Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launched GovernanceNow, a fortnightly magazine and a daily website www.governancenow.com from Sri Adhikari Brothers Group through the Governance Now Forum, at an event in Delhi on January 27, 2010. The magazine is priced at Rs 50. BV Rao is the Editor of the magazine, while Ajay Singh is the Managing Editor. The magazine has been launched by SAB Group, which is a pioneer in the media industry and has 25 years of successful existence.
The magazine and the website aim to offer informed reportage on the diverse experiences and expectations that citizens and voters have from the Government. It will also draw upon the best and relevant practices of civil society, research on social sciences, societal engagement by the corporate sector as well as forward thinking by bureaucracy and political leadership to examine issues and the themes of governance in the country with a view to setting the agenda for the future.
Markand Adhikari, Vice Chairman of SAB Group and Publisher of GovernanceNow, shared the guiding philosophy of the magazine. He said, “Newspapers and news channels are doing a commendable job in helping citizens in their causes, but because of commercial pressures and competition they are not able to give enough space and seriousness to sustentative issues concerning the basic needs of our citizens, especially in terms of improving their quality of life. GovernanceNow will be focused on governance issues and will be an in depth editorial product on governance. GovernanceNow magazine, GovernanceNow.com, GovernanceNow Forums, GovernanceNow Awards and GovernanceNow Insights will create a 360 degree media platform to guide and involve all stakeholders in governance.”
Adhikari further said, “Our GovernanceNow.com is free to access as we want this site to be inclusive and to be accessed by everyone from various strata of our society. We have also launched a multimedia campaign in TV, outdoor, the Internet, and mobile to create a base of readership for the magazine and website from day one, and this will be making sure we build a large, involved and passionate readership base fast and also provide our readers and advertisers an interactive platform.”
The inaugural GovernanceNow Forum saw a panel discussion on e-governance moderated by Prasanto Kumar Roy of CyberMedia, with RS Sharma , CEO, UID; Manoj Chugh, CEO, EMC; Sumanta Pal, VP - Strategic Marketing, Sahaj; and Magsaysay Award winner and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal sharing their viewpoints.
Suhel Seth of Counselage indulged in a one-to-one conversation with Shiela Dixit.
Following the launch of the magazine the Chief Minister said, “Good governance is a challenge all across the country. If changes are required in the Government, they need to be brought about. Change is need the need of the hour now, whatever governance is required today may not be required tomorrow, and we need to evolve. I hope this magazine will keep all of us updated with the new changes taking place. I heartily welcome this launch.”
Role of the editorial team becomes very significant for a magazine like this, which deals with the Government as well as the common people. When asked about what all the readers can find in the magazine, the magazine’s Editor BV Rao commented, “Our magazine and website are driven by four pillars - People, Politician, Policies and Performance.
So, whatever will come under these four segments, will be reported extensively in our publication.”
On the magazine’s motive, he added, “Good governance was a real and good reason behind the launch of this magazine. The Idea was driven by the promoters of the magazine and I got an opportunity to shape the whole idea editorially. We want people to make understand that good governance should start from the home itself not form the outside.”
Recently some sections of the media have come under the scanner for not following ethics and morals of journalism. Paid content is a virus attacking our journalistic values. On the ethics of the magazine, Rao said that both the magazine and the website would be free from any kind of paid content. In the website, there will be a section on ‘open disclosure’, where any issue related to content can be discussed openly. “To make it editorially more transparent, we have appointed a People’s Editor, who will work as an ombudsman and will look after all the queries and feedback of the readers. On the basis of it, the editorial team will take action to implement them in future,” emphasised Rao.
Magazine is now available in newsstands. It can also be read at www.governancenow.com, an interactive site, which will be updated on a daily basis with some exclusive news video capsules. An aggressive 360 degree campaign has been launched to promote the magazine and website all over the country.
Currently, there are other media products in the governance domain, namely G Files, Bureaucracy Today, eGOV, Skoch, igovernment, Diplomatist, Good Governance India and almost all IT magazines, including one from CyberMedia, carry regular supplements on governance and egovernance.