Delhi-based Merinews.com, claimed to be India’s first citizen journalism portal in English, is an innovative concept. The portal aims to provide a platform for people to interact and express their views.
Vipul Kant Upadhyay, Founder and Chief Editor of Merinews.com, said, “I started this concept of citizen journalism portal last year in May. We went live in June. I started this portal as I felt there was lot of vacuum in the Internet space. We have around 800 citizens of the country who are contributing on the site.”
Regarding the response, he said, “It has been quite good. We get two and half lakh hits per day and 10,000 unique visitors to our site. The feedback has been very good. People have raised many issues on our site, which have been bothering them about the country.”
On the future plans, Upadhyay said, “We would like to make the portal wide based. We would like to get into full commercial mode. We will maintain a participatory model. We will make it a pan India news portal from where every corner of India has participation where people can interact where people don’t have Internet. We have offices in Delhi and have some presence in Mumbai. We are looking to set up bureaus this year in Chennai and Kolkata. We are planning to go multi-lingual in the near future.”
“Recently, we have started a section called Merinews pictures where people can start contributing photos. We already have 200 contributors on our site,” added Upadhyay.
On the competition, he said, “I can’t see any competition right now. But there will many sites like these, which may come up in near future. I look forward to the competition.”
Merinews.com claims to have pioneered citizen journalism in India and is based on the guiding philosophy of getting the citizens in the information creation and dissemination process, to strengthen democracy. It offers an objective and unbiased platform to people who want to share news and views with fellow citizens in an interactive configuration enabled by advances in the web and information technologies.