Indian Muslim media of 2008




A review of English publications

By Kashif-ul-Huda, TwoCircles.net

This is the third year of our review of periodicals published by Muslim in India. The idea is to have a yardstick that can be used to measure the quality of publications by readers and also people associated with these magazines.

The year saw Muslims in India on the edge because of bomb blasts, encounters, and arrests and harassment of the community in the name of combating terrorism. Muslim media bravely challenged the perceptions and reports circulating in the “mainstream” media and raised questions on the claims by the government agencies.

In the publication scene, 2008 saw launch of two new magazines – Covert, a political fortnightly by M J Akbar and monthly Islamic magazine Islam, Muslims, and the World by Dr. Javed Jamil. Akbar launched his magazine in May after being removed from the Asian Age newspaper.

The Nation and the World, which had a disappointing run all these years, not surprisingly, started publishing a notice that second issue of December will be its last issue. But interestingly enough, it survived and first few issues under the new resolve show improvement at least in terms of paper quality and look of the magazines.

***
Now let’s review individual publications. Publications are given a full, half or no moon awards in five categories. So according to our criteria maximum a publication can get is five moons.

The First moon is for the publication quality, cover, design and paper, just the overall look and feel of the magazine. The Second moon is for magazines which mostly use original articles in their publications and do not copy and paste from articles floating around online. The Third moon is for the overall quality of the articles, how well the writer engages the reader, addresses the issue, and what kinds of issues are covered.

Advertising continues to be the major source of revenue for any publication, even if it has good subscription figures. For a publication to stand on its own feet it is important that it doesn't depend on the charity from some wealthy individuals but funds its expenses from the advertising revenue. It is possible that some of the magazines are financially viable through subscription dues but in the absence of any way for me to check that, I will award a fourth moon on how much advertisements they have.

Finally the fifth and most important moon is for community news. If a magazine claims to be for Indian Muslims it should have room for the community news that does not find a mention in the major media.

Magazines are listed in alphabetical order below:

Covert: = 4.0
Published: Fortnightly
Subscription: Rs. 1000 for 3 years
http://www.covert.co.in/

Covert positions itself as a mainstream publication and not focused on Indian Muslim issues. Therefore, their coverage of Indian Muslims is weak but they do write on important issues affecting the community as well as the nation.
Editor MJ Akbar has been able to gather a number of well known personalities, writers, and journalists that adds value to his magazine.

Eastern Crescent: = 4.0
Published: Monthly
Annual Subscription: Rs. 150/ USD 30
http://www.markazulmaarif.org/ec_index.asp

EC is a young publication led by Editor Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi. Some of the writers are graduates of his English academy that is run for madrasa graduates. Topics covered are current affairs and issues relevant to Muslims. Thankfully they do not do familiar anti-US and anti-Israel articles and keep the focus on Indian issues or general Islamic topics.

Islam, Muslims, and the World
Published: Monthly
Subscription: Rs. 250/ USD 60
info@theislamworld.com

Since it just came out in December, this magazine will be reviewed for this year.

Islamic Voice: = 3.5
Published: Monthly
Annual Subscription: Rs. 170/ USD 15
http://www.islamicvoice.com/

2008 saw change of guards at IV, Maqbool Ahmad Siraj quit as the editor of this magazine and Associate Editor Nigar Ataullah was promoted to the position of the executive editor.
The most annoying part of IV is two or three pages wasted on people’s reaction to “Discover Yourself” workshop conducted by IV owner Sadathullah Khan. It would have been better if Mr. Khan wrote some articles to help people who can not attend his workshop instead of shamelessly promoting it in every issue of the magazine.

Past few months saw a drop in original articles carried by IV and therefore we are taking away their half moon. Still, IV is a complete magazine for the Muslim family with a special section for children as well.

The Milli Gazette: = 3.0
Published: Fortnightly
Annual Subscription: Rs. 240/ Euro 35
http://www.milligazette.com/

The Milli Gazette launched its much anticipated epaper version which will help it to regain its original position of much referenced Indian Muslim site.
Quality of articles and scope of news coverage have improved at MG from previous years. Cartoons by Yusuf and ‘Speaking Out’ column by Nilofar Suhrawardy continue to be a major plus point for MG.

