Thank you for making as Peoples’ Media!

Spearhead Media popularly known as ‘Peoples’ Corporate!’ that started its ambitious journey into the Media world in November 2013 from Mangaluru, a coastal city of Karnataka, is today, celebrating with you, the dawn of the decennial year of its flagship media subsidiary – This much-loved Karnataka-focused news web portal began its operations as a Kannada news portal on this very day in 2012.  

The evolution of

That preceded the corporate setup may be a dichotomy. But like everything in this world, the natural evolutionary process that governed its establishment and has brought us to where we are today – a media house focused on and for entire Karnataka and Kannadigas around the globe, that was intended to become, and indeed has become the voice of the people, by the people and for the people of Karnataka. It was the vision of six idealistic youth that delivered this gem, and they continue to be associated with it and its development.

Its editorial independence is unparalleled in the industry, and its integrity never in question. Its response to all its stakeholders has been one of immediacy with integrity and impartiality. It is a corporate entity no doubt, but a peoples’ corporate – for the people, of the people, and by the people (all stakeholders including its 45 shareholders, over 100 contributors, its numerous advertising partners, its individual benefactors, and of course its internal team of young and dynamic as well as veteran journalists that renews itself periodically!)

The evolutionary process – a few of us internally call it the revolutionary process – has taken us on a journey that has been creative, exciting, exacting, challenging, rewarding and at some points, disappointing. But we have always remained positive in a negative world, overcame those disappointments, and stayed the course – for both your sake and ours. 

This evolutionary process established Spearhead Media Pvt. Ltd also helped establish the company’s other media products – http://www., a Kannada news portal, (newskarnataka was transformed into an English news portal in March 2013), Karnataka Today, a monthly English all colour English feature magazine launched in 2015, NK + a bilingual digitally distributed e-magazine targeting the youth of the state, NKTV on the YouTube platform for infotainment shows, NKLive to cover live events, e-learning platform, verdevice – design and digital media hub, Village TV, a social initiative and SAAMS, a media study centre. It must; we live in a dynamic, volatile world… especially in the media industry – but I will come to that later.

Blessings and challenges

There is no doubt, with India ranking 142 out of 180 on the freedom of the press index developed by the Media Watchdog Reporters Without Borders, the need of the hour for India is free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism as the country faces multiple challenges. But can the media as it exists today, in its current environment provide it?  

The media industry, all of it, but especially the news media is in a crisis of its own. Dropping revenues has forced brutal layoffs and pay cuts. Advancing technology is changing reading modes and habits. Information exchange is instant as is opinion formation. The best of leather and investigative journalism (ground-level reporting) is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacles that create a pre-determined and agenda-based narrative, rather than provide both sides of a story and its back story for informed decision-making – a journalistic maxim that has long been forgotten in the quest for eyeballs and its by-product, advertising revenue!

Be that as it may, it has been 9 years since we started out. We sat down yesterday to count our blessings and enumerate our challenges – the blessings of wonderful, talented, loyal stakeholders, and gifts of integrity, resilience and perseverance amongst our team and we were grateful. 

We then also listed our challenges –  compliance with the newly issued regulations for digital media that could turn out to be a Damocles sword if applied selectively; a  drop in advertising – the market all but collapsed after series of financial reforms and this has been compounded by the COVID lockdowns; the availability of appropriate human resources – which must be consistently paid a fair wage for fair talent; grabbing and retaining eyeballs, in the face of fierce competition from digital websites, both national and local, and of course social media and other news aggregators. 

What is required? An enduring USP

Each one of us in the industry must have a USP to sustain through the climate change – from print to radio to TV to digital Media to Social Media to OTT platforms that are taking the Visual Media Market by storm. 

Fortunately, from the start, we have had one – truth endures – and it has helped us endure over time. But the future may not want the truth as we see it, but as they see it and that will be the greater challenge. Short and quick reads with headlines that say it all. After all, who is interested in the detail of why the dog wagged its tail? That it wagged will be sufficient. For the rest, we can form our own conclusions, based on our perception of the event, which in turn is based on our experiences, mindset and inherent biases’!

What then should we publish?

There is another more serious challenge that all of us in the media industry (other than social media which is populated through influencers) face in our race to grab eyeballs and keep them – What to publish and what not to. 

