• Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 25, 2014 | 4.00 pm IST We watch news every day, but the stories of who owns the media organisations 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 Tamil Nadu: Click on these links for Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu news channels. Full list here. Most news channels in Tamil Nadu are party mouthpieces, most directly owned by politicians, political parties or benamis. SUN News- Established in May 2000, Sun News was founded by Kalanidhi Maran, the Chairman and Managing director of Sun Network. Kalanithi Maran is the grand nephew of DMK leader M Karunanidhi. Though the channel is largely believed to be a mouthpiece of the DMK, in the last few years, the channel has been claiming to follow a neutral editorial policy. this change was more apparent after the Marans had a fallout with the Karunanidhi family in 2007. Kalaignar TV is owned by Karunanidhi's family and was launched in 2007 when the family had a fallout with the Maran brothers. Karunanidhi's wife MK Dayalu owns 60% in Kalaignar TV, his daughter and Rajya Sabaha member Kanimozhi owns 20%. Sharad Kumar, who was earlier a stakeholder in Gemini TV and Udaya TV, holds the balance 20% stake in Kalaignar TV. As per the ED charge sheet in 2G case, DB Realty promoter Shahid Balwa circuitously route Rs.200 crores as kickbacks in 2G scam to Kalaignar TV. Jaya News is anews channel is owned by a company called Mavis Satcom Ltd. The channel is run on a day-to-day basis by Rabi Bernard, a current AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP. Jayalalithaa's aide Sasikala Natarajan too is involved in the running of the channel. The channel is openly biased towards AIADMK and devotes many hours everyday to carrying Jayalalithaa's statements. Pudiya Thalaimurai (New Generation) was a news channel started by the The New Generation Media Corporation in 2011. Puthiya Thalamurai was touted as the first independent news channel in Tamil Nadu with no obvious political leanings. The media house belongs to the SRM Group of Companies, that owns colleges and has a successful transportation business. Puthiya Thalamurai's initial success made other channels rethink their editorial lines. Later, the channel hired people for an English channel they proposed, but the idea was shelved. The SRM group also has a political party called the IJK, which contested under the NDA banner during Lok Sabha elections 2014. Thanthi TV is a news channel that began operation in 2012 and is owned by the Dina Thanthi group. Thanthi group in fact took over a Tamil Nadu based English channel that was being run as a joint venture between NDTV and The Hindu.  After Puthiya Thalamurai, Thanthi TV is perhaps the only other channel in Tamil Nadu with an editorial that is largely free of bias. Makkal TV is mouth piece of the Pattali Makkal Katchi. Launched in September 2006, the channel is promoted by Makkal Tholai Thodarpu Kuzhumam and PMK leader Ramadoss is the founder of channel. MAkkal TV completely avoiding cinema-based programmes and tele-serials, instead concentrates on documentaries and news based shows. Captain TV is a 24-hour television channel that began operations on 14 April 2010. The channel is owned and operated by Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, a political party lead by popular actor Vijayakanth. The managing director of Captain Media is LK Sudhish, brother-in-law of Vijayakanth. Raj News is owned by Raj Network. Raj Television Network is a satellite television network established on June 3, 1994. Its Managing Director M. Raajhendran is a businessman who joined the DMK in June 2007 and owns 11.3% of the network. It owns a variety of television channels in multiple languages covering south Indian States. Vasanth TV and Mega TV are two news channels owned by Congress leaders Vasanth Kumar and K V Thangabalu respectively.