“Community News” section is now 4 pages and provides a snapshot of community events but it has a North Indian bias when it comes to the selection of the news. “Newsmakers” section documents the achievements of the community. Letters published in the MG provides good idea of circulation and impact of MG in the community.
Unfortunately, in our scale they score only 3.0 but MG is playing a crucial role in the community and they should be recognized for that.

Muslim India: = 1.5
Published: Monthly
Subscription: Rs. 200/USD 12/Pound 12
http://muslimindiamonthly.com/

After restarting in 2007 it seems that “Muslim India” has ceased publications once again.

Nation and the World: = 1.5
Published: Fortnightly
Subscription: Rs. 325/ USD 75
nation_world@rediffmail.com
http://www.nationandtheworld.com/

Not much to say about this magazine, with Seema Mustafa joining the magazine as one of the three editorial consultants, we hope this year will be a better year for NATW. Saiyid Hamid should also think about putting a succession plan in order so that a younger generation can take over the leadership of this magazine.

Radiance Viewsweekly: = 3.5
Published: Weekly
Subscription: Rs. 400/ USD 85
http://www.radianceweekly.com/
There was nothing new to report for 2008 for Radiance. Veteran journalist Soroor Ahmed writes two pieces for each issue of Radiance and they are always a treat to read. Other articles are also worth reading and cover various issues but somehow it seems that Radiance lost their focus in 2008.

Young Muslim Digest:
Published: Monthly
Subscription: Rs 150/ USD 25
http://www.youngmuslimdigest.com/
With site of YMG is not updated and I have not seen any issue of the magazine for this year, therefore, unable to review it.

Previous reviews:

http://www.twocircles.net/2008may28/indian_muslim_media_2007.html
http://www.twocircles.net/2007jul07/indian_muslim_media_2006.html

Comments

Maths Correction Required

Dear Kashif-ul-Huda
Assalaamoalaikum,
Please correct the sum of Moons (or Moons itself !) for the following two magazines.
1) The Milli Gazette
2) Radiance Viewsweekly
Moons shown and the points do not tally for the above magazines.

GOOD REVIEW

The review of Indian Muslim media is praiseworthy. We know about our media and its' impact. Please also include electronic media of the community viz., Twocircles, khabrein, FANA etc.

Milli Gazette, to the extent, caters need of Muslim society on their current issues. This needs to be highlighted.

Muslim India continued it's publication till December 2008. From Jan'09, they have discontinued it's publication. Some of the issues of the year 2008 have been placed on www.muslimindiamonthly.com.

Milli Gazette

Naushad bhai,

Indeed, MG is a very useful publication and as mentioned in the review it unfortunately gets low score on our scale but its contribution is immense.

We can not review electronic media since we are an interested party.

shukriya,

Congratulation to EC Readership

We are delighted to find Eastern Crescent sharing the top position among all English publications from Muslim Indians in the year 2008. Comparing to year 2007’s 3 moons for EC Al-Hamdulillah we have gained one complete moon this year. I congratulate the entire EC team and its readership for this wonderful achievement within just two years of its publication. And I also thank Br. Kashiful Huda, editor towcircles.net because his review encourages us and leads us to introspection.

We promise to keep Eastern Crescent fully fit with its promo— ‘Alternative Media, Peoples’ Choice’. And we do recall at the same time ‘miles to go before you sleep’ for the years to come.

Regards

MB Qasmi
EC Editor

Our media is still weak.We

Our media is still weak.We have got no a national channel or even an English newspaper.

More names to be added

Dear Sir
The report is good, but there are few more Muslim Media in our country, which dont know you have intentally neglected or not aware about it.

There are some Newspapers which are available on net in English, Few of them which I knows are as follows:

1) www.munsifdaily.com
2) www.siasat.com
3) www.sahilonline.org
4) www.etemaaddaily.com/

Possibly there would be many more online Newspapers, which I am not aware. You should check these sites too.

