's meeting with india's football destroyer was just that. Priyo is a person who lover stepping into the thick of things and i guess the v will ensure that not only will news x never get a licence but that inx could well lose their broadcasting licence. Given that the ownership of inx is a bit shady, anyone will agree things are not over yet. You have to remember one thing. This is the v you are talking about he is one of madam's favourites. This is only going to get uglier.
Not that i mind though. However this is not warfornews there is no comment democracy here. Have a great saturday.
K

AC said...

This post is to all the men and women who are shouting their throats hoarse trying to make believe that Avirook is a pevert and a loser. ALL YOU MEN: You are just jealous that not half as many women swoon over you. AND ALL YOU WOMEN: You're just pissed that someone else drew Avirook's attention more than you did. Don't even remotely try to fool the readers of this blog by implying that you didn't crave for his attention. Because you know you did. And to all those who are casting aspersions on his ability as a journalist, don't forget that he has done much more in terms of quantity and quality work in journalism than you or I will ever do. So, instead of being an asshole, concentrate on your job at hand...and may be (may be...) you will be 20 per cent as good as Avirook is. I worked with Avirook for almost two years and all the crap that is being said about him being a pervert and inefficient is just that -- CRAP! He is the sharpest, most articulate boss I have had. AND I AM A GIRL!!!

Also, all you people who are thrashing him, if you are so smart and brave why don't you reveal your identity instead of posting as anonymous entities. I bet that sooner or later, more than half of you Avirook bashers will go scampering for jobs at the news organisation that he is one of the top editors at. So stop being hypocrites! Instead of wasting time looking at others' failings look at your own and you may be a better person for it! And for the person who said that Avirook's fourth job will be P I M P X....Well, how do you know the dynamics of the PIMP business so well? Seems like you have been an insider :P:P:P

Anonymous said...

i think you should moderate comments and remove those which are abusive or vulgar in nature. as you yourself said this is not warfornews or that other blog which went after one editor in FE. this blog was a refreshing change. keep it that way, please.

K said...

Comments are now being moderated. Anything I know to be untrue will not be allowed here. Also, judging from some of the comments it seems the PR department of a major media company has nothing better to do than post here :)

Anonymous said...

The couple chose the wrong guy to fall out with. knowing the V he will not rest till the channel is destroyted. And this has already started. goodluck INX

Prasoon said...

Hi K,

Its good to moderate comments. I see lots of shots from pen but cowardly firing from those who in their comments have admitted that they are journalist and other don't have a single bone of journalism in their body.

Let me point out that whatever comments I saw on your blog, pnly few of them had courage to reveal their name.

So those who call themselves idol of ethical journalism should come out openly.

If you are to fight with an unethical person than at least show your ethics of journalism.

I am not a member of INX media house but a spectator who is watching from outside through your blog.

This firing events at INX is a big casualty for the organisation. Now it will find hard to get a JOURNALIST to work for it. When I say 'Journalist' i mean journalist as read in books.

The other thing is that there will be continous job insecurity among those who are working there because every time they will be part of dirt politics as it is talked in most of the media houses.

I read one comment that talks something about business of news. Let me tell that 'Everything for sale' person that even ethical news can get you lot of business.

Learn branding. Read '33 immutable laws of branding' by Al and Laura Ries, if you are a marketing guy.

Jugaad Paani Dhanda is not good for long term growth.

But it was said to hear from you that you would not entertain anything untrue.
You don't judge anything untrue. Come out with proof to point that which comment is false.

I had been in touch with Rajesh but now seeing the scene there I would never prefer to work under Indrayani, till she says sorry to all the journalist and journalist community.

Niki said...

This has happened before also in Star News which was managed by the same group of people - Read this blog post.

GBO said...

Yaar, people get fired all the time, this time it was a journalist group. This is like cribbing about waiting for 20 minutes at the Gurgaon Toll Booth while for years/decades now trucks and other commercial vehicles wait for hours at nakas/chungis et al.

Point is:- who ever even watched this channel? Remember Jain TV and their departure?

Ho-Hum.

abhi 2.0 said...

This came in the HOOT today k:

Why are we going to this man?

One of Sen’s past employers, the Hindustan Times, sacked an editor last year. We did not see him head for the minister for information and broadcasting. A HOOT editorial

http://www.thehoot.org/web/home/story.php?sectionId=10&mod=1&pg=1&valid=true&storyid=2917

Anonymous said...

