Different Truths completes two years at the strike of the midnight hour, in India. Two years back, two Founders dreamed that there was a felt-need. While most of the mainstream media houses and the TV channels have many ‘holy cows’, there is growing disbelief and restlessness amongst the Target Audience (readers/viewers). The ‘Paid Media’ is caught up in non-issues. TV debates are about hollering at each other. And whoever raises the decibel higher – the anchor or the panelists – is right. In its first year, we understood that we were on the right path. It deepened this year. More poets and writers joined. On this occasion, we honour 27 Social Journalists. Here’s a detailed report from the Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Arindam.
Different Truths (DT), an Indo-American venture, editorially[i], has deepened its global presence, as it celebrates its second birthday, on Nov 25, 2017. Our strength is our committed Social Journalists[ii], who have been with us, through the thick and the thin. We have around 1200 SJs and poets, now.
The achievement and the accolades are due to each and every one, who believed in our shared vision in this journey. You all made it possible for the baby to take giant strides.
What Gives DT the Global Edge?
To repeat the cliché, small is beautiful. We continue to brainstorm, across the globe, on a daily basis. Half-a-world-away from each other, Arindam and Anumita, discuss, debate, fight and laugh, working and guiding a small and efficient editorial and design team. Across rivers, seas, oceans and time zones, the content of Different Truths (DT) takes shape.
It would not be preposterous to say that the sun never sets on DT.
Some of the highlights of the Google Analytics Report, as on Nov 24, 2017, is worth mentioning, without making it too technical.
Since inception, DT has been read in 181 out of 195 nations worldwide, giving it a 93% reach globally. Last year, this figure was 159 countries (82%). In the same period, we registered a growth of 1280 cities. We are now read in 4682 cities compared to 3402 cities, worldwide last year.
Please see Fig. 1 below:
181/195 countries (93% Global Reach)
Top 10 Countries:
(1.India, 2. United States, 3. Russia, 4. United Kingdom, 5. Canada, 6. Australia, 7. United Arab Emirates, 8. Germany, 9. Singapore & 10. Pakistan)
Last year our tally was 159/195 countries (82% global reach). DT thus registered a growth of 36 nations (11%) in a year.
4682 Cities & Top 10 Cities:
[1.Bengaluru, 2. (Not set), 3. New Delhi, 4. Chennai, 5. Mumbai, 6. Kolkata, 7. Hyderabad, 8. Moscow, 9. Pune & 10. Columbus]
Last year we were read in 3402 cities worldwide. DT thus registered a growth of 1280 cities in a year.
What Makes DT an Indo-American Venture, Editorially?
If we analyse the percentage reach of our readership across 10 sub-continents, we find that the bulk of our readership are from two sub-continents, Southern Asia and Northern America, accounting for 75.59% [iii]of our readership base. The rest (24.41%) are from other parts of the world. Here are the details:
Percentage Reach across 10 Sub-continents:
Southern Asia: 47.35%, 2. Northern America: 28.24%, 3. Eastern Europe: 6.81%, 4. Northern Europe: 3.62%, 5. Western Asia: 2.92%, 6. Southeast Asia: 2.58%, 7. Western Europe: 2.36%, 8. Australasia: 1.73%, 9. Eastern Asia: 0.84% & 10. Eastern Africa: 0.73%
In keeping with the Google Analytics Report, we are repositioning DT as ‘A Global Participatory Social Journalism Platform’. We had mentioned this in our Vision and Mission Statement. Please see ‘About Us’, in the Footer of the Home Page (http://differenttruths.com/about-us/). We have changed the tagline of the Masthead accordingly and will soon change the Favicon too.
Each of our Social Journalists (SJs) are global citizens. That’s what DT, and each one of you, empowers us, now.
Our claims are based on facts, not delusion (read figments of imaginations). Truth emancipates and empowers us all.
Who Reads DT: A Demographic Analysis
As per Google Analytics Report, the gender-wise distribution of readers is tilted towards the female. They have a slight edge on male readers. We have 54.2% female and 45.8% male readers.
