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It’s no secret that the telecom boom has greatly changed the regional press in India. Audiences for the vernacular press have increased considerably over the past few years, especially online. Who are these audiences, what do they want from the digital news media, and how can news outlets solidify their relationships with these readers?That was the topic of discussion at the The Media Rumble session titled “Regional Publishers”. The Media Rumble 2022 took place in Delhi on October 14 and 15.The discussion panel comprised Balasubramanian S, head of digital media at Dinamalar; Kunal Singla, business head of Amar Ujala Web Services; Maneesh Narayanan, founder of The Cue; and Sanghamitra Mazumdar, editor of ABP Live in English. It was moderated by Durga Raghunath, who heads news and publishing product partnerships for Google in India. “People want content that is suited to their needs and which is more personalised,” says Kunal. “If something is happening in Lucknow and one is based out of  Lucknow, they want to see that news first.” Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
What is missing when it comes to climate reporting in Indian newsrooms? How do regional and foreign publishers pursue climate change stories? How is such reporting evolving and affecting businesses and the society at large? These were some of the pressing questions that were dealt with at The Media Rumble session titled 'Missing In Indian Newsrooms: The Climate Beat'. The Media Rumble 2022 was held in Delhi on October 14 and 15.The speakers were Bibek Bhattacharya, national editor of Mint; Keya Acharya, a freelance journalist who has written on environmental and development issues for over 30 years; Omair Ahmad, South Asia managing editor for The Third Pole; and Gerry Shih, India bureau chief for the Washington Post. The session was moderated by Lou Del Bello, a veteran journalist who writes Lights On, a weekly newsletter covering climate and energy from a South Asian perspective. “We are a civilisation that completely depended on monsoons for thousands of years,” says Omair. “In the last 50 years, we've decided to build cities that flood every single monsoon and  that is an incredible display of idiocy.” Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
What does mainstream media get wrong in how it views Northeastern states? What are the differences within these states, and what role does identity politics play? And who are the “outsiders” – a question that has long shaped public discourse in these regions?The answers to these questions were discussed at the session “Who is an outsider: Recognising identity politics in the Northeast” at The Media Rumble 2022, which took place in Delhi on October 14 and 15. Moderated by journalist and author Samrat Choudhary, the panel comprised writer and researcher Nazimuddin Siddiqui, the Wire’s national affairs editor Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, East Mojo executive editor Amit Kumar, RV University assistant professor and writer Suraj Gogoi, and researcher and writer Nona Arhe. “Miyas live as an outsider and die as an outsider,” said Nazimuddin. “They are not insiders anywhere.”Watch. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
How does the foreign media report on India, and what does the Indian government think about their reportage? How have things changed between successive governments? These were some of the questions considered during the session “How Indian government views the foreign press” at The Media Rumble 2022, which took place in Delhi on October 14 and 15.Moderated by Newslaundry founder Abhinandan Sekhri, the panel comprised journalist and political analyst Kanchan Gupta, Washington Post India bureau chief Gerry Shih, and the Print editor (opinions and features) Rama Lakshmi.Rama Lakshmi said a lot is “lacking” in the Indian media. “I don’t think there is enough nut graf in Indian stories,” she said, referring to a paragraph in a story that provides context. “And the nut graf is, why should the reader care? What is the big picture here? That’s just lacking across Indian media reportage.”The panel also discussed how the Indian government often refuses to engage with reports by the foreign media that it deems too critical of India. Watch.Text by Vardhan Saklani.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
