This is a significant moment in the history of Indian media. Never before has a publication, be it in the print or online media, devoted itself exclusively to covering positive news and features. Like a streak of sunlight entering a dark room, The Weekend Leader.com (TWL) takes its first step into the media world with a self-imposed mandate to do Positive Journalism.
For us in TWL, it is a momentous occasion, since this day, on the 3rd of September 2010, we have acquired a new address and a new home in the cyber world – a sprawling place which astonishingly sits comfortably even inside such a tiny device as a palm top. We all love to spend time here, exploring the cyber space, meeting friends on Facebook and Orkut, networking, dating, exchanging ideas, and simply gobbling information.
TWL is an unfolding dream. Sure, it took some time for this dream to unravel itself. From the realm of imagination to the world of reality –via cyber space, of course – it was a cumbersome journey indeed. If one were to describe the path figuratively, it was a hard, steep climb. The journey was a reflection of life as we encountered people of different shades; of ones who reached out and gave a helping hand and others who were mere onlookers to our struggle.
The Weekend Leader.com - the Dawn of an era
Photo by Senthil Kumaran
In January 2010 when I put down my papers at Tehelka – a popular weekly and a respected name in Indian media - after an eventful five years, informing my Editor Tarun Tejpal that I intended to chase my dream, he let me go with some reluctance. He wrote a sweet letter wishing me well. On January 30th, as I was taking my evening walk on the beach, I tweeted, “A long walk towards a beautiful destination. The countdown begins - now.” Of course, I had TWL in mind when I tweeted this message. With TWL’s launch, we are off the block. The real challenge is in the running - living up to the mandate we have set for ourselves.
Take a look at the ten categories we have in the magazine and it would give you an idea of the range of topics we propose to cover. Stories will be run under ten sections - Causes, Crusade, Culture, Dreams, Heroism, Innovation, Nature, Relationship, Resilience, and Success.
We will feature people who are working for a change in this country; stories of courage, character, and resilience, will get of pride of place here. You will meet people like 22-year-old Tanishk Shyamya, an IIM graduate, who is working with street food vendors in Ranchi and transforming their lives like nobody’s business. Stories will be updated every Friday. We will soon be introducing a daily column on positivity which will be updated Monday to Thursday. The section on Citizen Reporters is to encourage budding reporters and socially conscious citizens with some writing skills to report positive news from their region.
TWL welcomes voluntary support from readers. In recent years, few media houses in other countries have opted for this model to generate revenue. There are Support Positive Journalism ads in the site, where you could make online payments in our favour. We do not want to make this a paid site, since it would defeat one of our major goals, which is to spread positive news to as many people as possible. The idea is to encourage more people to join the bandwagon of social crusaders, change agents, environmental protectors, and social entrepreneurs in this country.
Let me add in conclusion; TWL does not aspire to redefine news. We are aware that each media house has a way of looking at news and segmenting it. TWL will look at positive news. We hope to develop a new genre of journalism that would cover only positive news, as business media looks at business news or sports media looks at sports news. Wish you happy reading and see you soon.
Engineer turned green activist Rabelli Naveen plans to embark on a 10,000 km transnational expedition on a solar-powered autorickshaw that he has built, which when fully charged can travel 105 km non-stop at 45 km per hour, says Fakir Balaji
The success of Milky Mist, a dairy company, is a story linked to the big dreams of T Sathish Kumar, a class 8 drop out. P C Vinoj Kumar tells us how a 16-year-old turned his father’s floundering business around by giving it a new identity
Winner of many awards for his social work in Mumbai slums, Jockin Arputham missed the Nobel Peace in 2014. But for people whose life he changed through his dedication, he is indeed an ‘arputham’ (miracle, in Tamil), says Kavita Kanan Chandra
Whatever job he was in, S M Venkatesh saved abandoned people from the streets. Now, his Agal Foundation works with Helpage India, responding to distress calls, quickly and efficiently, as P C Vinoj Kumar found through a snap sting operation
Starting with a night shelter for children of sex workers, Prerana has come a long way providing support to women stuck in Mumbai’s red light district. Kavita Kanan Chandra retraces Priti Patkar’s 28-year journey that has saved many a child
To counter ‘guns and drugs’, a culture that he saw abroad, Chetan Misra mentors children through football, which he believes is a tool for social and holistic development. Through ‘TheFootballLink’, he promotes the game, says Partho Burman
From behind the veil, a group of Muslim girls in Mumbra dreamt big and have realised it. First, they learnt playing football, against all odds, and have set up a club. Now they have plans for intellectual pursuits, says Kamayani Bali-Mahabal
Learning that his mother’s swollen legs were caused by mosquitoes, Ignatius Orwin Noronha always wanted to exterminate the blood sucker. Now, he has developed MozziQuit, which promises to make India mosquito free by 2019, says Partho Burman
From a school teacher in Gurgaon to a benefactor supporting 38,000 students in Ladakh, Sujata Sahu has trekked great heights. Partho Burman tells us about her 17,000ft Foundation that engages volunteer-tourists to help students in the hills
After losing her husband in an armed conflict in Kashmir, Subhashini Vasanth embarked on a mission to help war widows. A journey with twists and turns has now enabled her to make a difference in the lives of many women, says Tisha Srivastav