Yes, you read the title right. We are 50 issues old now.
Five years ago, a bunch of us in our early twenties set off with three aims:
- First, to make people realise the harmful effects of over-consumption of negative and sensational news on psychological and mental health.
- Second, to add some positive news to people’s new consumption diet and make people realise that there is so much good happening in the world that they do not get to hear, see and read.
- Third, to ‘mainstream’ constructive journalism and inspire the mainstream media to increase their proportion of positive news and stories
Five years and 50 issues later, I would say we have been half successful in what we set out to be. In the last five years, we have been successful in reaching tens of thousands of people and have been able to add positive stories to their news diet. Now, I would concede that the number is not a million. But for the optimist that we are, we see these tens of thousands as the prophets who will help us reach a million.
However, what we have been unsuccessful in, is nudging the mainstream media to change their ways. The mainstream media has gone from bad to worse. With sensational negative news, triggering fake news and hate content, mainstream media is stooping to new lows with every passing day.
Working in the alternate media landscape for the last few years, we have realised that it would take a special kind of effort to flip the process of news making and news consumption in our country. And it is YOU – the readers who will have an extraordinary role in making that happen. Media, like any other business, needs to survive. If readers do not pay for media, the media has to go to people with big pockets. And the moment they do that, your news will be compromised. If we need to save journalism, we will have to sustain it first. And that is why I say it is YOU the readers who are going to be integral in changing the landscape of journalism in the country.
So our next five years is going to be about that, about changing the way people consume and support news, and about mainstreaming constructive and impact journalism. We aim to keep working until the day when positive news is not special-news anymore. We aim to keep working till the day when we would not need an ‘only positive newspaper’ to read about incredible stories of change.
Read our 50th Issue and tell us how you like it. It’s essentially free but you can pay whatever you like.
We can’t wait for the next 50.
Co-Founder & CEO
On behalf of all of us at The Optimist Citizen