After two years of being hosted online, The Media Rumble 2022 took place in Delhi on October 14 and 15 where leading media professionals, policymakers, and tech innovators got together to discuss the future of news, tech and policy.In the session titled “Platform accountability and whistleblower”, former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Sophie Zhang spoke with Chitranshu Tewari of Newslaundry about political manipulation on social media and her experience of working on fake engagement in India. They also discuss Zhang’s offer to testify before the Indian parliament and her experience working with tech reporters in India. She also weighed in on the recent controversy over the Wire’s reporting on Meta. “There are a number of areas where the documents don’t match up,” she says. “I don’t think there’s a single former Facebook employee who has publicly said that they believe in these documents.”Watch.Text by Vardhan Saklani. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
In this session of The Media Rumble, titled "Who's on YouTube", Akash Banerjee, the founder and host of Deshbhakt, interacted with Sujit Nair, co-founder and managing director of HW News Network; Ashok Das, editor of Dalit Dastak; Arfa Khanum, senior editor of The Wire, and Barka Dutt, pioneer of television journalism and the founder of MoJo Story. The panel discussed the independence of the digital space in reporting real stories to the people. The speakers elaborated on their experiences in the television media and the ways in which it was different from the digital space. They also highlighted the need to form a news community that would support reports from the ground and thereby contribute in a media organisation's sustainability.Time codes:0:00 to 1:43 - Introduction and agenda of the session1:43 to 19:40- Making the shift to YouTube and Opportunities19:40 to 27:07 - Dealing with hate comments and trolls on YouTube27:07 to 30:40 - Scope of audience on YouTube30:40 to 34:50 - Business viability and sustainability of digital media34:50 to 44:26 - Challenges and dangers of digital media on YouTube44:51 to 50:15 - Future of TV news and interactive audience50:15 to 54:40 - Challenges unique to digital media vis-a-vis legacy media54:40 to 58:49 - Motivation and lack of money in digital media58:49 to 59:33 - Conclusion Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
In the session of the Media Rumble 2021, titled "Watching Big Tech", Chitranshu Tewari, director, product and revenue, at Newslaundry, was in conversation with Julia Angwin. A Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Julia is the co-founder of Markup, a news portal best known for its investigative journalism in the field of technology. The objective of the session was to discuss tech reporting and the challenges faced by newsrooms such as Markup. Julia talked about hotly debated issues such as inequality in content moderation of online speech in countries like India vis à vis the United States. She also talked about the revenue models of media platforms like Markup, changes in the tech journalism space, and the increase in reader interest in the ramifications of unregulated big tech.Time codes:0:00 to 1:48 Introduction1:48 to 5:0 Programmers in the newsroom: using technology to report on technology5:01 to 10:12 Importance of releasing data sets and transparency10:12 to 13:00 Balancing source protection with reader trust13:00 to 16:43 Policy framework to ensure that platforms do not block information access16:43 to 22:22 Inequality in content moderation of online speech22:22 to 29:00 Revenue model for tech reporting and use of third party trackers29:00 to 31:00 Change in tech reporting space from consumer driven to public interest32:37 to 35:14 Reader interest and awareness in tech stories35:14 to 41:42 Media Imperialism and Parachute Journalism41:42 to 43:10 Ways to distribute content beyond mainstream social media Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The Media Rumble session on "Voting for Health" was moderated by Abhinandan Sekhri, co-founder of Newslaundry, and revolved around the question of how to make healthcare an important electoral issue. A mix of politicians and healthcare experts, the panel consisted of Pawan Khera, national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress; Manoj Jha, member of the Rajya Sabha; TS Singh Deo, cabinet minister in the Chhattisgarh government; Sujatha Rao, former union secretary in the ministry of health; and Amit Behar, CEO of Oxfam.The discussion revolved around why health is not a priority for elections, the media and the voter. The panelists discussed questions such as the role of the state in healthcare, the impact of the Covid crisis, and the lack of outrage after the second wave.Time