Dasmunsi asks Finance Ministry to probe source of funding for INX

Developments at INX took a serious turn when Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi on Friday issued a statement that he had been apprised of the serious allegations, including source of channel funding for INX, and that he had referred the matter to the concerned desk of the Finance Ministry to ascertain the facts through their investigation wing.

On Friday, February 1, a delegation of senior electronic media journalists and news editors of NewsX channel called Dasmunsi and explained about the injustice and the shocking treatment being meted out to them by the security staff and other persons, and later on they were sacked.

In a statement, the Information and Broadcasting Minister said, “"Keeping in view the independence and autonomy of the media, neither the Government nor the Ministry ever interferes and shall not intervene in the internal affairs or administration of any media house or channel. But the manner in which the eminent editors have been treated and the rights of media personnel have been reportedly infringed upon is really a matter of great concern for free and fair journalism in the country. Minister has been apprised of the serious allegations, including source of channel funding which Minister is not competent to react, and accordingly, has referred the matter to the concerned desk of the Finance Ministry to ascertain the facts through their investigation wing.”

The Minister also appealed to all media channels that whenever any media personnel was engaged on some contract, their contractual terms should be valued and honoured, including the financial clauses. “Otherwise, hire and fire mechanism shall not provide honour and confidence to the engaged media personnel in the country, wherever they may be,” Dasmunsi said.

Despite repeated attempts by exchange4media, Peter Mukerjea, Chief Strategy Officer of INX Media, could not be contacted for his comments on the Minister’s statement.

Meanwhile, on January 31 Avirook Sen, Executive Editor, INX News, was allegedly sacked without any prior notice and reason. Following the incident, others like Narendra Nag, Executive Producer, and Rajesh Sundaram, Head of Domestic News, also resigned.

When contacted, Sen said, “I am challenging my dismissal legally. But, what is most shocking is how INX treats senior journalists. Yesterday's (January 31) incident is unprecedented in the history of Indian journalism.”

In his resignation letter to Vynsley Fernandes, COO of the news channel, a copy of which is available with exchange4media, Nag wrote, “In a meeting with anchors on Thursday, January 31, 2008, NewsX chairperson Indrani Mukerjea told some of my colleagues that I, along with others like Executive Editor, Avirook Sen, Head of Domestic News, Rajesh Sundaram, and Editorial Advisor, Nick Pollard, would be asked to leave NewsX ‘very soon’. My email was blocked soon after, around 6.30 pm on Thursday evening.”

A similar resignation letter was written by Sundaram.

There are other names as well who are no more associated with the channel like Prakash Patra, Coordinating Editor, who resigned on his own, and Kailash Menon, Producer, who alleged that he was forced to resign.

“In recent times I have seen, with increasing dismay, the manner in which this organisation has been run: the scant regard for journalists is only the tip of the iceberg – the manner in which senior management has chosen to operate leaves me with the firm conviction that professionalism is a word to be bandied about, but disregarded in every activity – that respect and dignity are alien concepts – that NewsX has become an organisation few would want to work for and almost no one would hold as an example of how a world class news channel should be created, or run. You may, of course, choose to disagree,” Nag wrote in his resignation letter.

“Such an incident is unparalleled in the history of Indian journalism. Not only do I question Mrs Indrani Mukerjea's credentials to run a channel, I am also perturbed by questions about the source of her funds. She has told the press that she owns over 60 per cent of NewsX. Is this her own money, or is she fronting for somebody? I believe an investigation is called for,” said the letter.

Anonymous said...

Mukerjee's may be known because of the wealth and sleazy life. They can own 15 channels but they can't be journalists, though they are trying.(assessing journalist like Arunda, Avirook,Rajesh and Nag. Weeks back NEWS X was a head ache for the opponent channels. Vir, Avirook and Rajesh had roped in a great team. Alas!

Anonymous said...

Will News X be a 'miscarriage'?

Anonymous said...

Shameful.

The news business need not be run as a democracy, but an inclusive management that treats employees as knowledge-workers is the only way to grow a professional broadcast service.

Firing someone is the easiest thing to do. Getting work out of people is what you should be doing Mrs Mukherjee!!

Too late.

Anonymous said...

The HOOT article
Why are we going to this man?


