With the sacking of V Ravi Prakash as the chief executive officer and director of Associated Broadcasting Company Limited, the promoter of popular television channel TV9, an era of an eventful and enterprising journalist has come to an end.
All said and done, Ravi Prakash was a trendsetter in Telugu television news channels, introducing revolutionary changes in the news coverage.
At the same time, he is also responsible for blackmailing journalism, unhealthy reporting in the name of sensationalism and steep fall in journalistic values in the electronic media in the last 15 years.
People who watched Ravi Prakash’s meteoric rise in journalism say that there is a huge difference between what he was before TV9 and after launching TV9. He was a thorough professional with passion for journalism.
Like Eenadu group chairman Ch Ramoji Rao, Ravi Prakash too had grown up with Leftist ideology initially but became a thorough capitalist at later stages.
People recall how Ravi Prakash used to crave for spicy news when he was heading the bureau in Siti Cable.
Braving bomb explosions at Rama Naidu Studios, he covered the deadly faction attack on former Telugu Desam Party leader and Rayalaseema factionist Paritala Ravi.
He incurred the wrath of people for trying to speak to bomb blast victims rather than admitting him to hospital. But his daring coverage brought him several laurels.
After he joined Teja News, a sister concern of Gemini TV, Ravi Prakash shot into limelight with the deadly coverage of Basheerbagh police firing on Congress and Communist activists agitating against power tariff hike.
He risked the bullets and covered the incident, which later became an evidence for the investigating authorities.
Riding on his popularity, Ravi Prakash launched TV9 by approaching venture capitalist Srini Raju and after that, there was no looking back.
Within a year, the company made a turnaround in profits and it continued to be a No. 1 Telugu television channel since then.
As his popularity grew, Ravi Prakash turned a pucca capitalist from a journalist. There were several allegations against him like making money through blackmailing, intimidating other journalists and websites who wrote against him, siphoning off money to other ventures in South Africa and other areas, buying illegal properties etc. It is not exactly known how many of these allegations were proven.
Now that he is out of the channel which he founded, nurtured and developed into a profitable venture, it is difficult for Ravi Prakash to get back his glory.
In fact, he has been so much identified with TV9 that it is difficult, as one of the channel reporter said, to imagine TV9 without Ravi Prakash. But that is life!