Extracts from the Presidential address at All India Newspaper Editor’s Conference.1947

..The Press in India is now adjusting itself to a complete transformation of scene. Does it not seem but yesterday when we were engaged in grimly fighting the battle of National Herald and Harijan with little hope of stable success? Today, National Herald is digging its toes under ideal conditions of popularity, prestige and security and Harijan is in need of ever-increasing supplies of paper for its expanding circulation..MORE

Jawaharlal Nehru On Indian Press:

The Press if it wants freedom - which is ought to have must have some balance of mind which is seldom possesses. One cannot have it both ways. Evert freedom in this world is limited, limited not so much by law as by circumstances. We do not wish to come in the way of freedom of the Press. Personally, I am convinced of the freedom of the Press.... More

Television Channel Watch-Tracking (monitoring?) Television channels in India

Above archival advertisement comes with the tagline- German General. This Medicine Advertisement cites claims cure for eyes that German hospitals had termed as incurable. This domestic advertisement from Mumbai has highlighted foreign medical treatment, dubious or not, leave it to the readers.

According to INTUTE- “South Asian Research Centre for Advertisement, Journalism & Cartoons (SARCAJC) is South Asia's first study centre for research into the history and political importance of cartoons, political satire, advertisements and journalism..”.

Dubious Advertisement

SARCAJC has been raising the issue of dubious advertisement that appear in newspapers. View here. Today, an advertisement by Indian Navy has appeared in English in Times of India with heading in bold- “Employment is Indian Navy- Beware of Agents/cheats”. The advertisement starts off- “It has come to the notice that some agents/touts/unsocial elements on pretext to provide employment in the Indian Navy, make upbeat promises about chances of employment….to achieve their end, they use dubious advertisements…to deceive unsuspecting job seekers…”. (11 January 2017). However, the advertisement does not inform where main street can complaint against such dubious advertisements.

Cartoons from our Cartoonist  on New Year 2017!

Double News
The news that South Delhi Municipal Corporation will be setting up a biogas plant is so very important that DNA has published it twice? Today, on page 4, a news heading reads-”Biogas plant to treat dung and kitchen waste to bne set up soon” and on page 15, a news reads-”Dung kitchen waste to power S Delhi biogas plant”. They both are procured from news agency- PTI and read on - word to word the same, only the heading and accompanying  photograph is different. (16 January 2017)

News Goof-up
Is Tiger  a Lion? Shamya Dasgupta’s article on state of cricket in Bangladesh has appeared on page 23 in Economic Times with heading- “Bangladesh Maul into history”. The subheading in smaller font reads-”First ever test win over England in Mirpur shows that Tigers have finally come of age”. The article contains photographs of two cricketers from Bangladesh and a photograph of a model of wooden tiger & wooden man. The subheading has termed cricketers from Bangladesh as ‘Tigers” but no-where in the main text the word ‘Tiger” is used, rather the start of last para reads-“Bangladesh’s test life is now 16 years strong, & turning more than just one corner, even if only in their Sher-e-Bangla (Sher means Lion) backyard…”. Surely, Lion is not a tiger. Incidentally, accompanying the text is a picture of model of wooden tiger eating a man is that of a toy made for Tipu Sultan, the King from Indian state of Karnataka, not from Bangladesh. Surely, illustrator/cartoonist is being missed here. Cartoonist- R. Prasad’s cartoons no longer appear in Economic Times, wonder why?.
Common Man transformed?
The Common Man by famous cartoonist late R. K Laxman has made it to two full page advertisement by a electronic store in HT City, a supplement of Hindustan Times. (1/10/2016) owever, the Common Man has not seen any makeover for standing with number of electronic items on the front page! Wonder, will he like to buy them or just look? Take a look at a cartoon made by our cartoonist.

Time not important?

The world book fair in Delhi has received fair amount of publicity via advertisements. Today, an advertisement in Hindi has appeared in Hindi newspaper- Amar Ujala. The advertisement also carries- “Today’s highlights” under which it lists events (talk, book release, discussions, poet meet, dance meet the author & reading session) that will be held today in various Hall numbers, but for reasons best known does not carry the timing! Does the advertisement expect the book fair visitors to remain waiting for the event to happen from morning to evening? (12 January 2017)


The newly released Economic Survey has called for Privatisation of Air India. Newspapers have carried this news, but where is the meat?  Is just privatisation cure for all, must ask debt ridden private sector airlines- Kingfisher, due to which higher end officers of IDBI Bank are in jail?