Codes:0:00 to 3:08 Introduction and key findings from the Oxfam Report3:08 to 8:05 Inadequacy of health infrastructure and fall in investment8:05 to 27:55 Reasons for de-prioritisation of healthcare by media, politicians and the voter27:55 to 39:49 The need for a ‘Right to Health’39:49 to 45:06 Electorally successful healthcare schemes45:06 to 50:38 COVID second wave impact on healthcare as a electoral plank50:38 to 55:16 Challenges in running a health ministry55:16 to 56:54 Conclusion Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The Media Rumble session on "Afghanistan Crisis" was moderated by Mitali Mukherjee, writer and financial news journalist. The panel comprised Mariam Wardak, founder, Her Afghanistan; Mathew Hoh, a marine combat veteran and senior fellow with the Center for International Policy; Kabir Taneja, fellow, Strategic Studies Programme, Observer Research Foundation; and Dr Bahar Jalali, an Afghan-American academic. The discussion covered people's perceptions of Taliban 2.0, collective international responsibility, and the US's hasty withdrawal from the region.On women's rights in Afghanistan, Bahar denounced the depiction of women as victims, highlighting the important space they occupy in society. She also pointed out that women had organised to resist the Taliban.Timecodes:0:00 to 1:21 Introduction1:22 to 7:03 Current situation in Afghanistan7:04 to 13:02 Taliban 2.0 & accountability of other countries13:03 to 16:22 Economic Crisis in Afghanistan16:23 to 19:35 Effects of diplomacy on economic aid19:36 to 23:27 Steps which can be taken to support women to get tangible outcome23:28 to 27:19 Structuring humanitarian aid to help women27:20 to 35:15 Has America learnt its lesson?35:16 to 39:14 ‘Intoxicating effect’ on terror groups39:15 to 44:10 Future of Afghanistan in the next few months44:11 to 47:04 India's hesitancy in the Taliban takeover47:05 to 50:32 Global implications & Fear of USA's re-intervention50:33 to 51:01 Conclusion Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The Media Rumble 2021 session on "Climate Action" was moderated by Faye D'Souza, an independent journalist. The panel comprised Christopher Beaton, lead, sustainable energy consumption, at the International Institute of Sustainable Energy Consumption; Shikha Bhasin, programme lead at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water; Siddharth Singh, lead India analyst and coordinator at the International Energy Agency; and Lou Del Bello, special projects editor for The Third Pole. The session began with an address by Elias Marini Schafer, programme officer, Konrad Adenauer Foundation. He explained how a one percent increase in global temperature can affect the marine ecosystem, diversity and food production. Faye then talked about the 2021 UN report on climate change and how governments must mobilise to act. Christopher talked about the feasibility of India's zero emission deadlines.Siddharth, the author of ‘The Great Smog of India’, explained the distinction between air pollution and climate change. He also said the overlap between the two is important, since steps to control greenhouse gases have an impact on air pollutants.Timecodes:0:00 to 1:03 Introduction1:04 to 6:11 Need for developing countries to declare a zero emission deadline6:12 to 7:57 Do we need to start focusing on countries that emit the most CO2?7:58 to 14:08 Role of local governments (city level) in climate change conversations14:09 to 18:09 Collaboration between countries to mitigate climate change18:10 to 25:16 Media reporting on climate change25:17 to 27:20 City-level communication and human stories behind the crisis27:21 to 29:39 Sustainable agriculture solutions at the local level29:40 to 35:04 Drastic measures to combat climate change based on the geography35:04 to 37:35 Role of politics in climate change37:36 to 40:02 Incentives to the private sector to ensure sustainability.40:03 to 40:58 Conclusion Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
