India Together (IT) is an electronic publication devoted to coverage of public affairs, policy, and development in India, providing news in proportion to the country's broad development experiences. The publication is edited and published from Bangalore by two lead editors,Subramaniam Vincent and Ashwin Mahesh who are also the cofounders. Mahesh and Vincent work with a team of 35-40 freelance writers, who range from reporters and commentators to development professionals and scholars. India Together has been in publication since 1998. Over 2300 articles have been published, as of mid-2007.
India Together runs at least one article each day, covering over 15 major topics and themes ranging from government and poverty to agriculture and environment. The publication also helps practitioners, scholars and artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to an interested national and global audience. As of mid-2008 the website (www.indiatogether.org) was logging approximately 140,000 visitors each month, and readership has grown steadily for the past three years at about 35% annually. A free e-newsletter goes out to over 8400 subscribers each fortnight. A PDF edition of the top articles from each month is also compiled into a Digital Edition of India Together, for readers making annual payments.
India Together's journalism and e-publishing model is unique and is itself the result of a robust civil society partnership. One, during 2007-8, close to 40% of our costs were borne directly by voluntary reader payments, while reading itself is free to everyone. Two, publishing is virtually a 100% electronic process with freelance contributors working with editors to bring readers around 35 informative and in-depth articles each month. This, at costs far lower than Indian commercial journalism online has ever been able to. Three, India Together is anopen finances journal, releasing numbers on revenues and expenses.
CONTENT: Stories and other articles on India Together are usually one of the following.
- Reports from professional freelance journalists and internally developed ones.
- Columns from journalists and people with knowledge in their fields as well as some standing.
- Perspectives, commentary, interpretative and analysis articles from practitioners and experts; occasionally as guests.
- Reports and articles published through Citizen Direct, our citizen reporting initiative.
- Interact pages are reader-comment driven and primarily for discourse.
Articles falling under categories 1-3 are published after in-depth reviews of material by editors during which authors respond to questions and make clarifications. Authors review the final cut before we publish the article. We persist with informing readers about how authors come by their information by citing sources -- individuals as well as references to already published work in other journals or research. We discourage anonymous sources unless unavoidable and critical to a story.
PERSONNEL : Our writers are individually contracted on a per-article basis, or for a period of six months at a time. Many others write gratis for India Together. Likewise some columnists are paid by India Together, some write gratis and some are co-writing their columns on India Together along with other publications. Each contracted writer undergoes a trial/review period spanning two or three articles during which the writer and the editors assess other.
Rasika Dhavse, in addition to writing for India Together, selects some of the content you see from our Space Share partners. She is also responsible for sifting through some of the voluminous documentation we receive from many public interest groups and campaigns, and for creating summaries of their work periodically from such documents. In addition she steers the Digital Edition and helps with copy editing forCitizen Direct.
As India Together has grown, we have benefited from the willingness of some individuals to take on tasks on behalf of India Together that we ourselves are unable to find the time for. The Women's Issues section of India Together is the largest of these, and content in this area is often selected by a volunteer team - Vaijayanti Gupta, Sapana Rawat and Savita Kini.
FINANCES : From July 2003, India Together's expenses are being financed by annual monetary contributions from readers and supporters. Please visit the reader-financing page at www.indiatogether.org/support/ to see more about reader contributions, an FAQ, and company financial statements.
WRITING FOR INDIA TOGETHER : If you would like to write for India Together, or produce audio/video content for us, please be sure to read this page. Answers to the questions most commonly asked by new authors are provided.
VOLUNTEERING : India Together continues to benefit from the support of numerous volunteers, whose contributions we gratefully acknowledge. Sunil D'Monte originally worked on and helped setup our databases and MIS. At several stages of the development of this publication Sundar Vincent and Satish Shankar have provided technical assistance on graphics, scripts and software.
Occasionally volunteers with expertise have steered us towards content that otherwise might not have come to readers. Tarun Jain has helped us extensively with our coverage of the Bhopal gas tragedy justice campaign and several individuals from Narmada.org have assisted us with coverage of the Narmada movements and related issues.
More commonly, volunteers help spread the word about India Together and have gotten their interested friends and associates to sign up for our fortnightly newsletter.