The age-wise break-up of our readers are:
- 18-24: 15.21%
- 25-34: 22.73%
- 35-44: 20.67%
- 45-54: 12.65%
- 55-64: 13.87%
- 65+: 14.86%
Thus, the bulk of our readership is in the first three categories (18-44), accounting for 58.61% readers. The balance 41.38% are from the rest, with 65+ showing the fourth largest readers (14.865). Please see Fig. 2
Freedom has Price and Prize
While most of the mainstream media houses and the TV channels have many ‘holy cows’ – corporate houses and business houses are not supposed to be critiqued – there is growing disbelief and restlessness amongst the Target Audience (readers/viewers). The ‘Paid Media’ is caught up in non-issues. TV debates are about hollering at each other. And whoever raises the decibel higher – the anchor or the panelists – is right.
News has been replaced by perceptions. Political parties are filling the deep pockets of the Media Moghuls. Truth – or its semblance – has been sacrificed.
We, in DT, do not sensationalise. We do not believe in jingoism. In our small way, we call spade a spade. And all this is evidenced by the growth in readership base, internationally and nationally.
If Truth has a price, it has a larger prize. Perhaps that’s the reason, why despite being far away from revenue, we are unshaken in our commitments. It’s the belief of our readers worldwide that has stopped us being cynical. It is this that goads us to move on.
All of us in DT owe it to each one of you, our fans and readers, across the globe.
As a DTian – our Social Journalists (SJs) – you have a better chance of being heard better, not only in India but globally. And that explains why some of the best writers wished to believe in our shared vision on the change in the world. That’s the reason they are DT’s SJs now.
DT believes in the Free and Fearless Voice. Every voice, no matter how small or meek must be heard. We are not dependent on any Corporate Bodies/ Industrial Houses, Political Parties, Moneybags or any Vested Interest Groups. If you passionately believe in a cause, be our partners.
Together we shall uphold the Torch of Knowledge and Dispel Ignorance, Greed, and Avarice (corruption, hoarding, and black marketing) and Violence (terrorism and state-sponsored terror).
We promote Advocacy, Activism, and Nonviolence. We do not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, race, religious beliefs, gender, et al.
We are an Equal Opportunity, Secular, and Liberal Democrat – a webzine that believes in Humanism.
Before I move on to the Annual Awards, I would like to mention that here are the all-time[iv] Top[v] Social Journalists of DT:
Prof. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad (105)
Anumita Chatterjee Roy (97)
Lily Swarn (84)
Navodita Pande (79)
Arindam Roy (62)
Nilanjana Dey (52)
Sarika Sarkar Das (50)
Soumya Mukherjee (42)
Shernaz Wadia (40)
Nikita Goel (34)
The Social Journalism Award: Different Truths 2017
We are felicitating 27 Social Journalists (SJs) this year, introducing the Social Journalism Award from this year.
To us, a poet has chosen a different mode of expression. Thus, we have felicitated the poets, who have been contributing regularly and have composed meaningful verses during the year, as Social Journalism Award. They are rooted in the social realities and bring to the fore burning issues.
From this year, we have introduced another new category, Social Journalist of the Year Award. This is the topmost award. The joint winners this year are Prof. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad and Navodita Pande. The names appear in no particular order.
- Prof. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad: The top SJ of all time, he has been penning his weekly column other than writing several Cover Stories during the year. Belonging to an illustrious family – which he shies away from mentioning – humble Prof. Ashoka, is a living lesson in humility. He writes with ease on a wide range of subjects. He has been DT’s very first columnist. He runs a charitable clinic for the Dalits and the marginalised, in Gorakhpur. He is an eminent psychiatrist who discovered an illness that is named after him – Prasad’s Syndrome. He is also a qualified barrister with an LLM from Harvard and doctorates from Oxford, Cambridge, and North Carolina. Ashoka has authored over 100 books in 25 different languages. A scholar of great repute, he has lived in 11 countries, before returning to his mother and motherland. A journalist and columnist, DT is privileged to felicitate him as the Social Journalist of the Year. He is a shining jewel in DT’s crown.
