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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: With the motto of ‘We Report, You Decide,’ the Odisha Television Network (OTV), the State’s first and by far the largest media house began its impressive journey on this very day in 1997.

Today, OTV celebrates its 24th Birthday with a heavy heart as the day marks the funeral of the Tall Man, the late Bijayananda Patnaik or Biju babu as he was fondly called, to the Swarga Dwar in Puri on April 18, 1997. In fact, OTV’s maiden live telecast on its launch glued people to their television sets with grief-filled hearts as the last rites of their beloved leader, Biju Babu, was performed in Puri.

Not only leaders from Odisha’s political spectrum but bigwigs from the national political arena too joined in Biju Babu’s last journey in the holy town after his body was brought in a grand procession from his residence in Bhubaneswar following his death a day before, i.e April 17, 1997.

From the Super Cyclone that ravaged Odisha in 1999 to floods and the COVID pandemic in 2020, OTV never deserted its viewers and stood rock solid with Odisha for 24 years. The ever growing viewership and television ratings are testament to its spectacular achievement.

OTV has never deviated from its charter of conduct and always presented news in an unbiased manner since its inception. In fact, it has been at the forefront in highlighting people’s problems as well as helping the government in disseminating its important messages to the public through several popular current affairs programmes; News Fuse, Apana Eka Nuhanti, Great Odisha Political Circus, Asha Ra Aloka etc.

OTV has never sensationalised any news for the sake of TRPs (Television Rating Points), but because of its ethical and unbiased journalism, the satellite news channel continues to be well accepted by one and all.

However, the journey to the top was not always pleasant; in fact it was filled with surprises and challenges that the government and authorities threw at it from time to time. But OTV triumphed in all and aced the race to become the top media house in the State.

From a humble beginning to a spectacular rise, OTV’s journey since then has been aptly surmised as ‘Free, Fair and Unbiased’.

 

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