Instead of the traditional models of family-owned, corporate-funded and controlled or advertising-driven newspapers, websites and TV channels, can we reimagine the media as a joint venture in the public sphere between journalists, readers and a concerned citizenry? One in which decisions over what to cover and how, who to hire and where to send a correspondent or photographer, are taken by editors on the basis of professional judgment, without worrying about what a proprietor or politician, official or advertiser might think or want.
In a democracy, this is the least that readers or viewers expect. And yet, the business model that underpins most Indian news media seldom allows editors the freedom they need. Worse, it has slowly eroded professional standards of reporting and contaminated the media ecosystem with toxic practices like rampant editorializing, paid news and ‘private treaties’. Increasingly, media houses are reluctant to spend money on newsgathering; and as they develop secondary business interests and ‘no go areas’ proliferate, their newsrooms suffer further collateral damage – especially as these interests often depend on proximity to politicians and bureaucrats. Is it any wonder that readers have begun to notice the erosion of professional standards, ethical breaches and fall in quality? They now feel shortchanged.
The founding premise of The Wire is this: if good journalism is to survive and thrive, it can only do so by being both editorially and financially independent. This means relying principally on contributions from readers and concerned citizens who have no interest other than to sustain a space for quality journalism.
As a publication, The Wire will be firmly committed to the public interest and democratic values. Apart from providing authoritative analysis and commentary, the aim, as our resources grow, is to build ourselves as a platform driven by good old-fashioned reporting on issues of national and international importance and interest. Being on the web also means using new media technologies to change the way stories are told. With data and interactive charts, video and audio as integral parts of the narrative structure when warranted.
We start today on a modest note, constrained not by our vision but by our resources. In the meantime, we make a simple appeal: read us, share and tweet our content, and send us your feedback.
Founding Editors of The Wire
The Wire’s newsroom. Credit: Akhil Kumar
The Foundation for Independent Journalism (FIJ) – the non-profit company that publishes The Wire – is pleased to announce the receipt of Rs 1.95 crore from the Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation in the form of a grant commencing August 2016. A second tranche of Rs 1.75 crore was received in March 2017, bringing the total funding from the IPSMF to Rs 3.7 crore.
From its inception till now, the running expenses for The Wire have been covered by its founders and by donations from individual readers and well-wishers. The Wire’s Science coverage is fully funded by specifically earmarked contributions from Rohan Murty, who made a first grant of Rs 50 lakh in December 2015 and a follow-up grant of the same amount in May 2017.
The IPSMF grant will partially cover our running expenses for one year and help us bring to our readers the kind of high quality public-interest journalism they have come to expect of The Wire.
As a not-for-profit media venture, The Wire is dependent on donations from readers and philanthropically-minded individuals (who, by law, must be Indian citizens) for the bulk of its revenue.
The FIJ would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have made donations and would like to appeal to The Wire‘s readers and supporters to help supplement the money raised so far with contributions, large and small, to help us meet current and future expenditure.
You can donate to us online via our Support page. If you prefer cheques, please make yours payable to the Foundation for Independent Journalism and mail it to:
F-44-45, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg,
Lane opposite Jain Bhawan
Gole Market, New Delhi 110 001
About the Foundation for Independent Journalism
The Wire is owned and published by the Foundation for Independent Journalism (FIJ), a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Company Act, 2013, with CIN U74140DL2015NPL285224. Its registered office is in New Delhi, India. The FIJ is registered under Section12AA (a) of the IT Act, 1961, and its registration number is DEL – FR25178 – 14062016 of the register maintained in the office of the Commissioner of Income Tax (E).
About IPS Media Foundation
Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation is a public charitable trust registered vide a trust deed executed on July 1, 2015, as document No. 99 IV (15-16) dated July 1, 2015, at the office of the Sub-Registrar, Gandhinagar, Bangalore, Karnataka. IPSMF has been registered under Section 12AA (a) of the IT Act, 1961 and its registration number is CIT(E)/BLR/12A/M-134/AABT12413E/ITO(E)-1/ Vol 2015-2016 with effect from 08.01.2016. IPSMF has also been granted approval under section 80G (5) (vi) of the IT Act 1961 with effect from 08.01.2016 (Approval no: CIT(E)/BLR/80G/M-135/AABT12413E/ITO(E)-1/ Vol 2015-2016).
The Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF) has provided financial support to the Foundation for Independent Journalism for the purpose of reporting and publishing stories of public interest. The IPSMF does not take any legal or moral responsibility whatsoever for the content published by the Foundation for Independent Journalism on its websites thewire.in, thewirehindi.com and thewireurdu.com or on any of its other platforms.
The Wire is the most exciting News start-up in the digital space in India. Our journalism and reporting has been creating an undeniablee buzz and the organisation is growing at a break-neck speed.
We are looking for a talented and driven individual to a be part of our technology team. This person will be responsible for the front-end engineering and development of The Wire (English, Hindi and Urdu).
As a Front-End Engineer your responsibilities include
- Develop new user-facing features
- Develop tools to be used by the desk and reporters to enable better publishing and immersive experiences for users
- Build reusable code and libraries for future use
- Ensure the technical feasibility of UI/UX designs
- Optimize application for maximum speed and scalability
- Assure that all user input is validated before submitting to back-end
- Collaborate with other team members and stakeholders
Skills And Qualifications
- Proficient understanding of web markup, including HTML5, CSS3
- Experienced with JWT, Flux, Ajax, jQuery, ECMAScript 6, Node.js, npm, gulp
- Have a good understanding of REST APIs
- Basic understanding of server-side CSS pre-processing platforms, such as LESS and SASS
- Basic knowledge of image authoring tools, to be able to crop, resize, or perform small adjustments on an image. Familiarity with tools such as as Gimp or Photoshop is a plus.
- Proficient understanding of cross-browser compatibility issues and ways to work around them.
- Proficient understanding of code versioning tools, such as Git
- Good understanding of SEO principles and ensuring that application will adhere to them.
- Knowledge of PHP and Wordpress will be a plus
The candidate should ideally have 3-4 years of experience in handling the front-end of a large cosumer facing web property, preferably a content publishing site.
LiveWire’s a space for young Indians to take on the issues that matter most to them – on their own terms, through any medium they choose.
The right candidate for LiveWire is someone who isn’t just passionate about political and cultural issues that concern their peers but also enjoys working with writers to help them improve their stories.
- Editing articles for grammar, clarity, style and length
- Work on presentation and packaging of the articles
- Maintaining/growing LiveWire’s social media presence
- Spotting important developments on college campuses/in student politics
- Curating short news stories
- Around 2 years experience working for a news organisation, freshers may also apply
- Some experience in editing: school or college magazines, peer editors etc.
- Impeccable grammar
- Ability to switch between editing and writing stories
If you’re interested in applying, please send a cover letter to [email protected] highlighting a story you’ve written that’s most important to you – it could be the one you’re most proud of or one that you wish you could have improved on (and do tell us why). We’d also love to know about two stories you’d like to do for LiveWire.
Preference will be given to women, Dalits and Adivasis.