- Navodita Pande: Here’s a Social Journalist who flows silent and deep. A down-to-earth, no-nonsense person, she lives up to her commitments. Calm and serene like her meditative yoga, she began by writing a column on Yoga in DT and has now volunteered to contribute two more columns, totaling three, every week. Other than yoga (every Monday), she also writes a column on Indian Politics (every Tuesday) and another one on global politics and international relations (every Saturday). A well-known journalist, a faculty on TV Journalism with a renowned Mass Comm. institution and an author Navodita penned two books, one on TV Journalism and the other on yoga. She has been practicing yoga since she was 9-year-old in Iyengar Yoga. In April 1995, she performed at the International Yoga Seminar. In January 2003, she taught at Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mandir, in New York. She had a yoga show on NDTV 24×7 and was also the official yoga trainer for Miss Delhi contestants, in 2007. She currently teaches Yoga and Reiki. We are proud to honour her as theSocial Journalist of the Year, jointly with Prof. Ashoka.
- Lily Swarn: A poet and writer, Lily has received many honours and recognitions for her writings. She has been with DT for a long time and has recently authored two books. She ranks at No. 3 position among the Top SJs of all time. Married to a retired colonel in the Indian Army, has a keen eye and sharp observation. Fond of gardening, and cooking, she wrote about the life and times of an army wife. Now, she has been penning an enlightening and informative column on the history-mystery of food (every Wednesday). A Social Journalist, Lily has written on wide-ranging subjects for the webzine. We are pleased to acknowledge her as the Meritorious Author and Poet for the Year. She brings value to our webzine.
- Tapati Sinha: Belonging to a family of academicians, she did her post-graduation in history from Vishva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan, where her father taught mathematics. She has a Doctoral degree from Nagpur University, in A.I.H.C.A. She loves Indian literature, Indian and world history and continues her personal research. She picks her subjects from various spheres including historical data, daily experiences of life and varied workplaces. Tapati is passionate to pursue her writings, novel, poetry, short stories on multifarious topics, past and present under the pen name Anjali. Her regular column, Now & Then, appears every Sunday. We are honoured to felicitate her with the Social Journalism Award on History and Culture for the Year.
- Shernaz Wadia: She brings positivity and immense strength with her column. Shernaz hopes her words will bring peace, hope, and light into dark corners. Reading and writing poems has been one of the means to embark on an inward journey. Her poems have been published in many e-journals and anthologies. She has published her own book of poems Whispers of the Soul and another titled, Tapestry Poetry – A Fusion of Two Minds. She is the guardian angel of the team. We are pleased to honour her with the Social Journalism Award for Credible Performance for the Year.
- Payal Talreja: A bold and spunky feminist writer, she does not mince words. One of the few who has the courage to call the spade a spade. Businesswoman, curator of handlooms, poet, writer, and erstwhile doctor, Payal practices everything except her involuntary ‘profession’. She claims that words chose her and are now her weapon of choice because an activist born will stay silent for no man. A wanderer, a voyager, she’s happy to slum it or luxuriate in any life experience. She crafts poems and fiercely feminist essays and will assume her ‘Chandi’ avatar to ‘write’ any wrong. We facilitate her with the Social Journalist Award for Firebrand Writer for the Year.
- Basudeb Chakraborti is a retired professor of English and Faculty Dean, University of Kalyani. He founded the Department of English at Sikkim Central University (2013). He taught in the USA and India. He wrote more than 100 articles in different literary journals in India and abroad. Among his books, Thomas Hardy’s View of Happiness, Some Problems of Translation: A Study of Tagore’s Red Oleanders, Indian Partition Fiction in English and in English Translation, etc. He writes a regular column (every Saturday). We are happy to honour him with the Social Journalist Award for Literary Criticism for the Year.
- Nilanjana Dey: An excellent story-teller, she recounts tales from the Bhagavatam, every week (Thursday). Nilanjana is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards children, is titled, ‘The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail’. Her poems have been published at various prestigious portals. An alumnus of English Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata), she is a marketing and communication professional based in Mumbai. She volunteers with a Mumbai based NGO working with the marginalised sections of the society. She is one of the Top SJs of all times and has been associated with us for a long time. We are proud to honour her with the Social Journalist Award for Mythology for the Year.
- Soumya Mukherjee is an alumnus of St Stephens College and Delhi School of Economics. He earns his daily bread by working for a PSU Insurance company, and lectures for peanuts. His other passions, family, friends, films, travel, food, trekking, wildlife, music, theater, and occasionally, writing. He has been published in many national newspapers of repute. He has published his first novel, Memories, a novella, hopefully, the first of his many books. He blogs as well. We felicitate him with the Social Journalist Award for Wit and Humour for the Year.
