Here comes 'aam aadmi' TV news channel

 In a unique initiative, a TV channel funded by the people was launched in Andhra Pradesh on Friday. Over two lakh people, including a few hundred daily wage earners, have contributed to make it a “people’s channel.”

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy unveiled the logo of the channel whose tag line said, “the fourth estate with a sixth sense.” In a state with over 15 regional news channels, 10TV presents an unique ownership model.

Though the channel is perceived to have Left leanings, the promoters said: “This is an alternative platform for those looking for serious journalism. We will show the real picture. At a time when news channels in the state have started airing adult contents for TRP ratings, we will show what a news channel should be,” said 10TV chairman K Nageshwar, a journalism professor and independent member of the state Legislative Council, known for his Marxist views.

“A team of progressive ideologists who care for the people, society and democracy have come together to form Sphoorthi communications and joined hands with Pragathi Broadcasting  and Abhuyadaya Broadcasting to promote 10TV,” the official website of the channel said.

A total of Rs 60 crore was raised in the last two months through donations, with people from the most unlikely quarters contributing in multiples of Rs 10. Around 300 labourers from a coastal Andhra town made donations. In a couple of districts, entire villages contributed, while teachers and bank and insurance employees were the most enthusiastic donors.

The donors have elected a board of directors which, in turn, appointed the news team. The managing director was previously employed in the insurance sector. “The Press Commission had earlier suggested that big businesses and the media should not be connected. This is an alternate model that can work,” said Nageshwar.

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