About the Project
Khabar Lahariya (KL)is a rural weekly newspaper that is changing the media and information landscape of the impoverished and complicated regions of Bundelkhand and north Bihar. It is the only local language - Bundeli and Bajjika - newspaper produced by a team of rural women. These women report, write, edit, take photographs and design the newspaper, and then distribute it to 30,000 readers in 700 villages of Chitrakoot, Banda and Mahoba districts of Uttar Pradesh and Sitamarhi, Bihar.
KL's popularity lies in the fact that it reports on local governance issues, rigorously monitors the implementation of schemes for the rural poor and tracks the disbursement of public money for rural development. In areas that are completely out of the spotlight of media attention, it has become a local watch dog and a weapon of the weak. KL been able to bring the rural and semi-literate poor into the circle of information; and bringing to light injustices, corruption and excesses that that remain hidden from public scrutiny. The team has been able to establish 3 editions, train rural women reporters with no experience of journalism, increase circulation from 1000 to 30,000 readers.
In the current project phase we propose to establish the brand of KL across Uttar Pradesh, with 10 new local language editions in other districts, creating a wider reach of rural news, and rural women reporters across the hinterland. This expansion also aims to make KL a self sustaining rural enterprise, with a wider readership and less dependency on donor agencies. The pilot phase of expansion requires financial resources for training women reporters in new areas, infrastructure and printing of Awadhi and Bhojpuri editions of KL, as well as online editions to reach KL's unique news to a much wider audience
Project Action Plan
The Project's 30-Day Plan
1Weekly production of KL from Lucknow and Varanasi
This involves the full time reporting of a team of 5 reporters in each edition to produce four pages of local news in Awadhi and Bhojpuri
Located in:Lucknow and Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
2Brainstorming on systems for expansion
A two day meeting to discuss existing rural reporting of the KL team and ideas for expansion across 10 districts - production and marketing related
Located in:Delhi*, Delhi
The Project's 60-Day Plan
1First special issue on violence against women
New and existing editions of KL will produce a special issue on cases of violence against women across 6 districts of UP and 1 in Bihar.
Located in:Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh
2ICT training for reporters on online news
A team of 15 reporters will be oriented to the KL website and trained to manage and upload news on the site regularly
Located in:Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
The Project's 120-Day Plan
1Interaction with Mainstream media
We'd like to organise an exposure trip where the rural reporters can see a mainstream newspaper office and interact with reporters.
Located in:Lucknow, Delhi or Mumbai
2Launch of website for KL
A website that provides information on the innovation of KL, the reporters and reporting, and includes selected news content, will be launched
Located in:Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
How do you plan to utilize the grant
We plan to use the grant to pilot three new editions, enabling them to begin weekly printing and circulation immediately, and over the next year similarly set up 3 more editions, an online news portal, and a network of 150 rural women journalists across the Hindi speaking states.
Who will this help Rise
Families in rural areas that are living below the poverty line (BPL) will have access to crucial news and information through KL. This includes information on government schemes and programmes for the rural poor.
Rural women from socially marginalised communities will be trained as journalists of KL newspaper. Most of these will include women who have had no access to formal employment or livelihoods so far.
The direct impact will also be experienced by thousands of readers - farmers, daily wage labourers, local administration, teachers, students, NGO workers, local politicians, shopkeepers. In an area that lacks news and information, KL will be their own source of local, national and international news, and provide the space to voice injustice, and demand accountability from local, state and national governance.
How will this help them Rise?
KL brings rural women from socially marginalised communities, those with little formal education, into the public sphere as active, confident citizens. Their training as journalists increases their domain of information and knowledge, exposure to worlds beyond their own, as well the ability to engage in democratic processes, demand accountability from local governance and negotiate relationships inside the home.
The readership of KL is impacted in that they receive information about local and national government schemes -MNREGA, mid day meal scheme, pension scheme and several other social welfare schemes for the rural poor. In situations where access to these schemes is denied, readers can seek accountability from the local administration and the panchayat, by highlighting the issues in KL.In areas where access to print material is scarce, KL has also been the sole local, accessible media to sustain both literacy and information levels of rural communities.
We have completed a rural media survey in 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh where we would like to begin KL editions. We have selected small teams of women in 3 districts - Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi - where we would like to begin Awadhi and Bhojpuri editions of KL. We have trained these women reporters. Our next milestones are to begin printing weekly editions of KL from Lucknow and Varanasi; to distribute KL to 1000 readers in each district; to produce a special issue at the end of the year.
I work with Nirantar, the organisation which has initiated and conceptualised KL.Our dream is to brand KL across India as a unique media enterprise
Shalini Joshi Founding team member
Shalini has worked with Nirantar for 15 ...
Kavita Founding journalist and Regional editor
Married at 12, Kavita attended a nonform...
Meera Founding journalist and Regional editor
Meera has lead the KL team in Chitrakoot...
New Delhi*, Delhi
This Project Needs
2 creative business acumen to set up sustainable media enterprise
2 newspaper marketing ideas and expertise especially in rural areas
6 digital photo cameras