- Sarika Sarkar Das: Beautiful and charming, Sarika cooks fabulous cuisines, with a flourish and a winsome smile. Though a vegetarian by choice for many years, she prepares nonveg items without tasting. She has been one of the Top SJs of all times and has been with us for a long time. We are pleased to honour her with the Social Journalist Award for Food for the Year.
- Sonali Chakraborty is a food blogger, self-taught food photographer, and stylist. She is a true Bong at heart. She loves to travel and listens to music. We are proud to honour her with the Social Journalist Award for Food for the Year.
- Shameena Abdurahiman is a self-made independent entrepreneur, fashion designer and stylist, artist, photographer, fitness freak, poet, blogger, graphic designer, life strategist and many other things. Her collections cater to a broad range of women, from classic to modern, fusion and embrace all attitudes from romantic to dramatic. She is currently situated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A beauty with élan, she brings grace and charm to her persona and writings. We are pleased to honour her with the Social Journalist Award for Fashion and Beauty for the Year.
- Sumita Dutta: A lifelong bookworm and a graduate of Fine Arts from Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore, Sumita enjoys most art-forms avidly. She has worn a number of hats – parent coordinator handling admissions, teaching O and AS level English, editor, publisher, photographer, manipulating digital images, designer, team leader for an IT start-up, PRO, sales rep and more. Her poetry, prose, photography, and art can be found on a number of sites on the web. Based in Chennai, She pens fiction or writes on art, every Sunday, in DT. We facilitate her with the Social Journalist Award for Fiction and Art for the Year.
- Vedatrayee Dutta: A young lawyer by profession from The City of Joy, she is currently pursuing LLM from Calcutta University. She is a Bharatanatyam danseuse who has won a number of prestigious awards and performed in several National Festivals and Competitions throughout the country. Another passion that stirs her from deep within is the welfare of street and abandoned animals. She volunteers for a sociocultural endeavour, Swatantra, striving for the social, cultural and behavioural empowerment of the population. She writes an erudite column on legal issues (Monday). We facilitate her as the Social Journalist Award for Appreciable Performance for the Year.
- Mahima Sharma: She is a good mentor and is well connected with other writers. A science graduate from Delhi University and MA in Mass Communication, Mahima began her career with E-Lexicon PR & Mutual PR and Hindustan Times. Soon, ANI (a collaboration with Reuters) got her aboard, where she spread her wings in TV, Print & Digital Journalism. In 2010 she got a dream job at CNN-IBN. From May 2017, she is a freelance journalist. She is a poet and a Sufi at heart. We facilitate her with the Social Journalist Award for Laudable Performance for the Year.
- Farheen Viquas is a senior technical editor/writer working in Bangalore, India. She has worked as a technical writer/editor, mentor/coach, language consultant, information tester, English trainer, and transcriber. When not at work, she loves to cook, read, write poetry and prose, listen to music, bake cakes, fish keeping, and embroider. She is also a stained-glass enthusiast. Farheen writes a popular column on technology (Thursday). We are pleased to honour her with the Social Journalist Award for Technology for the Year.
- Suveera Sharma is a postgraduate in English and a qualified software trainer. She is an avid reader and writer. Being the daughter of an army officer, she spent her childhood in various cantonments all over India. At present, she is settled in Hong Kong. She runs storytelling sessions for little kids and writes in her spare time. Her column, Hong Kong Diary, is popular. We felicitate her with theSocial Journalist Award for Lifestyle for the Year.
- Preeyan Abraham is an HR professional, presently based in Hawassa, Ethiopia. He loves travelling and all the little intricacies that it brings. A foodie, he enjoys cooking for relaxation. A movie buff and music lover, he appreciates simple things in life. He comes from a mix of religious backgrounds that has helped him appreciate all the good things of what all religions have to see. He looks at life as a platform created to perform and give the best. We are proud to honour him with the Social Journalist Award for Education and Career for the Year.
- Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance writer, editor, content writer, book reviewer, and poet. A postgraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, she has 20 years of writing experience in newspaper, magazine, radio, television and the internet. Her poems, short stories, and articles have been published in leading magazines, journals and e-books apart from featuring in anthologies. A daughter, a wife and a mother, she is the eternal optimist. Faith, friendship, and family make her life complete. She writes an interesting column, News in Verse, on Sundays, in DT. We are pleased to felicitate her with the Social Journalist Award for Admirable Performance for the Year.
