Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami will be launching an association for journalists based out of Mumbai next week. Named as ‘Centre for Indian journalism’ (CIJ), it is said to be another of Goswami’s attempts to de-Lutyenise the Indian media. Flanked by Republic advisors Chitra Subramanian, Minhaz Merchant and other like-minded journalists, Goswami’s CIJ will meet on a quarterly basis in various Indian cities. During the initial phase of the association, the venue of the gatherings will remain away from New Delhi.
“Centre for Indian journalism is a forum for journalists wherein we are trying to shift the centre of gravity from Lutyens’ Delhi to Mumbai,” a source told exchange4media. Goswami has been highly critical of journalists who have developed close bonds with politicians in the national capital and wield their influence from such associations. In the run-up to the launch of Republic TV, he has also taken potshots at them for having reduced Indian journalism to certain occurrences in New Delhi.
Through CIJ, Goswami and his coterie are aiming to challenge those whom they view as representing a form of co-opted and compromised media. “It shall serve as a forum for debates among Indian and international editors,” the source added. While the blueprint for CIJ seems to have been borne out of Republic TV itself, Goswami expects the association to attract participation from major news players.
Apart from journalists, the erstwhile presenter of The Newshour has also built a few noteworthy relationships across media over the past several months. While Republic TV’s PR is being handled by Genesis Burson-Marsteller, Piyush Pandey’s Ogilvy & Mather India is advising them on advertising. Laqshya Media Solutions has been roped in as the out of home (OOH) agency on record whereas Goswami has claimed to be present on every single DTH platform when questioned about distribution partnerships. Republic TV is funded by a number of investors including Kerala NDA vice chairman Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Ramakanta Panda of Asian Heart Institute and DEN Networks’ Sameer Manchanda.