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The Patrika Group to launch English news website called Catch


Rajasthan Patrika publisher The Patrika Group will be launching its first English news website called Catch. Catch will be New Delhi based and headed by ex-Tehelka founding member and journalist Shoma Chaudhary, where she will responsible for the news and content on the site. The founder and editor of Mail Today, Bharat Bhushan, will also work on Catch as an editor. Former DNA and Tehelka journalist Kunal Majumder will also be working with Catch.

Vinny Ganju will be the chief operating officer for Catchnews and be responsible for the operation and business of Catchnews. He will be reporting to Catch’s management. According to the Patrika Group, Catch will publish original content, both quick as well as longer pieces. The Patrika Group claims that Catch will report on everyday policies and events with a focus on public interest.

The multimedia platform will also cover social justice, plurality, equity, freedom of speech, rule of law and individual and constitutional rights. Catch is hiring massively for reporters across beats, sub editors, video editors, graphic designers and social media experts. Exchange4Media reports that the Patrika Group had applied for a TV license last year.

In March this year, The Patrika Group was among the 28 applicants who had applied for an e-auction of the first batch of Phase III FM Radio channels. This first batch of Phase III auctions comprised 135 FM radio channels across 69 cities.

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In 2008, The Patrika Group had revamped and repositioned their website to include news coverage from 50 cities. The group had then claimed to have 27 lakh page views a month, and around 20 percent NRI traffic.

The new media news scene in India has been exploding with the launch of many websites recently.

Some of the recent launches include:

– Last week, former editor of The Hindu, Siddharth Varadarajan, and one of the founding editors of DNA, Sidharth Bhatia, launched an online news publication called The Wire. Former editor of Time Out Delhi, Raghu Karnad, has come on board as contributing editor. It has tied up with news agencies like Press Trust of India (PTI) and Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) for content and is apparently looking to raise Rs 10-12 crore in the next six months. The Wire will primarily focus on politics, economy, science, external affairs, law and culture.

– Atlantic Media’s mobile-first digital publication Quartz went live in India in June last year. Quartz India offers both global and India-specific business news coverage and features.

– Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media’s mobile-focused digital venture The Quint went live in March this year. Earlier in January, The Quint had started publishing stories on Facebook as a preview to the new service.

– Well-known international digital publications like The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed also launched India editions last year – Buzzfeed in August and The Huffington Post in December. Interestingly, former Quartz India editor Sruthijith KK was appointed editor of Huffington Post India.

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– Samir Patil led Scroll.in has been around for sometime now. The digital daily had raised investment from the philanthropic venture capital firm Omidyar Network, with participation from New York-based Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), in July last year. It’s worth noting that Scroll.in had a co-publishing deal with Quartz, as part of which Scroll.in was expected to take care of all the content, while Quartz will take care of all the monetization.

– In September last year, The India Today Group launched a new opinion-oriented site called DailyO that provides commentary on news from various categories like politics, sports, life, sci-tech, money, humour and art & culture.

– The New York Times had launched India Ink and ZDNet launched its India edition, on their own.

– In 2011, Network18 launched FirstPost.com, an online news and views website that provides a unique take and commentary on news – across Current Affairs, Politics, World, Business, Investing, Economy, Ideas, Living, Bollywood and Sports. In 2013, it acquired humor site FakingNews.com for an undisclosed amount.

Also read: On New Media startups and media independence by Prem Panicker

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