Man lives by his senses and emotionally drawn to anything that tickles his senses – what does that? Fear, conflict, negligence, the unusual, David vs Goliath scenarios, failure, exercise or lack of exercise of power, comparisons, and listicles that feature the best and the worst in the world and us. Reporting these events are the new normal, while the triumphs of kindness and love of the normal kind, resilience in the face of adversity, innovation for a better and sustainable tomorrow for the next generations, alternative maps of development and people power are often ignored. 

Given the realities of our times, it is best to have a balance. And has been trying to do just that – the evidence is in our special section – the regular columns that focus on travel, women, humour, health and wellness, and the best of human nature.

The future as we see it

Your favourite media group is looking to consolidate its presence in the market over the next five years – through new visually impressive, interactive, and responsive websites, a more attractive Karnataka Today magazine with more subscribers for both print and its revamped e-edition, better and more programming on its web channels, an exclusive OTT platform and more effective presence on social media which is evolving by the day. It will also look to comply with all regulations that are thrown at it, and weave a fabric of news, views and visuals that will keep all Kannadigas, wherever they may be warm, involved and committed to our beautiful state.  

We look forward to your continued support for our quality journalism. In the meanwhile, we look forward to your continued support for the cause of quality journalism through your monetary, advertising support and of course your continued readership.

Miles to go before sleep and let’s walk together to rededicate as Peoples’ Media!

Au revoir…

Brian Fernandes

Director – Spearhead Media Private Limited

A Nurse nurses

A Nurse nurses

As does a mother,

For she’s a mother too

Still the nurse,

She wakes up and sighs,

Who shall I nurse today?

A choice I have is to stay away

Nurse my baby, and pray,

That the pandemic does not stray

Into my home, my life.

As a daughter, as a mother,

 as a wife

The telephone rings

It goes, Tring Tring Tring

I know it’s the distress ping,

From a desperate matron

Whose feet are beginning to sting

I know what she’ll say

Please come over,

Patients are dying, I’m not lying. 

She’s appealing

To the nurse in me.

And she knows I’m crying.

Im dead on my feet,

A sleepless night, a wake up fight

And now a telephone ring

Just as my baby delights.

But it’s over, when

She wails and flails

I rush to her,

I’m naturally besotten

Let those dying wail!

 But wait. I’m a nurse,

A Nurse who nurses.

For us, it’s never over.

Is it a curse?

My mind  is split open

Like the ripped bedsheet

that last night,

I used to wrap that dead meat.

His family, they were distraught,

but saluted me from afar,

Next stop, the  pyre.

I went home, I held her close.

I was stuck in the mire.

I felt dire.

Tring, Tring, Tring

Duty calls, here and away

Which way should  I sway?

If I stay, I’ll be out of pocket,

My baby, she’ll cry

And all I’ll be able to do,

Is to hold her locket,

If I go, I’ll save a life,

But mine?

Photo by Graham Ruttan on Unsplash

The Medicament G15 summit: the fight to win

They met to decide the future course of action, the heroes of the fight against Covid19 second wave in India. They came from all over, but the conference was dominated by the Atmanirbhar India faction.  Generics tried to get an invite but were left out by consensus among the core group.

The Medicaments shook hands, by all appearances, cordially, and they all took their seats. the groupism evident in the way they sat (I got the spelling right, didn’t I?) themselves.

It was to be a celebratory meeting, of their joint fight against an invisible enemy that only they could see – Covid…

They were all there – Betadine, Vitamin C, Zincovit, Azithral, Doxycycline, Ivermectin, Dexamethasone, Budesonide, Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Virafen and 2DG. Oxygen, Covax and Covisheild – the vaccines, were special invitees, but they did not arrive until the meeting was midway through its deliberations!

Covid tried to surreptitiously get an invite by attaching itself to Betadine, but it was spit out at the start itself… It then tried its luck with Azithral but was suffocated by its advances and had to beat a retreat from the driveway itself!

The Conference began with a prayer of thanksgiving and the hope of a continued crisis, that would help them transform them into saviours, build themselves a healthy bank balance and loyal following, which many of them did. The prayer was led by Vit C, who was aware of the double standards of the people in the room, but there was no other way, given the circumstances and their destiny.

Remdesivir then took the Chair. He believed he had a right to be there because he commanded respect in the market (black) and he was the main hope of the woken dead.  Oxygen tried to battle him for the chair, but the rest of the members felt he was an outsider; also, that he was helping people revive quicker than was necessary, giving them less time to contribute their bit. So, in the end, it was Remdesivir in the chair. Surprisingly, he was quite democratic in his approach; he said he would give each a chance to say their bit.

