MediaNama turned five years old yesterday. We began with a simple objective – to help create and open and competitive digital ecosystem in India, by providing news, information, analysis and critique.
Not many people remember this, but before we started up, much of the coverage of the digital industry in India was mostly aggregation – I had done most of it while at ContentSutra, and much of the coverage lacked significant depth and insight. Mainstream media used to mostly ignore the digital space, and hardly anyone understood it. In a media industry (especially the pageviews focused online media business) that is driven largely by PR and very little critical thinking, we chose the path of tough love – we would be critical but fair. We don’t know everything about this space, but our reportage would not be for lack of trying to add value for you, our readers.
From a content strategy perspective, news was and is a commodity, and we felt that we could play in the gap between news and research, by providing additional information, analysing data, providing anecdotal information, sharing our views (open for discussion and challenging), and taking a stand. We’ve tried to get data using the tools at our disposal (RTI and RoC), and though I’m not quite happy with the fact that we haven’t done enough there, it’s not for lack of trying. At the #NAMA conference, we’ve focused on what key players in the ecosystem are doing and why they’re doing the things that they are. There are instances where we have argued for policy changes because we felt it would adversely impact competitiveness, openness and freedom in the digital space, and tread the thin line between journalism and activism.
What we’re trying to build here is a publication that helps you better understand the market you operate in. As a decision maker, it is lonely at the top, and we want to give you something to think about. We’ve grown from one person (me) when we started up to a team of six, and what I realized from my conversation with our editorial team in Bangalore (Brindaa and Vikas) yesterday, is how passionately they also feel about this space, and we’re all a little frustrated about not doing enough. We’re not going to focus only on fundings, startups, MVAS or media. Our goal is digital, and we believe that it is the most important sector in this country, and is going to impact how every business operates.
We want to do more, and we want to cover the entire ecosystem.
Areas that we’re currently considering are – startup coverage, qualitative research, marketing and advertising coverage, largely because the coverage of these spaces don’t, at present, meet the standards that we expect.
We have resource and time constraints (and I’ll elaborate on this in another post), but we’re trying to address those, and what you tell us will help us decide what all to do. So help us help you. Tell us what we are missing out on. How can we provide more information that helps you? What would you like us to cover?
Let us know. I’m at email@example.com and +91-98103-10053, or you can just use our anonymous tip-off.