- Tarun Gupta: Satyam Shivam Sundaram defines the belief and philosophy of Tarun, a Delhi-based businessman, with a passion for learning. He tries to locate the common thread in all learning – as Einstein identified energy as the base thing – and find creative, interdisciplinary solutions to problems, with a special focus on economics. Behavioural economics is his special interest, which encompasses emotions as well as economic choices when identifying problems and the solutions. He pens an insightful column every Thursday in Different Truths. We are pleased to honour him with the Social Journalist Award for Business and Economy for the Year.
- Ritambhara Kumari Upadhyay: A Punjab University, IIT- Roorkee, and IIRS-ISRO alumnus, academician, and researcher, Ritambhara is a writer by choice. Her passion for reading and writing has impelled her to foray into the world of writing. As a freelance writer and editor, she loves to pen-down whatever comes to her mind. She staunchly believes, “Truth doesn’t admit any impediments.” She pens an interesting column every Monday in DT. We facilitate her with the Social Journalist Award for Commendable Performance for the Year.
- Ruchira Adhikari Ghosh: Born in Guwahati Assam, Ruchira grew up in Delhi and Punjab. A product of Sacred Heart Convent, Ludhiana, she holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Armed with a P.G diploma in Journalism, she has been a pen-pusher for nearly 25 years. Her chequered career encompasses print, web, as well as television. She has metamorphosed as a feature writer, her forte being women’s issues, food, travel, and literature. She writes on a variety of topics in DT. We are pleased to honour her with the Social Journalist Award for Praiseworthy Performance for the Year.
- Five poets, who pen impactful poems, regularly are being awarded theSocialist Journalist Award for Exemplary Poet of the Year. They are Geethanjali Dilip, Sarala Balachandran, Elsy Satheesan, Deeya Dey Bhattacharya and Kabir Deb.
Special mention must be made of these 11 Social Journalists and Guest Editors (for Poetry Anthologies). They added value to DT. We are grateful to them. The names below are in no particular order:
- Michele Baron
- Luz María López
- Roula Pollard
- Amit Singh
- Sreelata Menon
- Mamta Joshi
- Sehar Siddiqui
- Dr. Debjani Guha
- Chhavi Mehra
- Amidha Porter
- Rita Bhattacharjee
Last but not the least, this journey would not have been possible without the firm belief of the Plenitude of the Universe of our young and vibrant Managing Editor, Anumita Chatterjee Roy. Technical guidance has been provided to us by Navneet Rastogi time and again.
Thanks for making this journey, with all its hiccups and doubts, worthwhile, dear DTians.
Be Free and Fearless!
[i] Its two founders, Arindam Roy, Editor-in-Chief, is from Allahabad, U.P., India, while Anumita Chatterjee Roy, Managing Editor, is from Columbus, OH, the USA.
[ii] Different Truths (differenttruths.com) is a Social Journalism (a form of Collaborative Journalism) platform. Based on the tenets of Participatory Journalism, Social Journalism creates a synergy between Citizen Journalists (any lay person, who is not trained as a journalist to voice their opinions) and Professional Journalists. Social Journalism is a media model consisting of a hybrid of professional journalism, contributor and reader content. It is similar to open publishing platforms, like Twitter and WordPress.com, except that some or most content is also created and/or screened by professional journalists. Examples include Forbes.com, Medium, BuzzFeed, and Gawker. The model, which in some instances has generated monthly audiences in the tens of millions, has been discussed as one way for professional journalism to thrive despite a marked decline in the audience for traditional journalism.
Social Journalism helps to strengthen and deepening Democratic Values. It upholds the best traditions of secular, non-violent, non-racist and casteless society. Different Truths upholds non-discriminatory traditions, where Special Needs people have equal opportunities. It aims at unifying the Peoples from various parts of the globe to create a world without boundaries – a Global Village where Peace and Prosperity rules.
[Source: About Us, see Footer on Home Page: http://differenttruths.com/about-us/].
[iii] As per Google Analytics Report.
[iv] Since the inception of the Webzine two years back.
[v] The No. within the brackets is the number of articles by each SJ.
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