Sakshi
TypePrivate
IndustryMass media
Founded2008 (14 years ago) (2008)
FounderY. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy
HeadquartersHyderabad, India
Key people
  • Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy
    Y. S. Bharathi Reddy (Chairperson)
Products
Subsidiaries
WebsiteSakshi.com

Sakshi (transl. The Witness)[1] is an Indian Telugu-language media group. The group owns the daily newspaper Sakshi, 24-hour news channel Sakshi TV, and associated digital ventures. Its first asset, Sakshi newspaper, was launched on 23 March 2008 by Jagati Publications Ltd. owned by Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.[2] Sakshi TV was launched on 1 March 2009, by Indira Television Ltd., also owned by Reddy. The group is currently run under the chairmanship of Y. S. Bharathi Reddy, wife of Jagan Mohan Reddy.[3]

As of 2019, Sakshi newspaper had an average daily circulation of 10.64 lakh, ranking second in circulation among Telugu daily newspapers behind Eenadu and sixteenth in India across languages.[4][5]

The newspaper and TV channel are widely regarded as propaganda outlets for Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party YSR Congress Party (YCP).[6][7][8][9][10] They are criticized for their biased coverage of the political rivals of Reddy and YCP.[6][11][12] Sakshi TV has been found to be in breach of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) code of ethics on various occasions.[13][14]

Sakshi newspaper

Main article: Sakshi (newspaper)

Sakshi newspaper is promoted by Jagati Publications Ltd. The newspaper was launched on 23 March 2008[15][16] with 23 editions — nineteen editions from Andhra Pradesh, and four from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai.[2][17] At a price of 60 per month, Sakshi was marketed as a less expensive alternative to all other prominent Telugu dailies at the time which were priced at 96–100 per month.[2] To stand out from its competition, Sakshi adopted high-quality production values. It had 30-pages, all of them in colour broadsheet format.[2] The paper's layouts were designed by Mario Garcia.[18]

Of the total Andhra Pradesh Government budget of about 200 crore for print media commercials for the years 2008-11, Sakshi newspaper was allotted over 50% amounting to 101.63 crore.[15] This was attributed to the undue preferential treatment Sakshi newspaper received during the chief ministership of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.[15][19]

Circulation

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, from July to December 2019, Sakshi had an average daily circulation of 10.64 lakh.[4][5] It ranks second in circulation among Telugu daily newspapers behind Eenadu and sixteenth in India across languages.[4][5]

Sakshi TV

Main article: Sakshi TV

Façade of Sakshi TV building
Façade of Sakshi TV building

Sakshi TV started airing on 1 March 2009.[20][15] It is promoted by Indira Television Ltd., with Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y. S. Rajashekhara Reddy, as the Chairman.[21][22]

The channel was initially named Indira Priyadarsini.[21] According to Ramakrishna Reddy, the first Editor-in-Chief of the channel, it was renamed to cash in on the popularity of the Sakshi newspaper which was launched a year before the channel by Jagan Mohan Reddy.[21] At its launch, the channel claimed to be the first HDTV channel in the country. It was marketed as being primarily targeted at the youth.[21]

Of the nearly 40 crore Government of Andhra Pradesh spent on ads in electronic media for the years 2009-12, Sakshi TV got advertisements worth over 17 crore. This was attributed to the undue preferential treatment Sakshi TV received during the chief ministership of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.[15][19]

Sakshi TV has been found to be in breach of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) code of ethics on various occasions.[13][14]

Digital assets

Sakshi Excellence Awards

Sakshi Excellence Awards is an annual awards ceremony organized by Sakshi media group to honour and recognize the individuals and institutions of various fields.[25] Launched in 2015, it primarily rewards the people from the Telugu-speaking community across the world.

Criticism

The newspaper and TV channel are widely regarded as propaganda outlets for Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party YSR Congress Party (YCP).[6][7][8][9] They are criticized for their biased coverage of the political rivals of Reddy and YCP.[6][11][12] Sakshi TV has been found to be in breach of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) code of ethics on various occasions.[13][14] According to a CBI chargesheet filed against Jagan Mohan Reddy, most of the investments in the media group were quid pro quo bribes by those people who had benefited from their unfair deals with his father Y. S. Rajashekhara Reddy's government.[19][26][27][28]

Sakshi group is part of a recent trend, wherein businesspersons-turned-politicians across India launched their own media organisations as a political strategy to influence public opinion to further their political interests.[29]

Rajasekhara Reddy's death and conspiracy theory

In January 2010, Sakshi TV broadcast a conspiracy theory by the American journalist Mark Ames in the Russian online tabloid The eXile, on the death of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, father of Sakshi TV promoter Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy, in a helicopter crash on 2 September 2009. It alleged that Ambani brothers of Reliance group of companies orchestrated the death of Rajasekhara Reddy.[30][31] TV5 channel broke the story while Sakshi TV and NTV relayed the report aired by TV5.[32][30]

The report led to massive attacks against the business establishments owned by the two Ambani brothers in Andhra Pradesh.[33][34][35] On 8 January 2010, criminal cases were filed against Sakshi TV and NTV while two senior journalists of TV5 were arrested.[32][36] Editors Guild of India asked the channels to desist from "irresponsible reporting" and condemned the reporting as sensational and against the principles of journalism.[35]

