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It’s been rocking 9th year of success and together we did it…

Without your support and readership, this day celebration wouldn’t have been possible. Being a journalist is both exciting and stressful. We are constantly on deadline because of the online and on-going competition, but you never know what you might end up covering each day. It may not be very rewarding financially, but it is rewarding to write stories that make a difference in people’s lives. I love my job in spite of all odds. These days, journalists are by definition critics. It’s an essential trait for people who seek out information, or edit it, to be sceptical – especially of institutions and that includes own institution too. But we would not trade our lives and ethics for any reason or offers. We are trying to make difference being a parallel media. We are fighting against the odds in the fraternity. I actually don’t know how long I will be able to keep the show alive, but I am sure about my integrity towards my pen as long as I am here. Yes! I criticise everyone without being unbiased and I appreciate all that is in favour of democracy and its people. I stand neutral.

I don’t follow any political ideology, I carry no vendetta and I seek no favours. My pure agenda is journalism. My strength is my reader’s goodwill. Journalists around the world give you an insight of the world on a daily basis. Have you ever thought, where do that all begin? Well! You readers must have your own answers.

Being a journalist and editor day in and day out, I teach my team how to be responsible for their work, because they are presenting themselves as news reporters to the people of India. When I say India, every fellow Indian is equal to me. Be it of any political party, community, group, and creed. I have no favouritism. The very democracy has given every right to every citizen of this country; let them make choices for themselves without getting influenced by any paid or favoured news coverage. I have no right to participate in hate mongering against any individual or political party; at the same time, I have no locus to present the defaulter as Hero just because my inclination is towards them. I, as a media should stand neutral and play the role of opposition, especially when the actual political opposition is weak. All though I frequently take burns for being neutral, I get tagged and trolled. I am not scared being labelled while walking my path. And my team too share this collective responsibility. We are a young team hand to mouth, but we hold great dreams and we are committed to bring the change.

As I have already mentioned, for nine long years, I tried my level best to keep the parallel media alive by fighting all probabilities of this trade. We are committed to uphold fair journalism and live with its truthfulness. The world is going digital and the existence of print medium for small organisation like us doesn’t make much sense. We are widely read by readers online and we have established good existence through this medium. Though, the decline of newspapers has been widely argued as the industry has faced increasing newsprint prices, falling advertisement sales, the loss of much-classified advertising and swift drops in circulation. In recent years, the number of newspapers slated for closure, bankruptcy or severe cutbacks has risen. Revenue has lurched while competition from the internet media has squeezed older print publishers also. This has strictly affected media houses like us. We are a small newspaper and could not fetch much readership through print, but have created our strong existence. People have started noticing us. Sometimes, I get scared of getting vanished due to rat race in media. Therefore, to strengthen our roots and remain here forever as the voice of the people, we have proudly taken a step ahead by Digitalisation of Afternoon Voice.

Supporting Modiji’s Digital India concept, we have also gone full-fledged Online. The newspaper industry has always been recurring, and the industry has weathered foregoing troughs. Televisions news’ popularity in the recent past began the decline of newspapers as most people’s source of daily news. But the explosion of the internet has increased the range of media choices available to a average reader while further cutting into newspaper’s dominance as the source of news. Both television and the internet bring news to the consumer faster with enhanced visual style and presentation than newspapers, which are constrained by their physical format and their physical manufacturing and distribution.

However, the primary concern of journalism, which is news and features on current affairs, is presented solely or in combination as text, audio, video, and some interactive forms, and disseminated through various digital media platforms. We have a huge scope to expand our vision on the internet; we can reach out globally and moreover, we are not here to make money or fame. We are here to serve news and content. We are marking our presence to make difference in the fourth estate of democracy and progress towards higher levels of existence and expression. We are here to bring revolution in media.

Of late, media is called as ‘prostitute’ (Presstitute), paid (bazaru) and what not. Somewhere, people have lost faith in the mainstream journalism. Media has become tools in the hands of power or rulers. I refused to be an intellectual slave or labour. I want to have all that freedom of expression, to speak my mind and call a spade a spade. Print has its own challenges and limits when it comes to survival and truthful journalism really becomes a task. Despite these problems, newspaper companies with significant brand value, which have published their work online, have a significant rise in viewership.

Numbers of young people are increasing who don’t read newspapers or watch television anymore as their primary source of information and entertainment. They log on to the internet through all modern devices and smart phones. They prefer reading everything at their convenience. In India, the repercussions are likely to be even more aggressive.

Nowadays, social media is giving tough competition to the mainstream media. You will find most of the Indian population is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and blogs. Now, everyone has a voice and they are expressing themselves as being part of every issue of this country. Youngsters are making and breaking the politicians and their political parties. Consumers of content can today themselves produce content at no cost – except their time. This has changed the connection between Traditional Media Print, TV and its audience.

Though the digital world is harsh and bold, it has its own challenges. Traditional media has no option but to adjust to the new virtual reality. The really important development in India though is that social media now acts as an informal regulator of mainstream media. Over the past few years, mainstream media has been hit by an integrity crisis. The line between journalism and public relations (PR) is blurring. Corruption in mainstream media occurs in two ways: one, individual journalists are paid in cash or kind; two, media owners are compromised by political parties or business houses. In such crises, if we — the young team media have to stand strong, then existence in digital space is very crucial and with time ahead we may go aggressively online by limiting ourselves from the restricted print medium.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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