KOCHI: Janam TV, an entertainment-cum-news channel, was launched in Kochi on Sunday.
The launch function began with the ceremonial lighting of lamp by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore switched on the channel ID.
RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, Swami Poornananda Puri, channel MD Vishwarupan, film director Priyadarshan who is also chairman of the channel, channel COO and executive news editor Rajesh Pillai, channel director U S Krishnakumar, businessman B R Shetty, SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan, BJP leader O Rajagopal, BJP state president V Muraleedharan, Hindu Aikyavedi state general secretary Kummanam Rajasekharan and other dignitaries were present at the function. Apart from entertainment programmes and spiritual discourses, the channel that claims to be promoting ‘national interest’ is expected to have 10 news bulletins and news debates during night hours. It will also have a news bulletin in Sanskrit, a first in the history of private television.
The new entrant comes at a time when more than three dozen Malayalam TV channels are fighting hard to stay afloat, with two channels going off air recently following financial crisis. Janam, which means ‘people’, is supported by an investment of `50 crore raised from around 5,000 shareholders, who contributed between `25,000 and `5 lakh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram director P Parameshwaran and Mata Amritanandamayi wished good luck for the channel via pre-recorded video telecast. Speaking on the occasion, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar spoke about the ‘bad news’ that is permeating news channels these days.
“Hope Janam TV will give a new direction to television journalism. We need honest and ‘dharma’ based journalism,” he said.