Betadine began with a gurgle, but nobody could make out what he was saying, and nobody cared; he commanded a lot of respect as he was in and out of people’s throats, often for a month at a time; he had made a fortune in the interim. But as he concluded, he voiced the politically incorrect thoughts of most of the participants of the conference, “we know, this Covid must be banished from our sight by our efforts, but what will become of us then?”

There was a moment’s pin-drop silence before others cried “yes, that is true”. Vitamin C and Zincovit, the eternal favourites, kept quiet. They were not really worried about the future, as they had their fingers in many flues, and if this one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, then it was just another fly in their ointment. But they could not say that openly.

The problem was with how the rest of the crowd in the room viewed the trio – with ire; they were aware of it.  They had supported Betadine in trying to block others from deriving benefit from Covid and earned their wrath.  They knew the handshakes and smiles were superficial.

But, to their dismay, they had let Covid slip through a few, and in the last two months, more than a few! They also knew from experience, Covid was a smart dude who would slip through when their guard was down. “He may be even with us here in this room who knows”, Zincovit said, “watching our every move”, thinking aloud!

The rest of them, who usually took care of the rest of the Covid and gave the Positives a little R&R (rest and relief) said confidently, though their hearts were quivering, “don’t worry; we will take care of him if he enters the room.  We will combine to smash him to smithereens as we always do!”.

Tocilizumab remained silent and when the din died down, Remdesivir asked him to speak up, but he stumbled while pronouncing his name, and Tocilizumab took umbrage. His chest swelled with the swelling he normally controlled, and he let them have it. He said, “you all don’t get it, do you? this guy is not going away in a hurry, and we will all have a role to play for some time. So do not get worked up. But he might change his colours and some of us might become redundant. We can’t change our colours can we”?

“He’s right”, said Ivermectin, feeling like the worm he normally treats – He was upset because he was already removed from the treatment protocol after being a protocol star for some time.  He continued, “WHO the hell does he think he is” giving vent to his personal feelings.

The Steroids in the room remained quiet. They nodded or shook their heads without saying a word. They were numb after all their exertions keeping all the eruptions they encountered, calm and contained. They really had nothing to say for they could not help with eradicating Covid, only control his shenanigans. They would, like Vit. C always be relevant, and this discussion seemed pointless to them.

Virafen and 2DG from the Atmanirbhar faction watched each one’s expressions carefully and plotted their own strategy. They were new entrants and were still finding their feet! Often, they exchanged glances, sometimes of derision, and at other times of vision. They would be the stars of the next surge. They knew it.  Their time in the sun would come.

Oxygen who had entered midway through the meet was not allowed to speak at all, because all knew he was in short supply and they considered him only as an adjunct to themselves. They were the stars, though he stole the spotlight. They were understandingly bitter.

The vaccines thought it best not to speak in this charged atmosphere. They knew if they were efficient, the rest of the guys in the room would be at their throats because then they would be out of business. And they knew they were not 100%.., yet. But they would keep working towards that goal, no matter the consequences.

Remdesivir summed it up with a smile.

Let us give him hell for a while.

Let us make hay while the sun shines,

And then bow out in style!

As the meeting came to an end, Covid quietly exited and began to mutate…


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental. 

Of plastic smiles and crocodile tears

Plastic is crowding our seas while any BODY, our rivers! And so, it is banned in the breach; we cannot do without that ubiquitous petticoat-shaped semi-translucent piece of daily jewelry in our hands, now, can we?

Same with the smiles these days, the ones that adorn our pretty faces, the black and white fungus notwithstanding; they are full of polyurethane, and naturally so? given the quantity of time we spend in front of the screen for selfies, online meets, performing for Videos including CoVideos, and of course when appearing on Television – the king, or shall we say Queen of all screens. (It is interactive and attractive at once!)

The screen has replaced the mirror, where the smiles were genuine feedback of how you were feeling on that day and not of, how you are supposed to feel! And sometimes they were absent or replaced by a grimace. But today, nobody even says, “mirror, mirror, on the wall, am I the fairest of them all?” because today, they know who is the fairest and a mobile or television screen helps them prove it for posterity!

None of that is possible on a screen – a display of genuine feeling has no probative value, and a plastic smile is the only way to bag it! But let us not be so negative – though it is good to be called so these days.

Plastic smiles have many advantages too; they cover up mistakes that have caused heartburn, help make new friends and rebuild broken bonds with fellow men that break again when the plastic vaporizes in the heat!  However, plastic, even a plastic smile, has only so many uses – you cannot use it once rigor mortis has set in… unless it is to bag it!

