Elections make news, and for those in the business of news, this is the time to converge their skills and intellect. No wonder, leading Hindi daily Dainik Jagran is on a war footing. The print major is planning to wield the might of pen in an innovative way this time. The Jagran Group is embarking on a ‘Jan Jagran Rath’, which will educate voters on how to use their democratic rights.
Asked if the group was cashing in on the opportunity to push the brand, Sanjay Gupta, Editor and CEO, Dainik Jagran, asserted, “Yes, it is indeed a brand exercise but with a human face. Media, as the Fourth Estate, has the responsibility to help people arrive at an informed decision.”
However, the Jagran Rath will visit 90 constituencies of Haryana in 18 days starting from January 15 to February 1, to educate the Haryana voters about electronic voting machines, procedure of voting and importance of individual vote, encouraging the youth and women to use their mandate. Enquired if there would be any political pressures, Gupta responded, “There is no political pressure. Education of voters falls under our duties and we are performing that without being biased to any political party.”
During the 18-day activity, each Jan Jagran Rath will have a team of editorial, circulation and brand visiting 30 different constituencies of Haryana. “The team will educate people about the total electoral population, male and female ratio, literacy rate, per capita income of the state and voting pattern of the last three elections in those constituencies,” Gupta said.
Interestingly, the group also plans to extend the journey ahead in Bihar and Jharkhand – the two other states that would go to the polls in February. Jagran enjoys a readership base of 9,61,000 in Haryana, 18,08,000 in Bihar and 5,70,000 in Jharkhand, as per IRS R2 2003. Jagran has been pretty aggressive in its branding exercise throughout 2004. This year too, it seems that the band is ready for a leap ahead with the rath-yatra.