A new digital venture around politics and policy is in the works, and there might be a new website on politics soon. Veteran journalist Kanchan Gupta has joined Niti Digital, a venture backed by Netcore Founder Rajesh Jain. Jain was unavailable for comment, but both Gupta and Netcore CSO Veerchand Bothra confirmed the move.
Prior to joining Niti Digital, Gupta was Associate Editor at the Pioneer, and had spent 30 years in print journalism. This is the second key move from print to digital in recent times, after DNA’s former Executive Editor R. Jagannathan moved to Web18 to launch FirstPost.com. Speaking with MediaNama, Gupta declined to comment on NiTi Digital’s plans, saying that while the company is working on a platform, but it’s shape and content is still undecided. Rajesh Jain was unavailable for comment at the time of filing this story, and Bothra declined to comment on Niti Digital’s plans.
Niti stands for “New Initiatives for Transforming India”. What we’ve heard from sources is that Niti Digital will create and curate opinionated and political content: it will have its own staff of writers and also involve communities. From an editorial perspective, we’re told that it will focus on national issues and will be right leaning, but not extreme right. Note that this is currently unconfirmed. On its digital media mandate, Niti Digital’s one page placeholder states the following:
Niti Digital is a powerful online medium which uses cutting edge technologies providing a fresh outlook, in-depth and insightful knowledge towards politics and current affairs in India. It builds and runs interesting websites, communities, video blogs and other digital platforms which offer its users an opportunity to involve and have their say about news that really concerns them.
Frankly, the time is right to launch a site around politics, just as it was two years ago. With the elections in 2014, there will be an increase in both political spending online, as well as an increase in interest in politics. In particular, beyond news, there’s a lot that can be done around digitizing and analysing political data, just that no one is doing this yet.
Corrigendum: This article had incorrectly mentioned Veerchand Bothra’s designation as COO instead of CSO. Our apologies.