It is called Sakshi (which means ‘the witness’ in Telugu). The recently-launched Telugu daily with 23 multi-coloured editions marks a foray into media by Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the entrepreneur son of Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.Reddy, 35, stresses that the paper has nothing to do with the Congress, except for the father-son connection. But a new player should be a source of some relief to both the Chief Minister and the Congress. Reason? They have been under attack from Eenadu, the Telugu daily promoted by the region’s media tycoon Ramoji Rao and a paper that has been a market leader for close to 30 years now.
“The complacency of being a market leader coupled with its biased reporting, created a vacuum for this paper to enter,” says Reddy. But then, will it be a mouthpiece for the Congress? “We have launched this paper with a clear goal to be #1 and when you talk about #1 status, you cannot afford to be biased,” he adds.
Sakshi is priced at Rs 2 per copy as against Rs 3 per copy of the market leader. Reddy is doubtless hoping it could attract new readers in a market that already has some eight major dailies. “Growth of media and entry of new players is always welcome. It is even better if there are young people entering this space and bringing in a new perspective,” says B. Ramalinga Raju, Chairman, Satyam Computer Services, who launched the web edition of the newspaper. Reddy, for his part, is clear on the way forward. “We want to be South India’s largest paper in the next six months!”
— E. Kumar Sharma