BeyondHeadlines (BH) is five year old today. TEAM BH expresses its gratitude towards all its readers, appreciators and critics who have shown their confidence in BH and its intention of bringing a positive change in the society for a constructive future ahead. It wouldn’t have been possible without your immense support, love and faith in BH. It has provided us a very different approach of perceiving things which is a journey in itself. BH was our baby in 2011 but more than how we have nurtured it in this span, let’s say it has done that to us. It was not easy to talk about a change but we believed that it was not that difficult either. We knew that we through BH were choosing a challenging way ahead to re-bring the concept of unbiased journalism by providing information and analysis which the mainstream media have chosen to ignore. Although it didn’t look easy then but we made a space for us in no time.
BH’s focus on local events, alternative analysis and RTI exposes have proved it a great source for national and international stories, it has reported a number of around six thousand posts. BH has been cited by almost all leading publications and media houses in India. It has more than five thousand RTIs to its credit which is a record in itself. In most of the gatherings we have catered till date, people often came up with questions of concern that how were we doing it? Wasn’t it becoming a threat by every passing day that our unbiased approach of reporting the facts and presenting them was leading us to stand against many of the powerful people of the nation. Well we replied with smiles that the shine of trust for BH in their eyes is the biggest strength which kept us going. BH has always stood for inclusive growth, social & financial inclusion, capacity building, human rights, communal harmony, democracy in belief and practice, freedom of press, transparency & accountability in government and sustainable development.
This process of last five years have been two-way. More than we thought that we will connect with you by our reports and updates on the issues happening around, your critical and positive replies have connected us to you and that is the reason, our section Mango People on the website was noticed and appreciated at first sight. Your reverts and letters of appreciation have empowered us to move ahead without any fear or doubt in mind.
We have reported things to you in the best unbiased way possible and that is the spinal fact of this journey that we still stand with what we had imagined back then that we will bring a change.
Need to start BH:
BH was started with a vision to report things in the best unbiased way possible which the mainstream media avoids for many political and financial reasons, willingly or unwillingly. Through BH we tried to raise the voice of the oppressed section of the society.
We imagined creating a free platform for readers from all walks of life. Ensuring the best quality of content which shall be simple but at the same time should be filled with all the required details related to any issue. This objective gradually led us to come-up with a section named the Mango People at our portal which gave an opportunity to our readers to write their own quality articles and experiences. An initiative, which in no time, connected our readers as one of the biggest virtual family online. We did not serve any particular individual, religious group, political party or business interest. We have remained non-partisan and have not received any funding from any corporate organization. Our agenda is the Mango-people as one of the most popular sections in our portal justifies this idea.
Our ‘objectives’ and ‘expectations’ from BH:
Establishing BH had many objectives, which are being achieved every passing day. Our Team has always believed that it is a never ending process. We tried to pursue the issues with a different perspective. Our prime objectives have always revolved around the idea of ‘inclusive growth’, ‘social & financial inclusion’, ‘capacity building’, ‘human rights’, ‘communal harmony’, ‘democracy in belief and practice’, ‘freedom of press’, transparency & accountability in government which leads towards the sustainable development of our society. And this has been the reason why we choose to bring out the proceedings in various cases through the RTIs we had filed. So that our readers come to know with the passing time that what exactly has been happening in the system. And how far the power of RTI has benefitted our society.
Our approach has never been about creating the ‘hit news’. But the whole idea was to generate the ‘sensitized news’, to raise voice of the ‘unheard’.
Nowadays, most of the mainstream media houses including print and TV publish only the paid-news to influence people. This approach sidelines their crucial responsibility towards the society. Hence these media houses end up cultivating the ideology which is quite virtual in terms of its existence since it’s a created one and not something which really exists. For example, we could see the image of Muslims, portrayed mostly as ‘terrorists’, worldwide.
We believe Online Media platforms are much fare and better than having a billion dollar news agency. Here we can reach out to our readers even with a small investment made in terms of money. How our approach for reporting differs:
We filed RTI petitions for many cases and through the received answers, we decided to inform our readers about the crucial realities of the society we live in. Everyone is busy in his/her day to day life style yet they want to know about the proceedings performed so we tried to connect people through our reports, informing them, what happened after what? This model of spreading information has turned out to be a great success.
We reported a range of stories from terrorism to poverty and from communalism to corruption. From human rights to the issues related to the environment and from health issues to youth empowerment practices in the nation. Another reason behind our success in no time is that we emphasized more onto the follow-ups rather than just reporting anything.
Despite being a small media house entirely run by voluntary donations, BH has achieved incredible popularity and has reached to more than 25,000 unique readers with every passing day, who spend considerably long time browsing through our stories and revert with sensible suggestions and feedbacks.
A journey of questioning the powerful and the wealthy:
Our small initiatives have brought in light some pivotal issues having their links with some big political parties and dignitaries of the nation. We have asked critical questions:
- To the UPA government and the financial flow in many of its developmental-programs.
- To the BJP for its funding from the DOW Chemicals.
- To the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the donation received from the Ford Foundation by its core member Shri. Manish Sisodia.
- To the Samajwadi party in the UP.
- Raising the issue of frauds involved in the Nitish Kumar’s government on the name of Medical Colleges.
- To figure out the lavish funding made by Baba Ramdev’s donations to the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).
- To the big drugs and medicine generating companies and their profitable sales in the country and the big scams related to the same issues.
- To the Wakf Board and the fraud involved of almost Rs.790 crore on the name of HAJ subsidy. And the reality behind most of the schemes offered on the name of ‘minorities’.
- By raising some important questions related to the Gujarat riots proceedings.
- Related to the Batla House Encounter’s proceedings and similarly with the Sohrabuddin Encounter and MuzzaffarNagar Riots.
Becoming more than a platform of ‘public media’:
Yes we did! We have been able to mobilize some support in the form of money and other attention from our policy makers, academics, and activists. Raising funds for the operation of a child patient suffering from a disease called Aplastic Anamia or helping a deprived girl to attend the United Nations Conference. Our readers have come ahead from time to time and helped with their donations for these people in need. This journey ahs also made us realize the power of community which could be created and connected easily with some right directions involved.