Published first as a 4-page daily in Pune, Sakal – the flagship brand of the Sakal Media Group – was born on January 1, 1932 and has today evolved into the voice of the entire state of Maharashtra and is a regional leader in Print, Television, Online and Event Media. The Sakal Media Group is today one of the country’s largest independently run media businesses.
The birth of Sakal coincided with Mahatma Gandhi’s mass civil disobedience movement and though Sakal wholly supported the movement, the group has remained independent, maintaining neither political affiliations nor ties to any economic or parochial interests.
Founded by eminent journalist, Dr. N. B. Parulekar, the publication got its name through a competition inviting suggestions for titles for the proposed newspaper. The title ‘Sakal’ meaning morning in Marathi was chosen out of 4,000 suggestions that poured in.
In the editorial of the first issue itself, Dr. Parulekar said : “A newspaper is a medium of public education and of social change.” This has remained the group’s philosophy ever since.
Having been born in the intellectual hub of Pune, Sakal has imbibed the virtue of ‘continuous learning’ in its approach right from its young days. This approach adopted right at the start has ensured that Sakal is sensitive to the challenges faced by the state as well as the country and has brought about an active engagement of the group with its readers.
Sakal has stewarded several social initiatives over the past several decades with many of the initiatives going beyond Sakal’s own regional markets, addressing needs across the country. Social impact and social change remains the core of the Sakal Media Group’s beliefs even today with the introduction of the ideologies of ‘Solution-based journalism,’ and ‘Emotional connection with society’ springing from these very beliefs. The group’s philosophy of ‘inclusive social and economic growth’ achieved through ‘democratic and consensus based mechanisms’ and delivered through ‘open and collaborative frameworks’ provides a universal platform to seek solutions for the issues and challenges faced by society.
The Sakal Media Group believes that the role of media today has moved away from being an advocate of social causes to in fact being the facilitator or the agent of social change itself. Knowing that these transformations cannot happen in silos, the Sakal Media Group has taken the onus to bring together all the four pillars of democracy – the Executive, legislature, judiciary and media – under one umbrella to work together towards social and economic transformation. Recent group initiatives such as the Pune Bus Day, which galvanized 7 million citizens of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad towards the shared concern of public transportation; the Tanishka Women’s Forum, a progressive network of women aimed at empowering women and enabling them to find solutions to issues affecting their communities or the Delivering Change program launched by the group to prioritise and provide interventions across key social and economic sectors are all evidence of the group’s stance of being the agent of social change.