The Press Council of India was established on 16 November 1966, ten years after the First Press Commission was instituted in 1956, to protect the ethics of journalism in India and preserve the freedom of Press in the country. Since then, 16 November is marked as the National Press Day, to honor and acknowledge the Press Council of India, which is a quasi-judicial establishment – a moral watchdog ensuring that Indian journalists are not biased by influence or external driving forces.
Over more than a decade the importance of digital media has risen in the domain of journalism, and many portals are playing the role of disseminating information, in a more fluid manner than done by the print media as well as television. A week ago, the government amended the Allocation of Business Rules 1961 to include digital media as well as OTT platform, highlight their importance in the journalism domain. Having said this, let’s review the connoisseurs of electronic media and digital media in Udaipur, who have gone on to make a modest online journalism presence for Udaipur in the region as well as nationally, and a few globally.
Udaipur and its Digital / Electronic Media
The history of press/media in Udaipur dates back to decades ago, when national media houses, viz. Rajasthan Patrika, Dainik Bhaskar, Jai Rajasthan, Pratahkaal and the likes created their own identity and are market leaders till date. While all of the above have created a substantial digital presence on the shoulders of their brand equity, there are some who began modestly in the electronic domain and digital space and made a modest reputation for themselves.
To add to the presence of the print media in Udaipur, a certain Chhoga Lal Bhoi took the first step to take Udaipur media to television, in the form of Mewar Channel. Mewar Channel, launched as early as 1999 was arguably Udaipur’s first media presence on television and it took the city in its fold the moment it was launched. Rechristened to DEN MEWAR, the channel is still among the most followed in Udaipur, more due to its founder, Chhoga Lal Bhoi.
UdaipurTimes is credited with bringing Udaipur online in the real sense with its focus initially on blogging about the city of lakes and then gradually transitioning itself to be the first hyper local portal in Rajasthan and sought after for online presence in terms of business branding. The idea of UdaipurTimes was envisaged by Zaheer Abbas, who wanted to create a unique online presence for Udaipur – in terms of giving the city its first English language platform. Founded in 2010, the portal transitioned from its initial days of being a blog to a full fledged hyper local site after its operations and management was taken over by a team of professionals in 2011. The portal, with its philosophy of taking local global, now garners national and global reputation for people and businesses that are directly or indirectly linked to Udaipur. UdaipurTimes has successfully created a proof of concept for hyper local in the smaller towns of India and is looking at expanding to other smaller towns with a similar equation. The portal has also augmented its Hindi section which is being looked after by Mansoor Ali Orawala.
Abbas Rizvi, the founder CEO of News91 have a three decade journalism experience behind him. He began his media career with Sahara TV as a cameraman in 2006-07. Subsequent to a year long stint with Sahara, Abbas joined AajTak becoming the divisional head of the national channel. In 2010-11 Abbas joined Hindustan Times as its Udaipur correspondent. He took upon this journey of fulfilling his dream of having his own channel in 2015, when he launched New91. This was his foray into television and he moved on to create a niche for himself online as well with a channel on YouTube. News 91 today is India’s first divisional channel both on television and YouTube.
True to its name, Udaipur News, founded in 2008 by the father-son duo of Ugrasen Rao and Manu Rao, this YouTube channel has created a niche for itself in being truly local. Udaipur News was founded in 2008 and slowly rose to prominence, thanks to its deeply local reporting and the mentorship of Ugrasen Rao, a veteran of 40 years in journalism- having worked with the best of the national and local dailies in his career.
The brain child of a class X student Sanjit Chauhan, UB is among the first of the blogs on Udaipur. Not a dedicatedly news site, Udaipur Blog offers immense information on the city of Udaipur and the surrounding areas and is a favorite among the younger generation, as it should be since it is managed by the youth of the city. Sanjit has taken UdaipurBlog from being a mere connecting platform in 2008 to becoming the go to place for promotion of local businesses online. He has plans to take the concept of Udaipur Blog to other towns like Ahmedabad and Raipur, after beginning with Jaipur.
CBC News Wire
Akhtar Khan, the founder of CBC News Wire is an industry professional with nearly two decades of media experience behind him. He has worked with Rashtradoot and Dainik Bhaskar. He recently launched CBC News Wire in March 2020 with the advent of COVID-19. Akhtar’s ideology and reporting acumen has facilitated quick progression for this channel.
Udaipur Kiran, is another leading online news portal of Udaipur, disseminating information on education, entertainment, politics and administration in Udaipur, India and globally, as per its founder, Bhupendra Singh Chundawat.