The BJP is set to expand its Kerala-based television channel to Tamil Nadu, where both the ruling DMK and opposition AIADMK have long-established TV channels.
It has been decided by a high-ranking state official from the BJP that Janam TV, which was established in Kerala in April 2015, will be expanded to Tamil Nadu with the same name. He said, “It will be the same team running the channel here, and we will support them, and the Tamil version will start very soon”.
BJP Tamil Nadu president K Annamalai’s padyatra, planned for later this month, was to mark the launch of a new channel. However, due to his involvement in the Karnataka elections on May 10, the launch has been postponed. It is expected to be on air before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections; a celebrity will be roped in to launch it.
The BJP has been trying hard to improve its image in Tamil Nadu as the saffron party by reaching out to the public with various measures. It is also looking to reach out to prominent personalities in the state to garner support.
BJP’s new chief in Tamil Nadu, Annamalai, has stirred up controversy with his promise to take control of the state news media within 6 months, claiming it has the backing of Dravidian parties. He believes only a channel operated by the BJP can effectively communicate its vision to the people.
Jaya TV has served as the mouthpiece of AIADMK for two decades under Jayalalithaa. After the ouster of V K Sasikala and T T V Dhinakaran from the party, J Jaya TV no longer aired government programs led by Edappadi Palaniswami. In response, Palaniswami launched NewsJ as the official channel of AIADMK in 2018.
However, during the Cold War, the media was heavily divided in terms of ideological lines and the news content was influenced by the government to a large extent. This resulted in audiences being aware that they were consuming propaganda.
Political parties in Tamil Nadu own a sizable number of TV channels, including Vasanth TV and Mega TV (Congress), Makkal TV (PMK), Captain TV (DMDK), and Velicham TV (VCK). Experts agree that this is the highest concentration of political-backed channels in the country.
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