One of Sen’s past employers, the Hindustan Times, sacked an editor last year. We did not see him head for the minister for information and broadcasting. A HOOT editorial

Posted Saturday, Feb 02 11:41:34, 2008



Last year, when the government was trying to sell a broadcasting bill which would allow the ministry of information and broadcasting to regulate TV news channels, there was an outcry. This year, when the company which owns a news channel has a spat with its editorial head and they part ways, journalists whom he brought in are sacked and who do they march to for justice? The Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Ironical, isn't it?



On the morning of February 2nd the Indian Express reports that there has been an unusual fallout of the spat between News X, the yet to be launched TV new channel from INX Media, and Vir Sanghvi who was heading he channel until a few days ago. The channel apparently dismissed some of the journalist he hired, and the channel's executive editor Avirook Sen who was one of them, led them to the Minister P R Dasmunsi to complain about injustice and shocking treatment.



Mr D lost no time in issuing a pompous statement:

"Keeping in view the independence and autonomy of the Media, neither the Government nor the Ministry ever interferes and shall not intervene in the internal affairs or administration of any media house or channel. But the manner in which the eminent Editors have been treated and the rights of media personnel have been reportedly infringed upon is really a matter of great concern for free and fair journalism in the country. Minister has been apprised of the serious allegations including source of channel funding which Minister is not competent to react, and accordingly, has referred the matter to the concerned desk of the Finance Ministry to ascertain the facts through their investigation wing.

Minister makes an appeal to all media channels that whenever any media personnel is engaged on some contract, their contractual terms should be valued and honoured including the financial clauses. Otherwise, hire and fire mechanism shall not provide honour and confidence to the engaged media personnel in the country, wherever they may be".



Sen also told the Indian Express that he also had plans to take legal action against the channel. May we suggest that that was the course he should have taken in the first place?



Lets look at this incident a little closely. According to the Express Sen had differences with the management which led to their demanding his resignation and depriving him of his car laptop and email id with immediate effect. The company released a statement leveling charges against him. What Sen and others who went with him to the minister carried however was also a complaint about "serious allegations" regarding the channel's source of funding.



Did concerns about the sources of the channel's funding disturb its senior editorial employees enough to lead them to quit before they were sacked?



Editors and senior journalists have been sacked before. One of Sen's past employers, the Hindustan Times, sacked an editor last year. We did not see him head for the minister for information and broadcasting. Not a few media eyebrows will rise at this latest development. Admittedly going to the Press Council yields no immediate remedial action. But in the absence of a regulator with more teeth the recourse for any perceived injustice from a media employer should surely be the courts?



These are not wage board employees, but private contractual people who benefit from the market logic which governs the media these days. For many, a job shift means a doubling of salary. If there are pitfalls that go with it, it does not become a freedom of press issue that should concern the government, whatever Mr Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi may say.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this tale..straight out a universe that could only be the insane media boom of India late in the first decade of the millenium...Pompous journalists getting a healthy dose of what they deserve, imagining that you are somehow above fallability...and Murkerjeas, well clearly unbeleivably bad managers...appointing socialites to run a channel, and actually thinking they will make money! I predict a long and painful learning curve at News X, (given all the action should we call it Xbox news?), but thank god for blogs like this, where a bored old hack like me can get some good old fashioned entertainment! Keeps the games going, and let the blood flow!!!!

Anonymous said...

To add some more to the revealations that are being made here, one cannot miss out the unprecedented security measures taken at NewsX (not reporters, but would-be-criminals work here, I suppose!) since the unjustified sacking of Avirook Sen and some of the other senior editorial staff.

One of these the now infamous episode of hacking into employee email accounts...

When NewsX employees returned to office on Friday morning, they found notices put up everywhere telling them they had new email passwords "due to mail migration to new servers.". Sure! Anyway, at least one of the reasons for the overnight hacking into people's accounts, it has become known, was an email Prakash Patra, ex-news co-ordinator at NewsX, wrote to Peter and Indrani Mukerjea (cced to allusers) as the incident around Avirook Sen was taking place. For those who didn't read the email as it reached their accounts, they didnt find out about it at all since it was deleted from all email accounts the next morning! Only due to some smart alecs that saved the email as soon as they read it on Thursday evening, the rest of us had the opportunity to read the email. Here it is now for all to read. Personally, I think no one has expressed their disgust at the episode that took place at NewsX in as clear words as Partho Sir. Read on.

