Development in India is placing enormous challenges before institutions and individuals. Increasingly complexity in the economy, a looming ecological cliff's edge, and persistent and deep inequities abound. But keeping oneself aware of these, and being able to comprehend the various issues involved is increasingly harder.
Tons of people - internet empowered citizens, concerned individuals, teachers, administrators, journalists, businesspersons and students - want to be informed in depth on public interest matters but are unable to find the right content. They want to understand social, political and policy processes as they unfold, but both print and broadcast commercial media in India are usually short on depth when it comes to consistent coverage of developmental and public interest matters. The ever-rising quantities of content online also make it harder to sift through what's out there, and figure out what matters, and what ought to matter.
A lot of different people have roles to play in sorting this out, and perhaps you are one of them. Our hope is that India Together is at the intersection of these roles.
India Together has been around a long time; we put up the first article in 1998. But it's by no means alone in the space; there are others. What we've observed, however, is that development and policy magazines typically specialise in a particular sector (environment, agriculture, etc.). Professional journals provide another channel for communicating ideas, but these are restricted in access, unwieldy in formats and requirements, and are often intended for specialist and scholarly audiences only. We believe there's a very different kind of publication that can address these gaps. If done right, here's what it should look like.
Why don't all news publications on the Internet do this already? Mass media is not allocating much space for depth because advertisement revenue is key. Second, commercial media primarily provide news of a perceived immediate utility for a mass audience, and this drives them to cover events and instant news, and offer only limited analysis. Three, many commercial news organizations believe that their audiences are not interested in policy and development matters. Four, many chief editors remain inaccessible to practitioners, experts and other individuals with specialized knowledge, except to the most popular gurus and select others.
This, then, is the canvas we set out to repaint, and continue to work on. India Together provides information and news on issues that matter to discerning readers. Our stories and articles are categorized over 15 major developmental topics, and also over the states of India. Because of a simple, easy-to-access website and our exclusive focus on the public interest and development, readers go away feeling they've been informed by an intense but well-designed magazine.
Every item on the website is categorized so that specialist readers can access information in their favourite issue pages, while general readers can access the latest from the front pages and regional pages. Equally, we help developmental and policy experts, academicians and scholars and leading journalists take their ideas, research and public interest concerns expeditiously to a broad and interested national and global audience. We believe this has helped build a community of writers who look to us as natural publishers of public-interest material, and an audience that expects the same.⊕