Flash from Past:

READ on - SARCAJC had raised voice:

"...Noted Indian journalist- Ms Tavleen Singh’s weekly column in Indian Express shouts- “Sell Air India and move toward”. It could be her view, but she has overstepped the line-“…there is a national consensus that it is time that Air India was either closed down or sold..”. Surprisingly, then she goes on to praise private Indian airlines in extreme- “…Private airlines in India are today among the best in the world and even recent hard times, have managed not just to survive but to thrive…”. Again, she has overstepped the line of reality.... Kingfisher Airline, private sector, controversial airlines which carries surrogate name of liquor brand got rid of Rs. 80 billion debt at the end of last year, thanks to debt recast cleared by apex bank-RBI. Why should banks bail out ailing private sector sick company and agree for a stake in it? Instead, why not liquidate and get your share- survival of fittest? The ownership of an organization per se has nothing to do with its efficiency. There are certain other attributes or characteristics that make an organization, in Peters and Waterman‘s term -- an “excellent organization”. It would be worth to note that even after privatization of any public sector organization, there would be a need to restructure them so as to improve their performance. If the management of Air India has failed to efficiently restructure, then it does not make Air India – (wretched- in words of Taveleen Singh). And on the other hand, the government has failed to understand the importance of restructuring and instead has been doling out money.The ownership of an organization per se has nothing to do with its efficiency. READ MORE


Failing Banks

The editorial of Day is being carried by DNA- “Expose the willful defaulters!” . The editorial does not mince words about unwillingness of Reserve Bank of India to reveal names of loan defaulters and also lack of will to tackle the non performing assets. Read on- "…The RBI’s chary attitude to willful defaulters is untenable…But today the biggest danger is of banks failing because of the huge percentage of bad loans on their books. Merely, writing off the loans to clean the books and start on a fresh slate is no solution either…”. 6 January 2017. However, the question of accountability of the Reserve Bank of India in failing to fulfill its responsibility as the  Central Bank has not been visited , not to forget the role of leading economists at high places enjoying life. Read MORE

Biased Media Coverage

20 March 2016:

One glace on cartoon by our cartoonist and you can get a feel of the media coverage during cricket competition T-20 World Cup for men & women. Why are women neglected in coverage by enlightened correspondents?

JOURNALISM IN INDIA- read an article from Benares Magazine- Feb 1849. "Peculiarities of Indian Society".

Archival advertisements reveal the trends of their time. Take for instance, the following archival Hindi movie advertisement,  for the movie in Hindi appears in three languages- English, Hindi, Urdu. The lead actress occupies the ad space  with prominence. This is quite unlike recent Hindi movies ads  where the hero takes it all!

Sarcajc Research in Journalism Advertisements & Cartoon 

Monitoring Print Media: Tracking Newspapers in India

Advertising Ethics

Is self regulation working effectively across all private channels? Today, (15 January 2017) in channel- News Nation, a adult category advertisement appeared four times during one hour this afternoon. What will be its impact on children who watched this television channel with their parents on this Sunday afternoon, is anyone's guess?

Remembering Bapu

Today, Rajya Sabha television focused on Rabindranath Tagore in programme- Virasat during 1:30-2:00 pm (15 January 2017). During which, it remembered Mahatma Gandhi and asserted that Tagore was the first person to address Gandhi as Mahatma. While ABP News at 1:35pm highlighted in Hindi-“Gandhi ka chemical locha” and asked questions like- “Bapu desh ke kiye hanikarak hai?” (Is Bapu harmful to nation?). A contrast indeed!

Who Dominates?