In the second session of The Media Rumble held on September 22, Dhanya Rajendran, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The News Minute, sat down with Apar Gupta, lawyer and executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation; Namrata Maheshwari, Asia Pacific policy council at Axis Now; and MK Venu, founding editor and director of The Wire. The discussion began with Apar explaining the new IT rules and the litigation against it. He mentioned the terms of oversight and censorial power wielded by the government as per the rules which were, in turn, introduced by an executive notification without any legal backing to them.​​The discussion moved on to the consolidation of government’s control in the new IT rules with a grievance redressal system that places an inter-ministerial committee at its head. Dhanya detailed how traditional media groups are trying to negotiate with the government, while Venu explained the politics behind the rules.Timecodes0:00 to 5:22 - Lack of unity in the media to oppose the rules5:22 to 9:57 - The narrative that the rules are to tackle fake news and child abuse 9:57 to 14:08 - Digital media and acceptable regulations14:08 to 20:34 - Retrospective effect of the IT Rules and impact on digital rights20:34 to 24:30 - Compliance requirements under the IT Rules24:30 to 27:53 - Need for a message from the courts and solidarity within the media community27:53 to 28:13 - Conclusion Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The session on "How the World Sees China" was moderated by Happymon Jacob, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the founder and honorary director of the Council for Strategic and Defense Research, New Delhi. The panel comprised C Raja Mohan, Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore; Bill Birtles, a journalist at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Sowmiya Ashok, an independent journalist; and Samir Saran, president, Observer Research Foundation. The discussion began with the question on whether enough is being done to understand China and its people. Raja said China's nationalism is "not exceptional", and detailed issues of territorial expansionism, military assertion, economic coercion, diplomatic aggression, and domestic repression.On the Chinese education system, Bill emphasised how the fostering of extreme nationalism led locals to believe the foreign media is out to smear China's image.Timecodes0:00 to 2:03 - Introduction and housekeeping2:03 to 4:57 - Increasing negative perception of China 4:57 to 14:53 - Getting past the choreographed image of China and its control on the media 14:53 to 18:48 - Rising anti-China sentiment in Australia 18:48 to 23:22- State of China studies in India23:22 to 28:29 - Studying China from a think tank perspective 28:29 to 33:57 - Challenges faced by reporters while reporting on China 33:57 to 38:13 - Divide in opinion about China between the elites and ordinary people38:13 to 46:22 - Would a regime change in China increase engagement? 46:22 to 48:26- Chinese scholarship vis-a-vis eurocentric or other Asian scholarship 48:26 to 50:22 - Conclusion Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The Media Rumble session on "Representing the Unrepresented" was moderated by Sanjoy Roy, managing director at Teamwork Arts. The panel included Ashok Das, editor in chief at Dalit Dastak; Meera Devi, bureau chief at Khabar Lahariya; Karma Paljor, editor in chief of East Mojo and a former news anchor; and Tejaswi, digital editor of Gaysi.Ashok talked about the biggest hurdles in bringing Dalit voices to the public, citing lack of funds and advertisements. He also said the mainstream media turns a blind eye to issues of caste. Meera described the importance of covering stories typically ignored by the mainstream press, and her personal journey from Bandha in Uttar Pradesh. Tejaswi talked about the power of the internet in democratising the media space and bringing LGBTQ+ issues to the forefront, though she added a caveat on its limited accessibility.Timecodes0:00 to 6:50 - Challenges in bringing the dalit voice to the mainstream6:50 to 14:13 - Challenges of running a rural media network 14:13 to 20:40 - Karma on the changing role of the media in the North East20:40 to 26:51 - Tejaswi on the internet democratising of the media26:51 to 29:17 - Karma on covering the environment and climate change in the North East29:17 to 34:14 - Importance of representation34:14 to 39:12 - Stories of female farmers part of the farmers agitation39:12 to 40:36 - Advice to those working in the grassroots40:36 to 42:07 - Future of print media vis-a-vis digital media42:07 to 44:08 - Exclusion based on racism Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The session "Reader Support: Challenges and Lessons" was moderated by Abhinandan Sekhri, co-founder of Newslaundry. The panel comprised Deborah Augustin, member engagement coordinator at New Naratif; Benjamin Toff, researcher at the Reuters Institute; and Sheena Bhalla, data and innovation strategy lead at Google News.The session began with a discussion on a recent study by the Reuters Institute on "listening to what trust in the news means