Images of India: All female paper goes digital…

2048Fourteen years after launching India’s all-female newspaper, Khabar Lahariya, its founders have just gone digital. Covering local and rural news in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, the paper – which is staffed, edited and run by women from nearby rural villages – was previously printed fortnightly and handed out by reporters working in certain towns. But now the paper is transferring its skill into the digital sphere, allowing reporters to record and file video reports and send instant news updates via social media. In just two months, its website received more than 700,000 hits, beating its now-weekly print readership of just 50,000. With more than 350 million citizens in India boasting access to the internet, one of the newspaper’s founders (some of the reporters would prefer to remain anonymous) says the ability to transfer the news online has made an immeasurable impact on the way the newspaper can connect to its readership. With investment now coming from advertising as well as local investment, co-founder Shalini Joshni says its business model is slowly distancing itself from other newspapers in rural India that struggle to become independent – both financially and politically. ‘We try to give women voices, and tell stories from their points of view when possible. We have a whole page dedicated to women’s issues in the paper and a women’s column on the website.’