Rajya Sabha MP and Asianet, Republic channels owner Rajeev Chandrasekhar says he is just an investor and editors of the channels he invested in run it.
In an interview with Scroll.in, he said that the 'mandate in the newsrooms of the media brands' he has invested is very simple and it is this: “If that happens to be a slight leftist slant in a market that requires a leftist slant, they do that, if it requires a certain slant in another market, they do that.”
The media owner-turned politician has been widely criticised on social media after his Channel Republic TV reportedly ran a huge number of stories portraying Kerala in bad light.
“You have got to have a large share of the market. You have to do what you have to do to get a large share of the marke”, Chandrasekhar said.
The National Democratic Alliance’s Vice Chairman in Kerala, citing two different stands of his channels, Republic TV and Asianet News, said his eye is on running successful media without pushing a specific line.
I’ve been told my Kerala channel, Asianet News, has a leftist point of view. That’s the journalists of that product. The Kannada channel has a different point of view, an anti-establishment point of view, whoever the establishment is. Republic has a different point of view, and people have accused it of being pro-BJP, mouthpiece of the BJP. That is for the editor to explain. It’s not for the shareholder to explainRajeev Chandrasekhar
Rajeev has also shares in newspaper Kannada Prabha, TV channel Suvarna News and Radio Indigo.
Rajeev had triggered a controversy a couple of months back after an email leaked out of his office in 2016 that directs top editors to hire only 'pro-Military, right of centre, and aligned to Chairman’s ideology”.
Rajeev, in the interview, said that it was not his email and it has nothing to do with his team as well.
“First of all, it is not my email. I have investigated it after it was reported to me, and it has nothing to do with anybody in my team. The theory that has been put out there is that this is a disgruntled employee who is trying to do a hatchet job on someone. Regardless of that, it’s not my time and effort to waste something on that. The performance of our media investments is reflected by what they do.” he said.