Working under an autonomous editorial board comprising eminent citizens, a possible first in television news channels in India, a new Tamil language news channel – News 7 Tamil – is all set to launch later this month.
Announcing this at a media briefing, R Bhagwan Singh, member of editorial board, said the channel’s objective as also the objective of members on the editorial board was to ensure total objectivity, fairness and justice in news coverage.
Singh is also the executive editor of Deccan Chronicle, Chennai edition.
In short, he said, “we want to be like the Hindu in television journalism, adding “even a single email or phone complaint from a viewer would be attended to by the editorial board”, more like the Ombudsman and Readers Editor of The Hindu.
In all there are seven members of the editorial board that would act like a firewall and insulate journalists from the owners and investors, so that their influence is not seen or felt in the newsrooms. The coverage will be totally bias free and all political parties would be given equal prominence, Bhagwan Singh said.
He would, like the other editorial board members, would not be drawing any salary from News 7 Tamil.
The other board members include Priti Mohan, a young lawyer and columnist, a retired high court judge, Meena Kandasamy, a poet and novelist and social activist based in London and Nick Walshe, a former journalist with ITN and BBC and Al Jazeera.
No editorial board member can serve on the board for more than two years and they board would be selected annually.
Effort is to reduce average age of the newsroom as also make full use of social media platforms, said Rajesh Sundaram, editor, News 7 Tamil. “We are perhaps the only TV set up in India with a social media studio in place,” he said.
The channels aims to target the Tamil diaspora with its socially responsible journalism, Sundaram said.
“We are just a step away from formal launch. Its like we just have to switch it on,” he said adding the date would be announced very soon.