Regards
Rajesh Kuma

appriciation

EC really is the beacon light of Ulama Community in utter darkness of English Journalism, for participating in mainstream media. I appreciate our Ulama who are devotee to this field and struggling to spread true news in the world. I am dreaming of the day when EC will infuse new life in Muslim community regarding their religious, financial and educational affairs.

fastest growing magazine

Off course, EC is most worthy to be praised due to its remarkable growth in the short period of time. It is the fastest growing magazine in my opinion. Really it has its distinction in the collection of news and issues that are hidden by the media.

Congratulationun

Firstly, I congratulate Kashiful Huda Sahab to review the Indian Muslims media since last three years which encourages the team of many Muslim magazines and newspapers to go ahead on the journey and also urges many others to recheck qualities of their magazines. Really it is a praiseworthy job.
It is wonderful to see the “Eastern Crescent” on the top in this competition. Without any doubt the EC has been given its really position in the review because EC is progressing since its launch in every aspect, thus it winning the hearts of people. I congratulate wholeheartedly EC team on their outstanding performances especially Editor Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, Copy Editor A.K. Khusro and Sub Editor Maulana Muddassir Qasmi.
I pray further success for EC and hope to find it in better shape

Manzar Bilal Qasmi

please dont show ads of intel & companies in boycott israel list

Dear Twocircles team,

please refrain from showing ads of intel and other companies in the boycott israel list

thank you

A good step taken at proper time

Dear Sir!
This review of course helps the readers to analyze the quality of the magazines. I Alhamdu lillah often read some Islamic magazines like young Muslim digest, Eastern crescent, and Islamic voice monthly and milli gazette fortnightly. All the magazines write on Muslim topics, but none of them is successful like eastern crescent.
EC is of course an alternative media for Muslims and people's choice. Its quality of paper and publication, cover, design and articles are Masha Allah beautiful and attractive. Our special congratulation to the EC editor and staff.
I appreciate two circles.net. a well, to take such topics into consideration. Because it will not only help the magazines to develop their qualities but also improve the much necessary Islamic media in India particularly and the world at large.
Regards,
Asjad Qasmi Vasai

Firstly I appreciate Mr.

Firstly I appreciate Mr. Kashiful Huda to review the Muslims Media. We are already backward in this regard but I am not disappointed because Muslims youth are stepping in this field in large.
EC is the first English Magazine published by Ulama which includes all affairs of Muslim community. It became fastest growing magazine in my opinion within a short period and it is progressing in all aspects of writing. I also congratulate the EC staff that really they did a wonderful job. And I hope that they will continue their struggle. My good wishes are with them.

thank you very much for

thank you very much for publishing my comment.

It is a miracle

Sir,
Assalmu Alaikum

I salute your efforts of making this moon. Really it is a very hard job, but you have done it, Congratulation to you and your staff. According to the moon the two magazines have emerged on the top. As far as Covert is concerned, there is no doubt that it got this position only because of its editor, M. J. Akbar who gave life many international newspapers, but as far the matter of Eastern Crescent is concerned, really it was surprising for me like many others. How in a very short period of two years it achieved this top position, it is no less than a miracle, because most of its columnists are graduates of madrasas (Ulama) who are considered illiterate in the modern scenario. But they have proved that they have the power to create revolution in any field as the have done in the past.
Again congratulation to you and EC staff !

it is a miracle

Assalmu Alaikum
thank you very much Sir, for publishing my comment .
Jazakallah!

The analysis is not just

Your 4.0 rating for Covert fortnightly makes no sense whatsoever. Where and how does Covert figure as a Muslim community publication? Using every yardstick adopted by the reviewer, Covert is a big zero. A poor cousin of other mainstream news magazines, it has nothing to do with the Muslim community with the exception of the Muslim-baiting Arif Mohammad Khan’s regular rantings; it displays no great quality of either content or quality or even design, it has no advertising at all even when compared to “Muslim” magazines, and it has no Muslim community news whatsoever. All it does is to keep the myth of MJ Akbar alive and he can afford it having sold his stake in the Asian Age and doing all kinds of other errands including regularly writing in the saffron Pioneer.

