Printline Media Pvt Ltd, a venture founded by Shekhar Gupta, is pleased to announce the conclusion of its first round of funding with a stellar list of investors.
N.R. Narayana Murthy, Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani, Uday Kotak Family, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Bangalore-based tech entrepreneur Rajiv C. Mody, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Chairman, LVMH Asia Ravi Thakran, IIFL founders Nirmal Jain, R. Venkataraman, Karan Bhagat and Yatin Shah are eminent investors in the venture.
Printline Media will publish ThePrint, a multi-media, mostly digital news platform.
ThePrint is built on three central beliefs.
First, that there is a large and growing audience of curious, critical, aware and questioning Indians who value the news they need, from the names they trust.
Second, there exists a wide philosophical and intellectual space that is socially and economically liberal and not doctrinaire Left or Right. A space for non-hyphenated liberalism.
And third, there is no contradiction between good journalism and the market-place.
This opens possibilities across platforms for serious, substantive and probing journalism, with a formidable opinion punch.
“We at ThePrint are gratified that people of such eminence have backed this idea,” said Shekhar Gupta. “All of them have brilliant track records as entrepreneurs and take their money seriously. This gives a special edge to their endorsement at this early stage.”
BMR Advisors and KLaw acted as transaction and legal advisors, respectively, for the raise.
ThePrint team is growing at its new editorial and corporate office on New Delhi’s so-called ‘Fleet Street’ – Third floor, 9 & 10 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.
What is the individual shareholding in percentage of these “people of such eminence”?
Funnily, in India the left-liberal establishment decide upon whom they should bestow the “eminent person” designation — and Shekhar Gupta says his publication is neither left or right in outlook.
(Btw, the eminent person tag has become so widespread that it has found its way into legislation — so many public agencies, commissions and authorities will have an “eminent person” as a member of the governing body!)
Despite your claims of attempted neutrality and impartiality, I immediately avoid any news story or commentary which has a byeline “from the Print Team”.
You can expect the same leftist-liberal drivel in the in-house commentaries, and even worse the editorial team instilling their own agendas and poltical biases in the news stories.
How is it done? Like in the mainstream leftist media — suppress a fact which goes against your stance and highlight the ones which will inflate your claim.
One general problem is that those investors who put in their money will want their corporate interests to be safeguarded. They are not likely to take kindly to adverse or critical comment however necessary or well intended. We saw this happening at the Mumbai Lit Fest where the planned discussion with Naom Chomsky was scuttled as it would put the Tata group under the scanner. A way must be found to solve this dilemma. Sponsors should have the right to a rejoinder in case they face criticism while the latter should not be curbed but allowed free play in any meaningful public debate.
How can one be an investor? or is this reserved for the rich and powerfull
Every time Shekhar has to say a good word about Modi, I hear him cry.
Enjoy reading Print. So far it has not shown any bias. The articles and opinions come from all sides. For whatever it is worth one can comment and satisfy oneself.
It’s catching youngest mind those who are studying in 12th. Most of the time it engage children and kill their study time .Children do not know that he was chargesheeted in Ahista east land helicopter case.
As people continue to vote a political leader or party as they don’t see a better alternative, I also continue to read Indian Express, the Times of India and The Hindu as I don’t see an alternative that is
– not leaning left or right and not pro or anti elected governments,
– not mixing the news with the personal views of the reporter,
– not serving political accusations as mere criticism of the ruling dispensation,
– not bearing the mask of journalism but in reality represents a political ideology,
– not propagating foreign powers’ agenda for India,
– doesn’t impose a political narrative on the public,
– doesn’t create hurdles in the way of governments through fake news and manufactured stories,
– provides positive criticism of governments aimed at improvements and getting the best of the elected governments.
Will ThePrint give me the alternative I am looking for?
News published in ThePrint are value added news. They just not provide information.
All the best for this team.
“Second, there exists a wide philosophical and intellectual space that is socially and economically liberal and not doctrinaire Left or Right. A space for non-hyphenated liberalism” – I think in the animal world, such people are called chameleons. Let us first of all say that there is no homogenous Left or homogenous Right. There is diversity and diverse opinions everywhere. Pinarayi’s biggest critique in Kerela today is Kanam. Both are from ‘the left.
And there is not one person – liberal or illiberal – who does not carry a bias. I have a clear sympathy to ideas that are socialist, that are internationalist. That does not make me good or bad. What kills me the most is this proclamations about ‘neutrality’. There is nothing called as neutrality in the real world and bias is not bad. As long as you are clear about your editorial biases, as long as you make your readers aware of it – I see no harm in reading any article from you. If you don’t, I will still continue to read and make my own judgements about you.
Looking at your list of investors, I wonder whether you will ever do a story that challenges some of the business practices of your funders. But glad that you at least named them in the open. Now my question is – will you dig deeper into allegations of land grab against Infosys? Of visa fraud in US? Will you look at Vijay Shekhar and allegations about over-invoicing at One 97? Maybe these are just allegations. Maybe they are not. As readers, we expect the media to investigate and report back.
For that, in an ideal world we should have had people run cooperatives rather than ‘funded’ media enterprises. But media cannot run in a silo. For a cooperative media model to work, we need the society to accept a cooperative way of life and living. Right now it is me and myself and my personal propserity. Right now it is greed packaged as need and chasing it in the name of ‘aspirations’. So why blame just the media. Right? We harvest that what we sow.
Excellent Remarks and to the point. Impressed by authority and clarity of your writing and choosing the words. Not being judgmental based on this alone and looking forward to your other insights if they will resonate as well. Until then hope you write well and continue to add value like this through your works
Absolutely spot on. I was thinking of the same when I looked at the investors. Will they dig deeper into the Vaccine Mafia that people like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw represent?
Thanks for this post.
The list of investors is truly impressive .With Shekhar Gupta’s sense of duty towards public service with honest & bold jouralism Printline Madia can capture philosophical & intellictual space which is one of the objectives of Printline. Lot of media is resorting to hit & run stories hoping to be.. quick grow
rich. Printline should not get in to journalism based on squeky & leaky sources..has already happened once. It can be passed of as an abression once but not too many times. Printline must rise above & be senstive to it’s own objectives . Wish Printline all the success to usher in a high bar in jourlism & enhance the image of emerging apowerful India .
All the best. Doubtful if marketplace can tolerate good journalism. Hope Print won’t cozy up to the ruling regimes or corporate interests. Will the investors keep their paws away from the editorial table?
First let them provide good journalism. Then you can talk of tolerance. Anyhow tolerance is your intellectual property
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