Since November last year, demonetisation has dominated the Indian news channels. Some channels like India Today, ABP News showed sting operations. The Minister of Finance, Mr. Arun Jailey, while addressing a Press Conference on 30 December 16 voiced that TV channels should show queues that exist on 30 December 2016, not that existed on 10 November. There was no rebuff from the journalists present in the live Press Conference! Now with the television channels getting a lot of dramatic news regarding feud in a political party, the focus on woes of demonetisation seems to have faded from majority of prime time discussions. A few channels like Times Now did focus on instances of misbehaviour with women in Bangalore. But the bigger issue of women insecurity in India seemed missing. With today’s announcement of elections in many Indian States, again the focus will be on politics till result announcement  in March?

 OPPS- Yesterday, on Lok Sabha television, programme- Kaal Samvad, during a discussion on freedom fighter Gokhale, the photograph shows was that of Bal Gangadhar Tilak! (4 January 2017)

What ails Doordarshan

Amrita Nayak Dutta reported in DNA (19 December 2016) that government is planning to appoint a private firm to revitalise loss making public broadcaster- Doordarshan & bring it par with private television channels. Today (20 December 2016), DD News presented new schedule of popular programmes. Will the new schedule work without content makeover? Team SARCAJC looked at various programes in various television channels related to News from 5:10 pm. ABP News was asking-“Where all cash seized?”. While NDTV carried views of Finance Minister- Arun Jaitley and was accepting that during this demonetisation drive, some employees have misconducted. Taal Thok Ke- a debate was airing in Zee News with Rohit as anchor with 4 debaters- 3 from political parties and one Professor from Punjab University. The topic of discussion was result of Municipal result of Chandigarh elections. The channel calls this show as “Debate’s number one show”. The debate at New 24 featured 6 debaters arguing on -”Whether Shariyat courts should be closed?”. Vineet Malhotra was the anchor in the programme on current issue with 3 participants from political parties. Times Now carried a  special broadcast -“I didn’t vote for this”. India Today showed an advertisement on Black money. CNN News 18, carried breaking news- “Corporate War now legal battle..Mistry moves National Company Law Tribunal”. At 5:30pm, India 24x7 asked-“which actress ruled the year 2016” but with a photograph of Union Minister- Riju! While News X carried under “Crime & City” clip of “Haryana Police Brutality”. While DD National channel educated on how to maintain lemon tree, how to grow mashroom and DD News carried Sports News. Which is more interesting, viewers decide, right?


Landmark Financial Reform but advertisement language bias

It is not often that one views any advertisement by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a newspaper in Hindi. Today, an advertisement in English has appeared in a Hindi newspaper- Dainik Bhaskar on page 9 with headline- “Reserve Bank of India. Mumbai. Notice (published as advertisement)”.Will all readers of Hindi newspaper able to read & comprehend advertisement in English?  CLICK TO READ MORE.

Advertisement: Sale or compulsion?

During this time of the year, advertisements offering attractive discounts lure customers to buy, nothing unusual. However on first day of the year, the last page (18) of Hindi Newspaper-  Hindustan carries an advertisement which is rather unique. The advertisement in Hindi starts off with a claim-- "For the first time in history of Delhi such low prices sale" And line below it highlights-"Due to fight between two brothers 12 showroom closed"., In bold more is unique-"The inbound split...loot of world". The advertisement goes on to list prices of garments and the addresses of 7 sale points in Delhi. How far is the claim of this advertisement true, is just a guess! (1 January 2017)

Going Cashless

Today (20 December 2016), a full page advertisement in colour by VISA on the last page of Times of India has appeared with punch line-”Visa is helping bridge generations”. This advertisement carries a photograph of a middle aged man with a young boy showing him a mobile phone. It seems this advertisement has take clue from Indian Prime Minister’s appeal to the young generation to help by teaching the older generation to use mobile phone for cashless transactions! The advertisement echoes in smaller font- “Reach out & teach someone to go cashless. Be a digital ambassador”. While a smaller advertisement by Times of India shows photo of a smiling woman sitting with a smiling man holding a plastic card, both are looking at the screen of a laptop. The advertisement’s  punch line reads-”Why spend your marketing budgets in cash dependent markets? Advertise in markets where cash doesn’t make such a difference!”. Surely, the man & woman features in this advertisement do not seem to be advertisers. To get to the crux, read on smaller fonts- “with 60% of India’s credit card usage taking place in Mumbai, Delhi, NCR & Bangalore, demonetisation has not really inhibited spending…Advertise in metro cities…”(page 4). While Bollywood actor- Ajay Devgun stars in advertisement in many television channels promoting cashless economy, courtesy Ministry of Finance. Just to remind, earlier Ajay features in Pan Masala advertisements! Keeping with brand image?