Dear Peter/Indrani,

I am shocked at the manner in which you people have dealt with Mr
Avirook Sen's removal from the organization. Having witnessed today, the shoddy way in which you have treated a senior journalist, I would like to tell you that no journalist with dignity and self respect can work in such an organization.

My impression now about you and your group is that you hardly know
anything about the news media. Information and entertainment are two separate things. Any joker can handle entertainment. When it comes to information and news – be it print or electronic – you need depth and understanding, but it seems that you believe otherwise.

I heard that that one of you, during the course of your meetings with the staff members said print media people know nothing about the
market and something to the effect that ``they are pieces of shit.''
Having spent 27 years in journalism, I am truly amazed at your arrogance and your obviously superficial understanding of the news media. More so, considering the fact that during the day, Peter told the staff that the News X would be the Indian version of BBC!

I would not like to work with an organization headed by non-serious
people who have neither any clue about dealing with information, nor
recognize the value of professionalism. Kindly treat this as my resignation letter.

Prakash Patra

Anonymous said...

So much in being written about this whole DRAMA, seems that we all journos are out of track and not concentrating of why AS was fired, simply 'cause he was V's ........ or there is more to it.... yes, it seems there is much more to this... AS claiming to be high moral journalist and accessing PORNO on regular basis as claimed by NewsX... what a hypocrite he is.... being fired three times earlier due to alleged sexual assault and now again.... surely there seems something wrong with this guy, I am ashamed that I have been part of his team once upon a time.... he cannot change .... SWINDLERS AND CHEATS don't change... what about V... why crying in front of teh minister don't you have guts to say openly why you left... where has your dream gone..obviously you left with BIG MONEY and did something grievously wrong... you are also famous for all mischiefs...

Anonymous said...

Avirook was sacked three times? Strange......He was a wrong hire i guess.

ScrewedX Employee said...

Most men and a lot of women look at porn, that does NOT make them pervs or people more prone to sexually assaulting someone. Get over it. Whatever the people fired from NewsX may or may not have been, they did NOT deserve the treatment metted out to them. I was there when Kailash Menon was being forced out of the office. Some sleazy middle management types who called the guard to escort him out after he cleared out his desk were actually enjoying themselves. A flaming pile of crap indeed and a lot of people who are trying to play both sides to get ahead in this office are stinking pieces of shit.

Anonymous said...

Peter-Indrani, its euphoric that you are cleansing the system but
there is plenty of muck raked deep within.Psychographically you are targeting the affluent
English speaking global Indian viewer who is a connossieur of elegance...who knows to segregate
the chaff from the grain. Great...but

You had an executive producer, INPUT who has
worked in Hindi newspapers and was eased out of a Hindi channel and
whose mindset remains etched in rusticity; he would do
yeoman disservice to the channel if he continues the
tomfoolery he indulges in...who speaks/writes/reads
the queen's language like a hobgoblin, the same for an
associate executive producer whose lingua franca has
been Hindi. News X is not aiming to be another
vernacular cousin.

To deliver an 'Economist' on screen where you
combine the sartorial brevity of print with the
elegance of television, you need to visualise for the
discerning select few and wield your pen with that
polish.
And Input has to be the gourmet for a channel of
this genre...Assignment as many call it,is filled with
trash in the form of referrals with lucrative raises. SAVE ONE who is from an apt background and whose pen and imagination have the flourish required to execute your vision.

Reams of newsprint wasted on mudslinging will be
buried with the gravediggers. What will remain is the
tenacity to rise above the ordinary.

AC said...

Hey dude or dudette (the 'anonymous' one who wrote the second post above mine), you're probably getting a lot of dough for doing what you are doing...and I am 200 per cent sure that you have never worked in his team as you claim you have -- simply because a gunk like you who can't even write one sentence of proper English could never have been in his team!!! You are definately one of the newbie PR ppl (maybe an intern too!) who are being paid to churn out this kinda shit...your company is probably makiing u slog ur ass doing crap like this, because they have to get their money's worth for what they are paying u!!!Al least learn to write proper English dude!

As for the statement about "AS claiming to be high moral journalist and accessing PORNO on regular basis as claimed by NewsX... what a hypocrite he is..." well, I just have one thing to say and that is YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE! Whatever he was doing, don't even try to attempt to say that you have never watched porn on ur office pc...you probably watch it every single minute of the day even as you are writing the crap that you do...the fornication probably gives you inspiration for what you call 'work'...

