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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.

Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

Don’t think too much of yourself. You’re an accident

This is the fifth installment of The Rationalist, my column for the Times of India. I was 17 when I…

One Tax To Rule Them All

This is the 35th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

The Binary Fallacy

This is an essay I wrote last week for the magazine I edit, Pragati. 1 A few days ago, a…

Here’s What It Means To Not Own Your Body

This is the fourth installment of The Rationalist, my column for the Times of India. A century ago, when India…

Whose Money is it Anyway?

This is the 37th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. The…

16 January, 2008

The Private Treaties of the Times of India

Reader Bhushan Nigale writes in:

I was expecting you to link to the hard-hitting Mint story (incidentally published on the 15th of January) on ‘Private Treaties’, BCCL’s yet another innovation that compromises journalistic and ethical values. Instead, I found your post on ‘Classical Liberalism and the Times of India’. This amused me no end.

I refuse to believe that the newspaper can stand for anything, except for protecting and furthering the interests of its ‘private treaties’ and ‘MediaNet’ clients. It stands for violating the trust of its readers, by selling news for money and equity.

Fair point, and had I noticed the Mint story, I would certainly have blogged about it. I have no respect for some of the practices of the Times of India, as regular readers would have noted. If their edit pages do end up improving, that won’t absolve them of their business practices—but it is still worth commenting on.

Update: Devangshu points me to an earlier story on private treaties in Business Standard:

The Times of India publisher Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd must be doing something right with its three-year-old Private Treaties division.

Otherwise newspaper groups such as HT Media Ltd, Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Jagran would not be eager to duplicate their arch rival’s business plan.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Amit Varma in Journalism | Media

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