• Saturday, November 01, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 24, 2014 | 11.27 am IST We watch the news every day, but the stories of who owns the news media are as interesting as the news these channels report. According to data released by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, there are 394 news and current affairs channels in our country, out of a total of 669 television channels that have been given permission to function by the government.   Here’s a short guide to who owns the news channels in Karnataka: Click on these links for Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu news channels. Full list here. KANNADA   TV 9 Kannada TV 9 was the first Kannada news channel to operate in the language, and the state now has 10 news channels broadcasting news in Kannada. Some are owned by politicians, others by businessmenn and two are are owned by journalists. Although there are 10 news channels, the viewership is disproportionately in favour of TV 9 Kannada, and the rest is shared by three or four news channels. TV 9 Kannada is owned by Associated Broadcasting Company Limited (ABCL) and is the most watched news channel in Kannada. It is also the only Kannada news channel to have a dedicated programme for women called Ladies Club. Suvarna News 24x7 is owned by Asianet Communications Limited, in which Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrashekar has controlling stakes. The channel has been trying to bring in a culture of serious prime time debating in Kannada, but has not been successful at the TRP charts. ETV news all the non-Telugu channels of the group are owned by Network 18, which is in turn owned by Reliance's Independent Media Foundation. It is not a serious contender for news viewership. Raj News Kannada news channel owned by the Raj Television Network Limited, a public listed company. Its Managing Director M. Raajhendran is a businessman who joined the DMK in June 2007 and owns 11.3% of the network. BTV is owned by Kumar G M, a journalist who has now set up a news channel. It began operations on July 21, 2014 after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the channel. Samaya was started by Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi in June 2010. It has been plagued with all kinds of troubles including financial and managerial. Within a year of its launch, ownership changed hands. Former industries minister in the previous BJP government Murugesh Nirani and his associate Sachin Narayan, who owns a liquor business, took over and ran the channel for two years. In July 2013, the management had declared a lockout as it was unable to pay salaries to its employees. Employees had gathered outside the Labour Commissioner’s office. The channel was re-launched in July 2013 with by its new owner Vijay Thathaiah, a who has a real estate business. For nearly two months before that, the channel had closed operations and left employees stranded. Even now, salaries are not paid on time, employees say. Janasri was started by mining baron G Janardhan Reddy in February 2011. Things were hunky dory at first, but after Reddy’s arrest it appears that things have gone downhill of the channel’s employees. Some time ago, an anonymous unsigned letter was being circulated on WhatsApp about alleged irregularities in the company, but the main grouse was that employees’ salaries hadn’t been paid for a few months. Kasthuri Newz 24x7 is owned by Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy. Generally known not to show the party or any of its leaders in a bad light, the news channel was launched only in 2011. Until then, the Kasturi ran periodic news segments. Public TV is owned by Writeman Media, in which the channel’s H R Ranganath is Managing Editor and Chairman. It was launched in 2012. Udaya News is owned by Sun Network, which also has many channels in Tamil Nadu.