At a time when the print media is badly hit by the economic slowdown, any news of a new publication launch comes as a whiff of fresh air. It is especially so in the case of Chauthi Duniya, a Hindi weekly broadsheet which is being revived after a gap of 17 years. The Sunday paper that had closed down in 1992 after a six-year run is making a comeback in its new avatar on March 29.
Chauthi Duniya is being launched by Ankush Publications, a subsidiary of infrastructure company Gannon Dunkerley, promoted by industrialist Kamal Morarka, who already runs a daily English tabloid, Afternoon, in Mumbai. It will be edited by Santosh Bhartiya, a veteran Hindi journalist and former MP who was editing Chauthi Duniya during its debut run as well.
Speaking to exchange4media, Bhartiya confirmed that Chauthi Duniya would hit newsstands on March 29 after its successful trial run on March 15, when a few thousand copies of the edition were printed and distributed in the market. “The weekly all-colour glossy broadsheet is priced at Rs 20. We are coming out with an initial print order of 1 lakh copies, which will be distributed through our in-house distribution set-up. A total investment of Rs 35 crore is being made for the relaunch of Chauthi Duniya,” informed Santosh Bhartiya, Editor-in-Chief of the paper.
According to Bhartiya, Chauthi Duniya would be a people’s paper, targeted at opinion makers and decision makers of the Hindi belt. “Ours is a national paper on national issues. Important issues related to the youth, agriculture, defence, environment, education, literature, health, etc., which have significant bearing on the future of the country and yet do not get proper space, will get prominence in our paper,” he added.
Chauthi Duniya will have some prominent columnists such as veteran journalist MJ Akbar; Justice Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India; Romilla Thapar and KM Panicker (historians); Vandana Shiva (environmentalist); Achin Vinayak (expert on nuclear issues); Jaya Mehta (expert on rural affairs); Harsh Vardhan (former Vayudoot Chairman and aviation expert); Ghanshyam (an expert on Naxalism); Abid Surti (novelist); and Dr Manzur Alam of Institute of Objective Studies. Prominent politicians, including AB Bardhan, Prakash Karat, Ram Vilas Paswan, Sharad Yadav, Yashwant Sinha, Digvijay Singh, Shatrughan Sinha and Raj Babbar, would be among the guest writers.
According to Bhartiya, Chauthi Duniya’s USP was that it was the only weekly broadsheet paper that was totally glazed and all colour. “We are approaching the Limca Book of Records for Chauthi Duniya’s entry for its USP,” he added.
Bhartiya promises hard hitting investigations, exposes and scoops in Chauthi Duniya. The inaugural issue, he informed, would feature an expose on a leading political party.