Half A Decade Later


Kashmir-Life-Cover-Page--issue-9-vol-5It is sheer coincidence that we have Shahid Afridi on our front page for all the controversy his sixers created for Kashmir. And it is the first issue of our sixth year. Yes, Kashmir Life has completed five years of uninterrupted publication.

Kashmir Life started as an idea to link news with knowledge and contribute in creating informed opinion. This led to the creation of voluminous information about various sectors of life in the state. This data that was generated by scores of journalists in last five years is the most credible reference on the socio-economic growth of J&K and is being utilized by planners, policy makers and academia across the world.

The initiative envisaged helping journalism grow beyond the routine political stuff that has remained the main focus of the media over the decades. Five years after, the change is visible. Informed opinion on issues of concern has triggered very valid debates. Even a commoner is in a position to talk at length about the crucial human development issues as this area of reportage is gradually emerging as the newest happening in the state.

Energy is just an instance. In the last few years, the civil society has grown conscious of things that have happened because of remote controlled governance. This has triggered an automatic pressure on policy makers to, at least, think of making course corrections.

Right now, serious efforts are underway to trace the history of efforts that might have been made in the recent past in state’s self-sustenance, improving local production, encouraging entrepreneurship and other basic activities of life.

was the key initiator of the efforts aimed at helping youth understand the importance of administration as a career option. This has brought a change that was unprecedented in the history of the state.

At Kashmir Life, this all was initiated and implemented, without ignoring the politics that is pathetically divided and sub-divided on ideological and political lines. Detailed insights into the happenings on either side of the ideological divide, reportage about the individuals holding positions of consequence and helping readers understand the ticklish links between players and the historic baggage they carry has remained the hallmark of our political coverage.

As the state is approaching two elections – the Lok Sabha and the state assembly, Kashmir Life newsroom – one of the four largest newsrooms in Kashmir, has already created its roadmap for getting the best for its readers. As the dates will approach, the newsroom will make a net difference in how this major exercise will be recorded for the history.

We might not have been in a position to talk all this had not the IT made a major difference in the last two years for us. Kashmir Life by periodicity publishes only 52 times a year which is quite insignificant compared to the 365 days a daily newspaper hits the market. Given the size and the share in the overall market that Kashmir Life enjoys, talking about the net difference would sound a joke had not the internet given mankind a level playing field. Internet is perhaps more democratic than democracy can ever be. It is honest, objective,  and does not make distinctions between individuals, groups or territories as long as users follow a set system.

Kashmir Life publishes every weekend but our newsroom works round the clock. Since October 2012, our website is updated not less than 20 times a day. This has enabled a large chunk of population within and outside J&K to benefit from the data that is being generated round the clock. Right now, our website is one of the premier source of information and knowledge about J&K.

Sustaining this kind of journalism is not so easy. Identifying ideas, investigating them and implementing them is a very difficult exercise, if compared to daily news gathering of happenings. It requires lot of resources, efforts and a strong will.

Though our resources have remained quite modest throughout last five years, we have been making efforts not to do away with the design and requirement of the product. At times, costs for managing all this have proved enormous. But this is the only option for sustaining this kind of journalism in the state. The other option could be converting the periodical into a collection of opinions which entails no costs at all.

Kashmir Life cannot think of not bringing on record the continuous support of the market, the readers, advertisers and the people who are part of the vast printing-sectors distribution network. Their contribution is a huge source of satisfaction for the newsroom. They all understand the net difference we are trying to make in the process of recording history on day to day basis.

It is important to mention here that the quality of reportage and the standard of journalism that Kashmir Life started with shall remain unchanged. It did not change at the beginning of our fifth year when we lost our founding editor and owner Ms Jawahara Shawl to cancer paving way for me to take over. We will continue to improve the knowledge base of the society we are part of and in the process, we will continue help better professionals grow.

-  Editor


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