As for all those who are claiming that Mr Sen has been sacked three time from previous work places...please go get your facts correct or quit journalism. It's because of ppl like you that journalism gets a bad name!

He left Midday by his own accord, even if you want to term it as sacking....and INX NEWS was the first place he was sacked from. So there goes, either which way it cannot be totalled to three....Do you get the simple funda of addition you imbecile creature!!!

Anonymous said...

A new News Channel to start soon, which V will be heading?

Anonymous said...

why is this a big deal? there are hundreds of people loosing thier job this way? just because its journos, its being blown way out of propostion, i wish there was a blog for people getting sacked this way across industries. thank god i belong to the IT industry. once had dreams to become a journalist though..... seeing the current market scenerio,i thank god am not a part of this. and it seems that AS did look like a cry baby going to the minster and all. getting sacked is part of life, and people have to accept it and move on. there is no graceful sacking and am sure avirook would sack someone the same way. AC take a chill pill. looks like you got some........ fun reading this blog though. must be the limelight right now in the media industry. K did you ever think it would be like this? ha ha bet not... liked your story on nano though. waiting to hear what you will write once its on the road.

Anonymous said...

New Channel = New day = More money = more sleeze shows = more blogs = new team. have enough channels who wants another boring trp chasing channel. if journalists can show a prince lying in well for 12 hours, i can see thier integrity, and spirit. journos are out there to make money as well, and apparently they making loads now a days. gone are the days when you could see a journo in a thela with a pen and a pad. they dont make them anymore. this is bound to happen.

common_man said...

It pains as much as it amuses me to read "Partha Sirs" letter. Futality of his 27 years in print journalism has dawned on him recetly , it seems.
I would like to ask "Partha Sir" and other loud mouthed jounalists , how did they feel when Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt got Padma Shri. Oh! that time you did not flash , experience and sacrifice of all other print journalists.
Some of you have reduced yourself to you-scratch-my-back-I-will scratch-yours types. You want big fat salaries , life styles of corporate managers but would like to think about source of your salary only when you are sacked!
Why complain now about "lack of professionalism" ?
I am not sure what happened at this particular channel ,but I am 100% sure that this is not the last time we are seeing these resignation letters being posted on blogs.
No sympathies from me. Neither for sacked journalists nor for inept managemet.

Anonymous said...

Peter-Indrani, its euphoric that you are cleansing the system but
there is plenty of muck raked deep within...

Refer to this blog...the only capable person in INPUT is a Bong, who has worked in television and is a hundred times more polished than the others in INPUT and deserves TO BE HIGHER UP ON THE LADDER...THATS FOR SURE...

Anonymous said...

I hope Vir Sanghvi gets a sock for his pseudo elite behaviour..

Anonymous said...

Anyone who described Akash as a Snake insulted those sinuous beautiful objects. Akash was a two-bit Dr Love RJ at a radio station and thanks to his shameless posterior tasting skills got his way through. He was once described by one of his senior colleagues at Times Now as a "show pony".what the pony will show is for anything to guess...

PRITISH MUKHERJI said...

what happened is completely justified.The channel was supposed to be launched in DEC 2007. Vir Sanghvi and Avirook Sen were hardly bothered about their work and were out of office all the time. The other's did a very crappy job throughout because of which the launch has been delayed and the trial bulletin at NEWS X sucked big time . they hired too too many people at first without any idea of how they will utilize them . Who's responsible for the editorial being shitty??? Is it Vir Sanghvi & Avirook Sen or the Mukherjis. Obviously if you dont do your work right, you'll get fired!!!! thats what happened. When Avirook was asked to leave the office after being fired he called up Vir, who started dictating Avirook's resignation letter to him and Avirook started typing. wensley tried stopping him by asking him to submit his laptop so that they can get all the Company data out. Avirook refused and hence the guards had to be called . the guards did not touch him. DUDE!!! YOU GOTTA DO SOME WORK IF YOU EXPECT A 6 DIGIT SALARY EVERY MONTH!! wHY ??? BECAUSE YOUR DADDY DOESNT OWN THE COMPANY!! THATS WHY .i dont know what this whole fuss is about. Kailash Menon got roughed up by security because he refused to leave the office, even after his ID card was taken away and he was asked to leave the premises. Instead of leaving the office he stood there arguing about why he cant stay??? DUDE YOU ARE FIRED!!! GET OUT OF THE DAMN OFFICE!!!! why???? BECAUSE YOUR DADDY DOESNT OWN IT !!! THATS WHY !!!!

