Gangadhar Patil

India

At a time when media is increasingly relying on citizen journalism to bring stories from remote areas, Gangadhar is drawing attention to the urgent need of investing in grassroot freelance reporters. He believes their specialized skills as journalists, ability to pursue investigative stories and decentralized precense is central to address the two big issues facing Indian media today- its independence and city centric coverage.

Gangadhar is buidling an ecosystem for freelance and independent journalism to thrive. His platform connects grassroots reporters directly to publishers, for the first time. On the supply side, he is building a dense network of grassroots / freelance reporters based in semi-urban or rural areas share untold stories. He is also building their capacities by enhacing their journalistic skills and ability to use investigative tools like the Right to Information Act (RTI). On the demand side, he has built partnerships with leading national and international publishers who purchase these stories. This process creates a win-win for all. The grassroots journalists get upskilled, earn more and gain unprecendented visibility. More importantly, they get to prusue stories that are not restrained by corporate or ideological interests. Simultaneously, publishers get quality, credible stories from remote parts of the country at lower costs without having to invest in building their own network of reporters.

Gangadhar is democratizing access to national platforms and also enabling publishers to access stories of a nature and at scale that would have been impossible under traditional operating models. By creating a many-to-many platform and underwriting stories that are not purchased, he is setting the foundation to build the world’s biggest independent media agency.

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