to users". Deborah highlighted her experience working in the Southeast Asian media space and the audience response to paying for the news they consume. Sheena explained strategies on how media platforms can engage with readers at three stages. The panel also discussed the benefits of being a small-scale digital platform, and the possible links between political ideology and media consumption.Timecodes0:00 to 0:46 - Introduction0:46 to 7:29 - Reuter report on ‘Listening to what trust in news means to users’7:29 to 18:24 - Experience on subscription models in South Asia18:24 to 27:16 - Google News’ findings on audience response in different countries27:16 to 31:15 - Benjamin’s tips for subscription-based newsrooms31:15 to 35:09 - Findings based on audience research35:09 to 38:49 - Link between political affiliation and news consumption38:49 to 42:38 - Methodology to conduct audience research42:38 to 46:24 - Competition between digital natives and legacy media going digital46:24 to 47:51 - Concluding Remarks Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The session discusses what links the platform’s architecture with misinformation, and between private online governance structures like Facebook Oversight Board and laws, who can regulate speech better and the risks its implementation runs, from user privacy to over censoring speech. 'Governing Online Speech' was moderated by Chitranshu Tewari and included Marieteje Schaake, international policy director, Standford Cyber Policy Centre; Alex Kantrowitz, founder, Big Technology; Mishi Choudhary, legal director, Software Freedom Law Centre; and Julian Jaursch, project director, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung on the panel Timecodes:0:00 to 01:18 – Introduction01:18 to 04: 38 – Big-tech skirting accountability via ‘Ethics’ and ‘Statement of Intent’ 04:38 to 11:13 – Online platforms’ choice between engagement and safety11:13 to 21:18 – Regulation protectionism disguised as empowerment21:18 to 26:21 – Regulatory frameworks infringing on international freedom norms26:21 to 33:00 – Negative connotation attached to online regulation33:00 to 36:05 – Europe’s pioneering role in regulation36:05 to 41:38 – Efficacy of community standards in regulating online speech41:38 to 44:53 – Dangers of excluding government regulation 44:53 to 52:48 – Relook at existing legal protection against user generated content52:48 to 56:44 – Balkanization of online speech governance and concluding remarks Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The Media Rumble session, "The Pegasus Story", was moderated by Manisha Pande, executive editor at Newslaundry. The panel comprised four journalists who were at the forefront of the Pegasus story: Forbidden Stories editor in chief Sandrine Rigaud; The Wire journalist Kabir Agarwal; The Guardian's international correspondent Michael Safi; and Le Monde journalist Julien Bouissou. The panel discussed what is arguably the biggest story of the year: the Pegasus spyware developed by the NSO and its potential targets. Sandrine explained the initial days of their investigation and how Forbidden Stories came across the list of potential targets. The panel also discussed the difficulty they faced in gaining the trust of potential targets and other media partners to aid their investigation. Timecodes0:00 to 1:18 - Introduction 1:18 to 5:55 - Initial days of investigation, methodology and precautions taken 5:55 to 11:08 - The Wire reporting on a story where it was also a victim11:08 to 15:04 - Securing information and communication between collaborators15:04 to 19:24 - Reducing the entire story into a 5 episode podcast19:24 to 33:18 - Obstacles posed by secrecy in building trust with readers and potential targets33:18 to 35:51 - Gaining trust of other media partners35:51 to 47:44 - Pros and Cons of being legacy media versus a not for profit47:44 to 51:45 - Tackling the ‘National Security’ argument used by the government 51:45 to 53:48 - Reasons for lukewarm response from the Indian public53:48 to 56:18 - Reception of the story in France56:18 to 58:59 - Concluding remarks Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The session "कानून के पेंच: was moderated by Atul Chaurasia, executive editor at Newslaundry. The panel comprised Neha Dixit, independent journalist; Mandeep Punia, freelance journalist and founding editor of गाँव सवेरा; Prateek Goyal, journalist with Newslaundry; and Dhiren Sadopkam, independent researcher and editor-in-chief of The Frontier Manipur. Atul brought up hyper-nationalism and the current hate prevalent towards