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Oorvani Foundation – Press Release

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Independent Media in India has a new champion – The Public!

Bangalore, 16 Dec, 2013 – The team that brings you the Citizen Matters and India Together newsmagazines is proud to share the news of our latest initiative – Oorvani Foundation.  Oorvani Foundation is a Bangalore-based non-profit trust that will promote and develop deep-diving journalism on governance, citizenship and society in India at the city, state and national levels.

Oorvani Foundation will be one of India’s leading public-funded trusts for independent, non-partisan public affairs journalism. In line with this, it will be launching its new fundraising campaign, calling for readers of its newsmagazines and the public at large to support with monetary contribution.

Meera K, trustee of Oorvani Foundation and co-founder of Citizen Matters explains the need for independent community media, “Local governance is really broken in our cities. Cities are messed up and this is where are steepest challenges are; this is what affects our day to day lives so much. To fix this, you need informed citizens. For a well governed democracy, you need involved citizens. For citizens to be involved, you need good information. For that, you need an independent community media.”

Subramaniam Vincent, trustee of Oorvani Foundation and co-founder of Citizen Matters and India Together adds, “At Oorvani Foundation, we investigate, research and share our findings online on what’s really going on. We are editorially independent, non-partisan and publically funded.” Vincent explains that Oorvani’s journalism has the right kind of bias, “Yes, we are biased – biased towards the Constitution of India, biased to the rule of law, biased towards using the RTI law to the hilt to expose what’s happening. ”

As opposed to traditional commercial media, the Oorvani Foundation is adopting a non-profit public funding model. World over, public funded media like National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Pro Publica have done great work in public interest and have proved the impact of independent journalism.

Subramaniam Vincent explains, “To continue to create breakthrough journalism with articles of substance and insight, we need the help of the public. Independent journalism costs time and money and it takes the best of journalism talent available to work on these issues. “The foundation plans to raise its annual budget from readers and philanthropic individuals. The foundation values its supporters’ trust and will share its annual reports publicly.

Oorvani Foundation will use the funds raised to develop in-depth journalism content. It will also award journalism fellowships.  The stories, data and findings will be published and available on Citizen Matters and India Together websites and will also be shared with partner organisations.

Reports in Citizen Matters and India Together have received 7 journalism awards in the last 9 years, including three at the international level.

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About Oorvani Foundation

Oorvani Foundation is a Bangalore-based, non-profit trust that develops reporting and data for publishing, web streaming, and podcasting through the Citizen Matters and India Together platforms, using teams of editors, journalists, freelance and subject matter experts, practitioners, filmmakers, audio producers, and organisational partners.

About Citizen Matters

Citizen Matters is a city focused, citizen-oriented newsmagazine, covering Bangalore’s public affairs, community and culture. Citizen Matters reporters have won awards at local and international fora. Citizen Matters has pioneered a hybrid model of local journalism mixing professionally reported edited news stories with citizen authored articles. It was started in 2008 by Subramaniam Vincent and Meera K.

About India Together

India Together is an online publication devoted to coverage of public affairs, policy, and development in India, providing news in proportion to the country’s broad development experiences. It was founded in 1998 by Subramaniam Vincent and Ashwin Mahesh.

About Oorvani Media Pvt Limited

Oorvani Media is an independent for-profit Bangalore-incorporated media firm.  The firm publishes city-centric information products including retail guidebooks, Living in Bengaluru and Get to know Bengaluru Better.