Self regulation working?

Hindu has reported-“Set up mechanism to hear plaints about TV content: SC”. The legal corresponded informed-“The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to set up, streamline and publicise a complaint redressal mechanism…to deal with citizen’s complaints about content telecast or aired by private TV channels and radio..”. The para four of this news report carries a quote by the bench of Supreme Court-”We cannot ask the (the Centre) to monitor the content of the channels. How can we do that? ..” While Times of India’s Dhananjay Mahapatra has highlighted-”SC: Set up body to look into complaints against channels”. (13 January 2017).

SARCAJC is independently monitoring!


     An Investigation: Merger of Indian Banks

Know why Merger of largest Bank in India- State Bank of India (SBI) with associate Banks should stall. Shocking facts have been revealed under Right to Information Act (05). Transformational restructuring required in State Bank of India

To Read

Archival Advertisements

What is POLICY?

Extracts from Oudh Punch 1870s

Building Castles in the air; the pretense of conferring a favour upon another while promoting one’s own interest; smearing one’s body with blood & representing oneself as having fought in a religious war (i.e. to try to acquire fame by merely pretending to have taken a part in a good action); an ultimate clamour....More

Just celebrating

The celebration of new year was visible in many newspapers. The most unique initiative was taken by Hindi newspaper- Dainik Bhaskar, which printed the paper with special ‘perfumed’ ink. Indeed the newspaper smelled well,  as this special issue was named -”Success & happiness issue”. The paper also carried 12 simple, small but real cartoons on what might make you happy! While other newspapers like Dainik Jagran, Rashtriya Sahara, Loksatta, Hindustan, Navbharat Times, Dainik Tribune, Amar Ujala, Hindustan Times, Times of India have celebrated new year on their masthead, However some newspapers like Jansatta, DNA, Mail Today and Tribune preferred to be normal. Of course the best advertisement on this occasion has been that by national carrier- Air India with the punch line - “Dil mein India…Aasman mein Air India”. (India in heart, India in sky). The cartoon in Mail Today shows 2016 as old woman while cartoon in Times of India shows 2016 as old man. Which one is more real, take a clue from page 20 in Tribune which declares-“2016: The year of women power”. Some detailed feature report on women safety? Nope, but the newspaper devoted two full pages to carry reports and photos on “Punjab Assembly elections-1985” in its supplement.

(1 January 2017).

Opps: The headline”of a news report by Kaunain Sheriff M reads-”11-year-old boy with blood cancer treated for TB for a month: Docs”. However the contents reveal that age of boy is six year .(1 January 2017)

Mahatma Gandhi on Advertisements:

I hold that it is wrong to conduct newspapers by the aid of...immortal advertisements, I do believe that if advertisements should be taken at all there should be a rigid censorship instituted by newspaper proprietors and editors themselves and that only healthy advertisements should be taken...More

Strengthening Democracy, Governance & Accountability

World Cartoonist Day: World Cartoonist Day has been celebrated on masthead of Times of India, Navbharat Times. While, Economic Times has published winners of cartoon competition on Mossack Foseca and three runner ups with heading- “Say Sleaze! ET’s got your Panama Pic”. The paper received total of 457 toons, ”Black humour on Black money”! Navbharat Times has carried 4 archival toons of late R.K Lakshaman. Times of India has published 4 cartoon made by its readers that have been selected by its cartoonist. It received 2000 plus cartoons on two topics “Politics with the times“ and  “We The Society“. Hindustan Times has celebrated this day on its website by publishing  toons by Jayanto Bannerjee with heading- “World Cartoonist Day: HT brings toons with a pinch of satire” with self toon as cartoonist! Times of India is the only newspaper that has carried an editorial on this occasion. However of the randomly scanned newspapers, 15 did not carry any toon/write-up on this occasion. Wonder why?Our cartoonists brings you 4 cartoons on this occasion. CLICK

