Reporter At Large: Non-profit independent platform aims to break corporate media hegemony

The platform was also long listed for the One World Media Award this year.

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 11, 2018 4:33 PM
Reporter at Large

Aiming to break the corporate media hegemony and to weed out political influence from journalism, a group of journalists have started a crowdfund campaign to start an independent non-profit media platform - Reporter At Large.

The platform was also long listed for the One World Media Award this year.

“The news establishments are gradually turning into factories. They want to produce reporters who write the same, look the same, speak the same and think the same. The reporters are not even allowed to go out to the field as freely as they used to earlier,” says Soma Basu, winner of several international awards and founder of Reporter At Large.

To address the problem of widespread political propaganda that is being furthered by most of the mainstream media platforms in India, the platform invites journalists to publish investigative articles that were spiked in newsrooms because of internal and external politics.

“We are a group of disgruntled reporters. We want to write about things that are not driven by the market or businesses. We want to write stories that brings transformation and impact peoples’ lives and not just big corporates and politicians,” Basu says.

The platform also invited stories from journalists writing in regional language and offer translation services to package stories at par with the English mainstream media.

Basu says that between 2015-2017, more than 1500 print journalists were sacked from various Indian newsrooms because the management wanted to invest more in the digital expansion. The platform aims to provide training to these print journalists so they do not lose out in the race.

The platform also aim to bring innovation into the digital landscape with low-cost technology to make multimedia easier for grassroots reporters. The team consisting nine media professionals will also train reporters from rural and tribal areas to write better and to conduct better investigations. “This is to diversify the media discourse that is very elitist at the moment,” Basu says.

Not just this, non-profit Turiya Foundation, under which Reporter At Large is registered, will start issue based campaigns, public interest litigation and academic studies to bring policy intervention and real change on the ground.

“Financial independence is imperative for free press and media independent from any form of influence. We do accept funding from corporate houses or political parties. We are spending our personal savings to set up our website and travel to remote places to write about stories nobody wants you to know. But this is not enough. We need your help to widen our reach,” says Basu explaining why she started the crowdfund.

Reporter At Large is currently supported by a group of journalists, photographers, artists and filmmakers who are contributing pro-bono.

Link to the crowdfund campaign:

http://contribute.crowdnewsing.com/fundraiser/reporteratlarge

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