‘Visalaandhra is the first newspaper I read’

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has stressed the need for protecting newspapers that are highlighting the issues faced by the poor and working classes.

Despite stiff competition, dailies like ‘Visalaandhra’ did not show commercial trends and were continuing to highlight the problems of the masses. “The name Visalaandhra (united Andhra Pradesh) has influenced me right from childhood and it is the first newspaper I read,” Dr. Reddy said.

He was speaking at a meeting after laying foundation stone for construction of new building for the CPI-affiliated daily at Bandlaguda on the city outskirts on Sunday.

The government gave one acre land at market price and the Chief Minister agreed to alienate another 30 cents abutting the land to the daily. Though the government wanted to provide land in the heart of the city, it could not do so because of legal hurdles.

Crucial role

CPI deputy general secretary and MP Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy underlined the crucial role played by newspapers in the democratic process and said readership was on the rise in spite of the increase in the number of TV news channels. Although the number of pages had increased, issues of public importance were, however, not getting the required attention in the print media.

CPI State secretary K. Narayana said the new complex, to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 5 crore would comprise latest printing equipment.

Senior journalist Potturi Venkateswara Rao appreciated the government’s gesture in allotting land to Visalaandhra. Visalaandhra Literary Trust chairman Chada Venkat Reddy presided over the meeting. Press Academy chairman D. Amar, the daily’s former editor C. Raghavachari, Editor E. Nageswara Rao and Hyderabad resident editor K. Srinivas Reddy also spoke.