Tara Newz is all set to air the 25th episode of ‘SouthAsian’ on Sunday, September 23. ‘SouthAsian’ is an hour-long programme, which is the collaborative media initiative of the private broadcasters of South Asian countries, including TaraNewz from India, Aaj TV from Pakistan, Maharaja TV from Sri Lanka, Image TV from Nepal, and Channel I from Bangladesh. The programme is currently aired once a week.
The special episode will feature a discussion between well-known journalists, leading activists and eminent members of the society. Channel I from Bangladesh will have Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Editor of The Bangladesh Observer, and Vice-President SAFMA, and Asaduzzaman Noor, a prolific media personality, politician and activist. Tara Newz, India will be represented by S Nihal Singh, former editor of The Statesman, The Indian Express and The Khaleej Times, and Suman Chatterjee, Chief News Editor of Taranewz.
Nepal’s Image TV Channel will have Yuba Raj Ghimire, Chief Editor of Samaya and News Front Weekly; Dr Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, economist and former Finance and Foreign Minister, as well as Nepal’s Ambassador to the US and India; and Dr Bhawani Prashad Dhungana, political economist and former Advisor to the Ministry of Finance. Pakistan’s Aaj TV will be represented by veteran journalist Nusrat Javed, and Arshad Zuberi, Editor of Business Recorder. Sri Lanka’s Maharaja TV will have Chevaan Daniels, Head of News, First Online studios, and Dr Harsha de Silva, a leading economist and media personality.
Meanwhile, Rathikant Basu, Chairman, Broadcast Worldwide (the parent company of Tara Newz and Tara Muzik), said that based on the popularity of this programme, there were plans to launch an independent channel called SouthAsian very soon.
Basu added, “Our Bangladesh experience led us to realise that the information of our neighbouring countries that come to us is mostly about disasters. We thought we should go beyond that and try to interact on a people-to-people basis. Last December we had a meeting of broadcasters from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and India. The consensus was to increase the content and go for a full channel. These people had then wanted to start a news channel on the lines of Singapore’s Asia News channel. I said let us start with a single programme and see if it works or not. That was the beginning of this programme around the SAARC Summit in New Delhi.”
Basu further said, “We will present, package, produce and uplink the new channel from Kolkata. The distribution of the channel in the respective countries would be the responsibility of the channel partners. We are hoping to launch by the end of this year. This will also be the first English language news channel from Bengal.”