media in the country. The discussion spanned the systemic attacks on journalists and how cases are being filed against them under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.Timecodes:0:00 to 5:28 - Media crackdown using the law5:28 to 11:56 - Criminal cases as a means of censorship11:56 to 30:22 - Experiences from around India30:22 to 33:50 - Fear and self-censorship33:50 to 38:55 - Approach to successfully fight legal cases38:55 to 45:35- Support provided by media institutions during legal cases45:35 to 53:25- Need for solidarity and guidelines53:25 to 1:00:02 - Audience Q&A Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The first session of The Media Rumble on "Trial by Media - Influence of Media Trials on Investigations" was moderated by Manisha Pande, Executive Editor, Newslaundry. The panel comprised Disha Ravi, writer and climate justice activist; Shahid Ali, lawyer for the Tablighi Jamaat Nizamuddin Markaz; and film critic Mayank Shekhar.Shahid Ali elaborated on the influence of certain instigating phrases used by news channels, such as "corona jihad" and "organised bio-warfare", on the fight for justice in court. On media trials concerning Bollywood, Mayank explains the "trollisation of news".Timecodes:0:00 to 2:57 - Disha on processing television news about her2:57 to 8:32 - Tablighi Jamaat and the trial by media8:32 to 12:31 - Bollywood at the centre of trials by media 12:31 to 17:36  - Impact of negative media attention on Disha’s life17:36 to 24:55 - Recourse after public perception is ruined24:55 to 33:49 - Impact of trial on media on individual actors’ lives33:49 to 36:21 - Moments of self doubt during negative media attention36:21 to 44:40 - How do minorities perceive television media?44:40 to 47:59 - Advice to young activists Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The session on Indo-Pacific future was moderated by Karma Palijor, the editor-in-chief at East Mojo. The panel comprised Garima Mohan, fellow at the German Marshall Fund; Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan, currently director-general of the National Maritime Foundation; and Jeff Smith, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. The session began with a discussion on how India and Europe must redouble efforts to increase dialogue and cooperation in the Indo- Pacific in the context of security issues, trade and technological exchange. While highlighting the role of communication in various dealings between the countries, the speakers also emphasised the role of the media in initiating dialogue between the communities.The discussion moved on to how the EU is currently not considered a main security provider in the Indo-Pacific, and how India might be a future force for greater convergence between powers experiencing rifts.Timecodes0:00 to 1:29 - Introduction1:29 to 5:38 - Indo-Pacific as Strategic Geography5:38 to 9:29 - European efforts to engage with the Indo Pacific9:29 to 13:27 - China’s presence as a strategic challenge and general comments on Indo-Pacific 13:27 to 16:20 -  European vision for the region vis-a-vis the United States16:20 to 20:51 -  Europe as a serious player in the context of an assertive China 20:51 to 25:44 - Chinese view of Europe’s so-called elevated profile in the Indo-pacific 25:44 to 29:18 - Europe treading lightly in Indo-pacific region29:18 to 40:45 - Implications of AUKUS40:45 to 41:39 - Conclusion Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
In this session of The Media Rumble, 2021, Abhinandan Sekhri, co-founder, Newslaundry, interacted with Hardik Mehta, independent film-maker; and Srishti Behl, a producer who headed the Netflix division for film. The discussion began with a focus on the changing values of OTT platforms. Srishti elaborated on the rich tradition of story-telling in India while Hardik emphasised on the need for diversity of content and platforms.On the business of films, Srishti explained the importance of "authenticity" and also how regional cinema has the ability to be more culturally nuanced.Timecodes0:00 to 2:56 - Introduction to the panel2:56 to 9:00 - OTT as a game-changer for storytelling9:00 to 16:15 - Audience appetite for political content 16:15 to 22:40 - OTT platforms & the market for 'small' films 22:40 to 37:55 - Commissioning decisions by OTT platforms & support by A listers37:55 to 41:19 - Lessons learnt in production 41:19 to 47:46 - Muslim representation and stereotyping in Indian cinema 47:46 to 1:00:09- Audience Q&A Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
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