Head to The Better India for Positive news and Happy Stories
Enter ‘The Better India’, a website covering positive news (and positive news only) across the country, showcasing unsung heroes and spreading community- changing initiatives.The website was started off by two Bangalore based techies turned ISB grads, Anuradha Parekh & Dhimant Parekh. “It is a lean organization which works on contribution from freelance writers who share our vision and are passionate about spreading the positive journalism movement along with us,” says Dhimant.
As one would expect, the idea cropped up upon reading mainstream newspapers and magazines, where it struck them that there wasn't enough positive news coverage. “While it is very important to point out what's wrong with the country, we felt that it is equally important to point out what's right. The idea that we believe in is that "news" can do something more other than just shock you. It can inspire you to bring an impact, it can move you to change things for the better,” Dhimant passionately adds.
Initially though, the major stumbling block was the ability to find positive news.”We were then fortunate to have a couple of people join us - two people in Delhi and one in Bangalore - who formed our initial team. This gave us some boost and traction. Then onwards, we've had many more people join us and help us in various departments including content, marketing, advertising, forging partnerships and so on.”
The team now at ‘The Better India’ is a growing one, comprising of writers who believe in the cause. These writers come from all walks of life including social journalism, ex-mainstream journalism, travel and business consulting, and they all write for the love of writing and reporting inspiring stories.
To also help source positive news, they have partnered various organizations that work with them and identify positive stories across India. “For instance, we partnered with Radio Netherlands Worldwide South Asia Wired division to help carry their stories. We are currently also in partnership with India Water Portal, Women's Feature Service and many more such organizations,” informs Dhimant.
Since taking off only about four years ago, July 2008 to be precise, the traction that the site’s been getting is nothing short of promising, especially considering that the marketing so far has been fuelled majorly via word of mouth! Having an equally active Facebook page and a Twitter handle, both of which have close to 7000 fans and followers, they have received their fair share of accolades as well. “We won at the Manthan Awards for 2011 where we were selected amongst hundreds of organizations across Asia. We have been invited to speak to a class of students from the University of Washington Seattle who visited India to learn about social justice and activism,” says Dhimant.
‘The Better India’ has also served as an online media partner with several organizations and events, helping them reach out to a much larger and more relevant audience.
Their revenue model is currently based on earnings mainly through advertising on the website.
The plan for the future is for ‘The Better India’ to become as popular as any mainstream news publication. Dhimant enthusiastically says, “We believe only then can we really enable cross-pollination of ideas, sharing of successful initiatives, motivating people to bring about a change around them. Things that will enable to do so include going offline into the print medium and publishing in vernacular languages since a major chunk of India does not read in English. We definitely plan to do these two things in the next five years.”
“We are humbled by the fact that there are so many people out there who like our work and believe in the cause of positive journalism as much as we do,” adds Dhimant, signing off.
Check out a few inspiring stories from their site here.