Do Plastic smiles accompany Crocodile tears?

I would say no, based on empirical evidence. One must look appropriately stricken, if not by Covid, which is quite unlikely these days, then at least by Covigrief, of which also, there is plenty going around, so there is enough of that – I meant empirical evidence.

As E-commerce grows, and E-Governance picks up – mostly in collection of dues to the government – not the other way around – E-motion seems to have caught on. Like Motion, it requires a place to deposit its displays of variety and what better place than on a screen? 

The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance that are a part of the framework that formats the way you are learning to live with the one you lost are well-known and prime candidates for E-motion, with the last stage best suited for smiles and tears…

E-motion’s USP is free tear delivery – it’s fast and effective; some have associated it with the thick-skinned crocodile – a most unlikely match, or maybe not –  and called it crocodile tears – but like (or unlike) Plastic smiles, the term is a misnomer. The phrase derives from an ancient belief that crocodiles shed tears while consuming their prey (Wikipedia). To that extent, they are true to form.

These tears flow, sometimes gently, sometimes freely, depending on how hard the vinegar dipped sponge rubs your wounded hide, and thus, your pride. You cannot hide, you cannot slide, so you tend to describe, choke when you see a Mehul – not often seen these days – and cry to vibe… 

E-motion tends to ebb and flow like the waves, and it is important to display it at its peak – for as Matshona Dhliwayo says “If you cry in the rain only the sky will see your tears.”

On the flip side, there’s also Santosh Kalwar who says, “If I can see the pain in your eyes then share with me your tears. If I can see the joy in your eyes, then share with me your smile.” 

But what if you cannot see either, only the smile and the tears – that too simultaneously?

Do give it a thought a day, until next week same time!


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to unmask your smiles despite social distancing, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you perceive a connection with any such real-life event or character, you must rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

The Viral Covid Media – a painful jab?

Covid Media is quite the antithesis of the much tele-talked about Godi Media. While the latter is full of positivity (other than of, and for Covid) the former is full of negativity about those Covid positives. That really is the paradox of our Media Today. 

Burning Pyres and Burning Tyres highlighted by the Covid Media display the paradox even more brutally. They leave you gasping for breath, literally (even without Covid blocking your airways), and before they show it to you, they inform you that what you are about to see might have graphic scenes, so viewer discretion is advised – Discretion means: You either change the channel, switch it off or turn the page. But you do neither because you are curious – the first time.  Thereafter the Law of Diminishing Marginal fatality kicks in.  

Not sure why they warn you to be discreet when all they want you to do is throw caution to the wind and stay on it. Do they have noble intentions?  maybe preventing the virus from spreading by scaring you into wearing your mask while you perform your tasks? Washing your hands off all the dirt you have accumulated during the day? and warning you to keep your distance – which you do anyway, the moment you know a person is Positive. That is a negative approach to a positive situation, but it is the only way Man and Media know?

Either way, the worst in each of us overcomes the best in the rest of us when we watch television or read the news. But then, for news to be news or for the news to be viewed – which is the primary purpose of all news, the bad is better than the good, evil, better than sainthood, and a criminal record better than serving the cause of justice. That is what all journalists are taught – Dog biting man is NOT news, Man biting dog IS.  Of course, when a dog bites man in retaliation – it IS News.  

The Supreme Court itself recently said that the Press should not be restrained from reporting. Because basically, it is Re-porting. Not creating. The line of course is thin, like between copy and paste and cut and paste! And rightly so. The press must report and ask the tough questions, but not to those watching the vaccines being packed (the opposition) as parts of the Media do, but to those but those who oversee its production – persons with authority derived from the Constitution, e.g.: do you like mangoes – that is a tough question when there is a drought for the fruit, certainly.

It is the tough questions that get the right answers, else the right will believe it’s always right, by right, and the media will have plenty to write about, barring infringed rights! This because there is extraordinarily little left, in the left pocket.   But framing tough questions might get you framed for posterity; if you prefer a live stream, better flow with it, like most do. But then you may never see an improvement in the oxygen levels, bed availability or vaccination orders in your lifetime because it will be cut short, unexpectedly!

So, it’s a choice! The remedy is a painful jab that is in short supply and with known aftereffects!   And that is the tragedy! If you Go win, you lose; if you lose, they win. Download the App! Not AAP.


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.