Many are concerned if the newspaper would be a party mouthpiece

Dissatisfied with bad press KCR to launch new English dailyFile photo: Facebook/Telangana CMO
news Media Friday, May 20, 2016 - 15:53

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has come under scrutiny after reports that he is set to launch a new English newspaper in Hyderabad this July.

The new newspaper is titled Telangana Today and is to have The Hindu’s former Hyderabad Resident Editor K Srinivas Reddy as the Editor.

It is a widely shared perception that KCR, as the chief minister is commonly known as, has not had a great relationship with the media.

Within a few months of taking office, he threw a fit, after a local TV show aired a satirical show on the functioning of his government, and threatened to "bury the media alive."

This was followed by a 144-day ban on two local TV channels, TV9 and ABN Andhra Jyoty for "making sarcastic comments on Telangana legislators."

In December 2014, a journalist also alleged that he was detained by the police in Warangal ahead of the Chief Minister's visit and told not to cover the incident.

2015 wasn't any better as the chief minister in February, tried to impose a blanket ban on journalists covering the state secretariat. However, this move backfired after large scale protests.

Sensing that things could escalate against him, the chief minister shelled out welfare schemes and sops for journalists, including a welfare fund of Rs 100 crore.

Despite this, the amount of negative press for his infamous 'yagna' and his obsession for 'vaastu' and other superstition continued.

However, there are certain media outlets that remain loyal to the chief minister. T News, openly owned by the TRS party is one such outlet.

With the ruling party also making a foray into the print media, many are concerned if the newspaper would be a party mouthpiece.

However, speaking to Hindustan Times, Telangana Today Editor K Srinivas Reddy said:

"The focus of Telangana Today is on Hyderabad and Telangana, speaking out for the people. It is not that our paper is going to be the mouth piece of the government, we shall take the side of the people and highlighting their issues." 

Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) secretary general Devulapalli Amar told the newspaper that media houses had no option but to go easy on the party if they wanted to survive in the state.

 

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