AND THERE ARE MANY MORE PEOPLE LEFT WHO ARE MERE PARASITES ON THE COMPANY. i HOPE THEY ARE FIRED TOOO !!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hear The "V" is now so desperate that apart from his flunkies
running to the minister, he is now running around from
ministry to ministry trying to sabotage newsx. Shame
on him for biting the hand that has been feeding him.
After the fat paycheck that he has taken from newsx to
leave. talk about, being ungrateful!!!! Thank god the
Mukerjeas had seen sense and got rid of this rubbish.

VB said...

Well Mr Mukherji agreed that THEIR DADDY DID NOT OWN THE COMPANY but it seems UR DADDY DID NOT TEACH U D DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT N WRONG n tryin 2 justify something as unethical as wat happened at INX the other day. This is a terrible incident in the history of Indian journalism and I hope those behind it r ashamed of their act.
I wish the Mukherjeas realise there is much more to journalism that dolling up 2 be featured on Page 3 (eating free meals cooked by royalty) or distributing iPod Nanos to journalists for the release of their channel 9X.
I do not work with INX or knw anyone there but I knw of many who vouch for VS and Avirook's integrity. I have worked with Avirook myself and I think he rocks. Tchh.. some people are imbecile and do not have the power to identify talent when they see it.

Anonymous said...

Pritish, am surprised at the way you have blatantly written the crap!! I have quietly observed how some trainees like you are good-for-nothing. Like a typical fool, you are only passing the buck onto Vir and Avirook. Do you yourself think are intelligent enough that you are raring to go on air as early as tomorrow?

Why NewsX couldn't go air was not because of editorial people but people like Johnjit, Karun and even Vyns- who just kept huge cuts off the transactions. Do you think you get to shoot, ingest and edit smoothly on incite despite six months and firang training? That's for the technical section to look into- not the editorial staff.

The building is still too prematured, despite you all spending quarter year working in a call centre building. Go and ask Johnjit how he has managed to buy a Vitara. Wake up, Pritish.

You yourself say "Kailash Menon got roughed up"- roughing up is not a part of any civilised society- let alone a journalistic organisation. Its a News channel, not 9X where soap operas show roughing-up of people in a fictional world.

Fence sitters like you are the ones who are spoiling the atmosphere of NewsX now- no loyalty, no conscience, no professionalism!!

If you are so desperate to go on air, you always have options. GET OUT OF THE DAMN OFFICE!!!! why???? BECAUSE YOUR DADDY DOESNT OWN IT !!! THATS WHY !!!!

GBO said...

Are Pritish Mukherji and the Anonymous/2:50am/05February THE SAME PERSON!!!!

Too much shouting, too many ALL CAPS and far too many exclamation marks!!!!!!!

Though I do admit, Arup Ghosh is a bit off.

then again, who gives a Rat's Ass, when hoodlums are busy beating taxi drivers up in Mumbai?

Pritish Mukherjee said...

Dear Alter Ego or fake “Pritish” if I am allowed to say…kindly grow up. To set the record straight I don’t feel offended by your post cuz I am sure you are one of those people who’s only action in life is discussing office politics and speculating what happens next. Don’t feel bad about that cuz if you apply this to your work, you might just become an asset to News X and hey if you have to post something please confirm your name and don’t confuse it with your colleagues'

PS: You are not a good journalist cuz a good one does his research at least when it comes to spellings. Next time on please spell my name correctly. (Mukherjee with”ee” not “i”)

Hemanth said...

Well I completely agree with the real Pritish Mukherjee. And it is not just your name Pritish, the fake Mr. Pritish also got Mr. Peter Mukher-JEA's name wrong. Add to that all the typos and the crappy grammar and punctuation, which leads me to the following conclusions...that it is not a journalist who has written it...or that it is a journalist who doesn't know his A****** from his Mouth...or that it is a clever journalist who wants people to double guess.

And Pritish (my dear friend, not the spineless S**********), I know that you are too true your aspirations as a journalist to make any such mistakes, even in your sleep.

And sorry to use such strong words, but if I could just lay my hands on whoever did this...I would use more than just words...

Anonymous said...

Oh what a mess K, Curious to know how many comments are you editing / Not putting on? am sure it must have got more abusive. Please do give us a gist of Comments you have chosen to delete in your next post.