Online news portal The Wire will be launching an Urdu website on August 15. The news portal initially launched an English version and then a Hindi version in February 2017. It is unclear who will be heading the Urdu website Update: The Urdu website will be headed by Mahtab Alam, executive editor of the Wire, but Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and M.K.Venu were the founding Editors of the English publication, the Hindi edition is headed by Brijesh Singh.

Veteran television journalist Vinod Dua and author Rana Safvi were featured in a couple of ads on YouTube announcing the launch. “Apart from commenting on current affairs, we also plan to include news reports from the ground,” the Urdu website read.

A Google and KPMG report on Indic languages showed that around 180 million Internet users could be added by 2021 for pushing news in local languages. However, the report did not have information on the Urdu language but showed that the user base for news in Hindi stood at 55 million in 2016.

The Wire is published by the Foundation for Independent Journalism, a not-for-profit company. Both the publications are partly funded by the Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation, which is a public charitable trust.

The Wire received a funding of Rs 1.95 crore from the Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation in the form of a grant commencing August 2016. The trustees of the Foundation include Ashish Dhawan,private equity investor and philanthropist; C.B. Bhave,Chairperson of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS); Dr. Ramachandra Guha, historian and writer; and T.N. Ninan, Chairman & Editorial Director of Business Standard. In addition, the Wire also received a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs as donation from Rohan Murty for The Wire’s science coverage.

Other Indic language websites  

  • In January,  Indian Express Digital, the Indian Express group’s digital arm, launched IEmalayalam.com, operating out of Kerala. This is in addition to its existing Hindi and Marathi publications. The publication plans to launch sites in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bangla next.
  • Catch News also has Hindi website.
  • In October 2015, Times Internet launched a regional language news and entertainment portal called Samayam in Tamil, Malayalam, and Telugu. The same month, the Quint launched a Hindi version of its website.

Correction: An earlier copy of the story carried an inaccurate translation from Google. The correct translation has been carried in the update. We regret the error.