Address Goof-up

Many readers gather information from newspapers about to be held events, assuming newspapers do not mislead them. Today supplement of DNA - “After hrs” (page 2) informs of a Book release (Modern Monk). “Where: Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Motia Khan, Sadar Bazaar. New Delhi). (10 January 2017). Hang on, prestigious Nehru Memorial Museum & Library is NOT located at Motia Khan, Sadar Bazaar! A friend of SARCAJC has received an invitation card of this book release function mentions the correct address of Nehru Memorial Museum & Library! Alas, what will happen to any reader of DNA who will search for Nehru Memorial Museum & Library at Motia Khan, Sadar Bazaar, is anyone’s guess.


Advertisement in English appearing on cover page of a archival magazine in Hindi, evoking history

15 March 2016
Today a advertisement has appeared in Times of India containing two cartoon characters- Professor and his student "Suppandi" with a question- "Did you see what happened when Suppandi met Professor simply simple yesterday?". Well, yesterday, an interesting, informative also humourous 31 page, 11 episodes, comics accompanied Times of India- "Making investing simple for Suppandi with Professor Simply Simple". A creative effort for "Investor Education" by Tata Mutual Fund. It was an advertorial and promotional feature and was created by Amar Chitra Katha, famous publisher of comic books in India.

Silver story of Demonetisation: 

When Indians are struggling with demonetisation of currency of higher denomination, its pertinent to remember silver story of demonetisation. Click to read more

South Asian Research Centre for Advertisement, Journalism & Cartoons (SARCAJC)  is first Independent Research Centre in South Asia which undertakes media monitoring in the neglected area of cartoons, advertisements. We study, research, promote, acquire and preserve cartoons, advertisement in Newspapers, Journals, and Magazines that constitute rich cultural heritage of this vast region.Aim for news archives & museum

Recommended- Humourous story with cartoon on Demonetisation. To view click

Erring NITI

The Hindu on page 15 carries a news report from Press Trust of India- “Centre clears 26% strategic sale in BEML”. Times of India on page 27 carries a news report procured from agencies-“Govt clears sale of 26% in defence co BEML” (7 January 2017). They inform that out of government’s holding of 54.03%, 26% stake will be sold. And this might fetch Rs. 10 billion. But hang on, isn’t BEML catering to Indian defence sector and is indeed a profitable company? Just to remind, according to Disinvestment Commission, government stake in BEML cannot be diluted, in national interest. Read MORE

COP21 cartoons: Nearly 200 countries have adopted the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.VIEW CARTOONS by OUR CArToONisT

Advertisement Watch: Poor translation looms a government advertisement. Know more

Women Unsafe in India

Anniversaries come and go, with little impact on daily lives? Shivani Singh, an intern with The Hindu reports on page 3, the anguish of mother of Nirbhaya- “ Four years have passed since we lost our daughter…Even after intense protests & appeals for my daughter’s case, she has not received justice…What can one expect for the millions of girls and women who have been similarly wronged..” (17/12/2016). The heading of this news report needs no explanation- “Nirbhaya’s death didn’t change anything”.  On the same date, Times of India devoted one full page to this issue. The editorial of Times of India on 19/12/2016 came up with heading- “Unsafe City” and highlighted- “Four years after the Nirbhaya gang rape, crimes against women are going unpunished”. However, none of the newspapers or television channels have started a campaign to make city safe for women. SARCAJC has been raising issue of women insecurity regularly. Will Prime Minister Modi implement & monitor ‘Woman Safe Drive’ like the ongoing Demonetisation drive?

Gender Biased

The first day of February  2017; majority television channels have faithfully carried the telecast of annual budget and the post budget dissections with experts. However, what is surprising is drought of female experts. The absolute male dominance raises question about reason for marginalization of females experts, specially in area of social science (read economics)  in India. Zee TV utilised the surroundings of Central park in Connaught Place with all male panel. The only silver lining was presence of female anchors in some channels. But were they all well equipped with research in social sciences, remains a bone of contention. Of the channels scanned till 5:30pm, none raised questions like- why no incentives were provided for organic farming, why no incentives came in for controlling acute pollution- both affect health of the main street.

Archival Advertisement of a Hindi movie appeared in English language