Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan launched the sixth edition of Hindi Daily, Lokmat Samachar in Pune. Also present on the occasion were Minister of State for Education Rajendra Darda along with media luminaries Balbir Punj, senior columnist and RS MP from Rajasthan; Prabhu Chawla, Editor-in-Chief, The New Indian Express; Tarun Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief, Tehelka; and Vijay Darda, Rajya Sabha MP and Chairman of Lokmat Media.
“Lokmat Samachar will enhance the quality of life in Pune and will make it more cosmopolitan,” Chief Minister Chavan said at the launch ceremony.
A thought-provoking panel discussion on ‘The Relationship between Media and Politicians’ had been organised to mark the launch. “A journalist is also a politician. Not only should media help in shaping public opinion, it should also play a critical part in the development of the political process,” the CM observed.
Senior journalists and editors Chawla, Tejpal and Punj, highlighted the increasing complexities of the media world, and the need to maintain a balance in giving coverage and direction.
“Media is a fish that lives in the vast ocean of democracy. Hence, strengthening the media will result in the strengthening of democracy,” said Punj.
Highlighting the sharp difference between the cover prices of newspapers in India and abroad, Tejpal pointed out that the readers in India are not willing to pay enough money to run these institutions. “This is the structural flaw due to which quality deteriorates,” he said.
Chawla decried the increasing incidence of ‘paid news’ inserted by politicians, due to which media is facing a credibility crisis. “Media has become a victim of this phenomenon,” he maintained.
Speaking about the Pune edition of Lokmat Samachar, Rishi Darda, Joint Managing Director, Lokmat Media said, “The Hindi-speaking population of Pune, which has emerged as an education hub and IT city, was in need of a national daily. Since Hindi is our national language and therefore connects people throughout the country, Lokmat Samachar would definitely fill the gap.”
The newspaper offering consists of the main paper of 12 pages (all color) along with a four-pager Apna Pune that will detail the local civic issues and also leisure options for Puneites. For You for the young, Sakhi for Women and Lokarang Sunday supplement will accompany the paper on three different days in a week.
This is the sixth edition of the popular newspaper which first appeared in 1989 in Nagpur, and was thereafter launched in Aurangabad, Akola, Kolhapur and Jalgaon in that order. Lokmat Samachar has 13.56 lakh readers as per IRS 2012 Q1 AIR.
Its Pune edition has a cover price of Rs 3 plus an attractive subscription scheme that affords savings.