References

  1. ^ Ngwainmbi, Emmanuel K. (18 September 2017). Citizenship, Democracies, and Media Engagement among Emerging Economies and Marginalized Communities. Springer. p. 134. ISBN 978-3-319-56215-5.
  2. ^ a b c d Tata, Madhavi (7 April 2008). "We Are The News". Outlook. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Sakshi Media Group appoints Vinay Maheshwari as Executive Director & CEO". Exchange4media. 15 January 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  4. ^ a b c "2019 Highest Circulated Dailies, Weeklies & Magazines (across languages)" (PDF). Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 25 October 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b c "2019 Highest Circulated Daily Newspapers (languages wise)" (PDF). Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 26 October 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c d "All you wanted to know about who owns the South Indian news channels you watch". The News Minute. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2022. The channel is actively used by Jagan Mohan Reddy for political propaganda, especially against his political rivals. When he was arrested the channel ran consistent campaign claiming Jagan was innocent.
  7. ^ a b Jeffrey, Robin; Sen, Ronojoy (29 September 2015). Media at Work in China and India: Discovering and Dissecting. SAGE Publications India. ISBN 978-93-5150-545-7.
  8. ^ a b Rodrigues, Usha M.; Ranganathan, Maya (26 November 2014). Indian News Media: From Observer to Participant. SAGE Publications India. ISBN 978-93-5150-464-1.
  9. ^ a b "YSR gets a much-needed "off" on Sakshi TV". Indian Journalism Review. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  10. ^ Shaw, Padmaja (13 April 2017). "Who wants to own Telugu news channels?". The Hoot. Retrieved 27 October 2022. The channel has clearly been an instrument in promoting the political interests of Jaganmohan Reddy and the YSRCP.
  11. ^ a b A, Srinivasa Rao (27 July 2012). "Congress in Andhra Pradesh mulls its own TV channel, newspaper". India Today. Retrieved 25 October 2022. In the last one year, Jagan launched an offensive against the Congress government and the party through his media house - Sakshi television channel and Telugu daily.
  12. ^ a b Oskarsson, Patrik (19 September 2018). Landlock: Paralysing Dispute over Minerals on Adivasi Land in India. ANU Press. pp. 141, 179. ISBN 978-1-76046-251-2.
  13. ^ a b c "News Broadcasters Association - Fifth Annual Report 2011-12" (PDF). Retrieved 25 October 2022. NBSA therefore held that Sakshi TV was in breach of NBA Code of Ethics and Guidelines particularly the provisions relating to accuracy, impartiality, objectivity, neutrality and privacy in reporting.
  14. ^ a b c "NBSA hauls up CNN-IBN, Aaj Tak and Sakshi TV for breach of guidelines". Indiantelevision.com. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  15. ^ a b c d e "After CBI squeeze, govt stops ads to Sakshi". The Times of India. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  16. ^ "Sakshi Newspaper Launch". The Hindu Images. The Hindu. 23 March 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  17. ^ Surender Kumar, Dhaleta (7 November 2008). "IRS 2008 R2: Andhra Jyothi top gainer in readership". afaqs!. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  18. ^ R. García, Mario (1 August 2008). "More than twelve million read the new Sakshi daily of Hyderabad, India". García Media. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  19. ^ a b c Nag, Kingshuk (28 May 2012). "Jaganmohan Reddy: Understanding his tale of dynasty and megabucks". The Economic Times. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  20. ^ "Sakshi TV aims to break clutter in the Telugu news space". afaqs!. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  21. ^ a b c d Behl, Vinod (20 March 2009). "India's first HDTV channel Sakshi launched". Exchange4media. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  22. ^ Lakshman, Ganesh (9 May 2012). "Owner of Sakshi TV and newspaper Y S Jaganmohan Reddy files case challenging the freezing of the Sakshi accounts. The CBI is directed to file its counter and the matter posted to Thursday". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  23. ^ a b "About us | మా గురించి". Sakshi.com. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  24. ^ "Sakshi in English". The Hoot. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  25. ^ "Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo: Allu Arjun, Pooja Hegde & Trivikram Srinivas score big at Sakshi Awards". Pinkvilla. 18 September 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  26. ^ A, Srinivasa Rao (4 July 2012). "CBI files supplementary chargesheet against Jagan in disproportionate assets case". India Today. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  27. ^ "A timeline of the Jaganmohan Reddy case". India Today. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  28. ^ Knieper, Thomas; Saleh, Ibrahim (11 May 2017). The Visual Politics of Wars. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-4438-9381-7.
  29. ^ "A Delicate Handshake". Media Ownership Monitor India. 2018.
  30. ^ a b Sukumar, C. R. (9 January 2010). "RIL to file criminal complaint against Telugu TV channel". Mint. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  31. ^ "TV5 Journalists Arrest Sparks Furore". fullhyderabad. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  32. ^ a b "Reliance attack: Cases slapped against three TV channels". The Times of India. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  33. ^ "Two editors of TV 5 arrested in Hyderabad". The Hindu. 8 January 2010. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  34. ^ Das, Ashok (8 January 2010). "AP channel booked over YSR report". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  35. ^ a b "Police arrests TV5 editors, Editors Guild condemns irresponsible reporting". Indiantelevision.com. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  36. ^ "Journalists protest TV5 editors' arrest". Business Standard. 10 January 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2022.