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IBN Lokmat set for launch by March-end

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NEW DELHI: IBN Lokmat, the upcoming Marathi news channel from the GBN-Lokmat joint venture company, is all set to launch by March-end.

"We will be officially launching it between 16 March but before 1 April," editor-in-chief Nikhil Wagle told indiantelevision.com.

Wagle said that the existing 13 bureaux are fully functional and two more are being added. Four OB vans from the four key cities - Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad - will be used for the most "vibrant live coverage and programming."

"We are completely ready after the training by the American technological and editorial experts have done their work over the past few months, and this will give us the competitive edge," Wagle held.

He added that the channel has 13 leased lines from across the state, so that direct and live news content can be shown throughout the day.

However, Wagle refused to disclose any programming or coverage pattern, saying: "Already there are many copycats who are getting half-baked information of the kind of programming we are going to do, and are copying them. I do not want to disclose the content beforehand."

Asked about the usual repeated show of violence that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has been seriously upset with, Wagle said that if there is violence in society, it will be shown, but in a responsible manner, so that further violence is not fomented.

Reminded that most channels had shown old footage of violence against north Indians during the Raj Thackeray arrest on 12 February, but without mentioning that those were old file photos, Wagle asserted that this will not be done in IBN Lokmat.

"I do care for TRPs but I shall not stoop so low for TRPs that it gets away from serious but popular journalism, because that is what I have done in my 20 years of print and the past decade of television journalism. I believe that TRPs will come if one does serious and popular but highly credible journalism," Wagle clarified.

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