The YSR Congress Party, led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has barred TV5, a Telugu television channel by Shreya Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd from their press briefings and all interactions. Jagan has hit out at ‘yellow media’ in his speeches — organisations that are pro-Telugu Desam Party, YSRCP’s opposition and the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh.
“TV5, which airs news and TV debates and is promoting the TDP and its activities. YSR Congress Party has informed all its members that no one from the party will participate in their debates. We are also making it clear to TV5 not to invite anyone from our party for their TV debates. In the same way, TV5 has been banned from covering party press meets and activities. YSRCP has taken this decision to uncover those who have turned into yellow media in the disguise of independent journalism. It is already known that YSRCP previously banned ABN,” the party said in a statement which it posted on Twitter.
TV5 is an Andhra based channel operated by Shreya Broadcasting Pvt Ltd and owned by businessman BR Naidu. Naidu, who used to run a travel agency, became rich with a hair product -- Nuzen Hair oil. Much of the profits from the hair oil business and subsequent businesses were channelled into the news channel and other media ventures.
However, parties owning or having proximity is not unknown in the Telugu states. Vemuri Radhakrishna-owned ABN Andhrajyothy is seen as TDP-leaning, Sakshi is owned by Jagan, T News and Telangana Today are owned by the TRS, and so on.
While parties have media channels that they own or have a stake in, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, a few months after it came to power for the first time in 2014, banned two Telugu channels for months together.
ABN was held off the air for over a year and TV9 was blacklisted for close to half a year.