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Exploring New Vistas Of Journalism Uday India Scales New Heights

Updated: January 21, 2012 3:03 pm

At the very outset, let me inform you that this 84-page New Year Special issue of Uday India was supposed to be the annual issue, to be brought out in the first week of December. But owing to some unavoidable circumstances, it did not materialise. Now this issue is on your hands. In this column, this week, I would talk about the two years’ odyssey of Uday India and its future plans. We wrote in “Publisher’s Note” in the first issue of Uday India : “You may look at the current decline of print media across the world and may conclude that now is a bad time to go for a new news magazine. But… if you have a great interest in current events, a love for writing and sharp business acumen, you might consider starting a news magazine that values tradition and yet remains innovative to survive.” And thus was born Uday India. In this short span of two years, we brought out cover stories and other articles, which touched the pulse of the common man—for this to happen, we at Uday India underwent collective and elaborate discussions, comprehensive and profound planning, and constructive and creative imagination. And these cover stories and other write-ups received a shower of praise, which is substantiated by the fact that today we receive about two hundred thousand hits on our website every week, besides our ever-increasing circulation on the stand. So in this short span we have carved a niche and earned reputation. We will do nothing that would undermine or dilute it and everything possible to enhance it. At a time of growing and even justified public suspicion about the impartiality, accuracy and integrity of some journalists and journalism, it is imperative that Uday India maintains the highest possible standards to ensure that it does nothing that might erode readers’ faith and confidence in its news columns. This means that we at Uday India should be ever vigilant avoiding any activity that might spark an actual or apparent conflict of interest and thus threaten the weekly’s ethical standing. And it also means that the journalism we practice must be beyond reproach. No one needs to be reminded that falsifying any part of a news report cannot be tolerated at Uday India. For, society has the right to have full knowledge of events and only the media can objectively inform it about the events that have already taken place as well as about the outlook on the future. But there is a section of media, which is a commercial enterprise that is organised to make a profit. For this section, to make a profit journalists resort to quick understanding and interpreting what they have seen and heard. This quickness doesn’t facilitate objective analysis of the events. Moreover, sometimes media reports that have not been duly checked can spread panic, which only hinders catastrophe management.

Therefore, we endeavour to do different journalism to seek new definitions of news—by going beyond covering an event, a meeting, or a controversy. We try to share knowledge, not just news developments. It’s about covering consensus as well as conflict, success stories as well as failures—stories that may help the common man deal with difficult issues. We strive to come up with some new models of reporting that might be more in tune with new models of governance. Many local governing scenarios are moving away from a win-lose paradigm to a more consensus-based, win-win approach to solving local problems. How can journalism be equipped to deal with that? We are doing the job of covering the conflict, stalking, and keeping abreast of the winners and losers. Although today’s business pressures and the threat of expensive lawsuits make some news companies sweat cold about supporting investigative reporting, it remains a strong force at Uday India. We steadfastly tread the path of honesty and integrity, against the seemingly overwhelming odds. Especially with the nexus between politicians-business-media-underworld, the mud out there is intolerable, and despite this, we stick through the thick of things. Governments have to be clean within to clean without. That requires a changed mindset, a sacrifice which only few in the political establishment understand, and the ones that do, do not have the wherewithal to take the fight to its conclusion. Solution lies in the civil society waking up and creating a history of turbulence for this unwarranted nexus to realise its expiry date, which has long been due. I am certain that politicians cannot do it anymore. They themselves are neck-deep into this problem. How can they be the solutions? Against this backdrop, our endeavour aims at being different from anything people are writing (or reading) in the cyber age. All our issues tell personal and unique stories. While a considerable section of the media profitably lights fireworks on behalf of paid-media, we dared to and would continue daring to explore beyond the dazzle—to the ever-deeper darkness into which millions of lives daily sink. It is our mission to expose all evil practices eating into the vitals of society so that they remain a theoretical topic and never become a reality—and we would continue to strive to shape society’s understanding.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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