A new satellite news channel targeting the audience of 60 million people in northeast India emerged from the pre-historic city of Guwahati to join in the battle for electronic media space. The News18 Assam/NE, owned ETV News Network, was officially launched by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal in a glittering function held on 24 June 2016 at a deluxe hotel.
The launching ceremony was also graced by Union petroleum & natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union drinking water & sanitation minister Ramkripal Yadav, Union tourism & culture minister Mahesh Sharma, State industry & commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, State finance, education & health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, News 18 channel head Jagadish Chandra with many other distinguished guests.
“The Press being the fourth pillar of democracy has to remain as a watchdog and be sensitive to what’s happening around,” said Sonowal in his speech adding that the media should project the human values in proper perspectives and dig-out the truth.
Arguing that the media must carry all sections of people, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion to strengthen the edifice of democracy, the young chief minister argued that their voices must be heard loud and clear. He also called upon the media fraternity to remain vigilant always to closely monitor the functioning of the government.
The alienated region of India, borders Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet (China), Myanmar and Bangladesh now supports six free-to-air satellite news channels (NewsLive, DY365, PratidinTime, PragNews, AssamTalks and News 18 Assam/Northeast) with a number of cable news channels. Most of the news channels beam news & news related contents in Assamese with few in other languages including English, Hindi, Bengali etc.