Eastern Crescent too gets highest marks together with Covert. EC quality is "good" only if it means colour printing but can colour printing make up for amateurish style and bad English? What is the ratio of original articles in this magazine? Even the pieces written by the editor appear elsewhere before one sees them in EC. Advertising is scant while community news is rare.

Islamic Voice continues to suffer from a lack of focus and direction. Only advertising and that too local is its hallmark.

As regards the comments on MG: it is strange that the reviewer has failed to see original articles or advertisements or even community news in MG. Which Indian Muslim paper offers consistent coverage of community news which are spread all over MG's "national" pages from 3 to 14 and 19-22?

In short this is not an unbiased review of the English-language Indian Muslim papers. A more careful and just attempt should be made to review the Indian Muslim publications taking into account their practical difficulties and the shoe-strings budgets they have to contend with.

Its a Pity but I found this site through a Venomous HJS site

Salaams to all the readers of IMM.

I happened to accidentally come upon the the HJS webite (Hindu Janajagriti Samiti)

and they had a thread linked to an Article which further led me to this website.

Yes I am thankful to those hatemongers for helping me discover some place I can communicate with the Muslim brotherhood.

The point I am trying to make is that the average Muslim is not made aware of the various Indian Muslim media available on the net.

but I will definitely do my bit to spread it in my circle.

By the way I will paste the URL that led me here, check it out...

http://www.hindujagruti.org/activities/campaigns/religious/achalpur-riots/

More in Media is needed

I extend my special thanks to the TwoCircles.net which has been conducting the survey of the magazines catering Muslim issues for three consecutive years.

The step is laudable not only because it encourages the magazines on their way to improvement but also it warns the magazines declining to bad position.

It is very pleasing to see that the magazine Eastern Crescent published by a Mulla is on par with the Covert issued in the provision of the well known writer M. J. Akbar.

Common people are not ready to give a Maulvi the status of so called modern educated. Perhaps, after this evident proof they won’t dwell on their opinion.

But I think that only magazine on behalf of the ulama is not enough. There is a need of something more in media done by the ulamas who commonly abide by the rules of truth and honesty. It will be a very right step taken by the entities especially when the media is pro-politicians and corporators and it does not believe in authenticity and unbiasdness as it should do.

Islam, muslims & the World

Dear Sir,

I have had the chance to issue the first two editions of "Islam, Muslims & the World". Thje magazine is simply btilliant. No other Muslim magazine is anywhere near it. It has a totally new and revolutionary concept. It presents Islam and muslims as the solution and not the problems. Instead of just focussing on Muslim issues, it is focussing on International socioeconomic issues. Dr Javed Jmail, the Chief Editor of the magazine is now well known for his revolutionary themes of Applied Islamics. I have read his books, "The Killer Sex" and "Islam mans Peace". Both are wonderful works. Now his style of functioning is very much evident from his magazine too. Articles have litrary flourish, presentation has brilliant artistic touches and write ups are investigative> The magazine is comprehensive with features on sports, poetry and muslim achievers. Dr Jmail's articles "Are Muslims antagonists of Peace" are brilliant investigative articles. In the first issue there is debate on "Bridging the Gap between East and West". In the second issue, the debate focusses on "What is Peace". The writers are internationally renowned personalities. The only fear I have is that it will be difficulat to maintain the level of the first two issues, which are truly comparable to any of the standard international magazines. But I am sure if it maintains that level, even Hindus like me will wait for the coming issues.

Narendra Singh

Why Khabrein.Info is not mentioned on ur page

Dear Sirs

ASAK

I am amazed as to why Khabrein.Info is not mentioned on ur page. This is one of the most read online news portals from India. It is notwithstanding the fact that besides publishing Muslim issues they also cater to other segments. They have their logic as well. Khabrein.Info guys say only Muslim news dont attract readers. By including stories of common interest we get many more people to read and comment on Muslim issues.

Thanks for the brilliant job.

Hasan Syed

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