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Building a newsroom dedicated to diversity: An Indian story

What's New in Publishing 11 Aug 2020 06:10

At Khabar Lahariya, women from remote villages of north India are trained to be professional journalists and produce local news in their languages.

Takeaways

  • India’s Khabar Lahariya believes that diversity is more than just the reporters and newsroom hires. It’s also in the stories it chooses to tell. “Team diversity and the diversity of stories we do are interlinked, it’s impossible to tell them apart,” said Disha Mullick, the team lead
  • They work in underreported regions in India, reporting on topics that can sometimes be dangerous for minority reporters to cover. “This is the duty I have taken for this world and this society that no matter how dangerous the story is, I’ll report it,” said editor-in-chief Kavita Devi
  • KL distributes their content on Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok

Context

We spoke to Khabar Lahariya’s Kavita Devi, editor-in-chief, and Disha Mullick, team lead, about building a newsroom dedicated to diversity.

Devi started KL because she felt alienated from the media and the people who were creating it. Devi is from the Dalit community, and most reporters in mainstream media were from upper caste backgrounds. “[They were] male, upper class, and [had] access to privilege of different kinds — educational, geographic, and other sources of power and influence,” Mullick described.

Underserved regions means the potential for many readers, but one must take hard calls between journalism and activism

Funding and distribution

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MullickDeviKhabar LahariyaKavita DeviDisha Mullick