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.
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You need vision, courage, and confidence to create a school, where a student is given 10 bonus marks just for asking a tough question to the teacher, which they cannot answer. Partho Burman profiles the visionary educationist, Virendra Rawat
Fascinated by the rare Greater ‘Adjutant’ Stork in the fields on her way to school in Assam, Purnima Devi Barman grew up to learn that it has become rarer and launched a campaign to protect the species. Kavita Kanan Chandra tells the story
Led by a woman, Zamin Devarkulam in Tamil Nadu is a model village for India. It has no fan club, party flag or liquor shop and many of its youth work abroad, says P C Vinoj Kumar, who was amazed by the security that CCTV cameras provide
Anand in Gujarat made its farmers happy through a White Revolution. Now a doctor there is making childless couples happy. P C Vinoj Kumar profiles Nayana Patel, whose fertility clinic, Akanksha, saw its 1000th child birth through surrogacy
She has worked with women in distress in Mumbai and victims of Bhopal gas tragedy. Now, her New Light is a project that has pulled children of Kolkata’s red light areas out of darkness. G Singh met Urmi Basu, a social worker extraordinaire
A family car, a pickup truck, a mini-generator and more - all rolled into one for a genre called Personal Utility Vehicle. Partho Burman checks out the one of a kind vehicle, Multix MX, that’s been launched to meet the needs of entrepreneurs
Forced to work in a studio at the age of nine, Prakash Tilokani picked the nuances of the art to emerge as a leading wedding photographer having top business families and Bollywood celebs as clients. Kavita Kanan Chandra chronicles his life
Executing water conservation projects in over 4,200 locations is no joke. But Ayyappa Masagi has done that and more to save water, says Ruchita S, who drove 119 km to find out why the much honoured man is called a ‘Doctor of Dry Borewells’