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Developing The News-site - Brainstorm

Madhava - Tue, 16 Mar 2004 05:04:37 +0530
Brainstorm on the Upcoming News-site

We have recently set up the News and Editorials area in hopes that we could finally get the ball rolling with the idea of our news site that's been in the air for long.

I have laid out the basic structure for the content of the site under the following headings:

* News - Gaudiya :: News from the world of Gaudiya Vaishnavism
* News - World :: Relevant news on any topic
* Editorials - Gaudiya :: Editorials discussing topics directly relevant with our theology, history and social situation
* Editorials - World :: Other editorials of interest
* Announcements :: New publications, websites etc.
* Discussions :: Our Gaudiya Discussions
* Vox Populi :: Letters from the readers
* Humor :: To lighten up the mood a bit

The basic design is also together, and can be seen at The back-end for the content management is not a big deal to incorporate into the site. Now, staff is all we need. Full time, part time, any time -- all better than no time at all. For the news-areas, we need people who are (1) tuned into what's going on in the Gaudiya world, and (2) who follow news in the world in general and know when to pick up something of particular interest.

News-editors or correspondents must also have good discrimination in separating facts from the fiction and in researching issues. We do not wish to publish the first semblance of news without verifying the facts. For the editorials-area, we need thoughtful folks. Announcements and vox populi are obviously left for the audience out there to fill in. Humor is still a bit in the air; something a bit less provocative than NEHKE and more concerned with the satire on the general patterns of conduct in our society than with particular individuals.

Why the need for another news-website? Well, let us rather ask, why the need for a news-website? In my opinion, the current participants in the field of journalism do not exactly come up to par. News and editorials are mixed up, contributions loaded with agendas are published, and altogether pointless contributions are published. We do not need another propaganda machine where the behind-the-scenes editorial policy is to publish whatever supports or propagates a particular subsection of vaishnavas. Truth must be the deciding factor, not convenience or suitability for a particular purpose.

If you feel you are willing to contribute in any capacity whatsoever, please know that your input is most welcome. Feel free to drop a note either in this thread or by PM to me, or by e-mail to info{at}gaudiyatimes-dot-com.
Jagat - Tue, 16 Mar 2004 05:46:20 +0530
I wish that I had more time to give to this project. Someone has to do a lot of trawling. For instance, with Sridhar Swami's disappearance, there is a possibility of gathering information from forums, where individuals have been giving testimonials as well as announcements. But to be a genuine news site, there has to be some verification procedure. In other words, people have to be contacted to admit or deny, etc. It's a lot of work. The reason that most of the news sites are no good is that they depend entirely on contributions, usually from interested parties.

To do the news gathering, you really need to have a network of people who have journalistic mentality. Where are you going to find that?
Madhava - Tue, 16 Mar 2004 06:09:23 +0530
Yep, it's a lot of trawling. I personally don't have a problem doing some of it.

I will also try to find contact persons(s) in all major Gaudiya groups to have sources to ask for second opinions and to also report news of interest, should any surface. The network of informants will obviously grow over time. This, of course, has to be coordinated among the staff.

A sheer lack of resources, both financial and otherwise, will probably prevent me from doing too many international phone calls to interview people. I'd say that even trying to strive for a good degree of accuracy is already much more than what there is out there at present on the scene.

I do not expect to have a large network of reporters delivered on my desk on this instant. However, I believe something is far better than nothing, and as the word goes around, over time it will grow. Tips on people to contact are most welcome.
Madhava - Tue, 16 Mar 2004 06:58:17 +0530
A brief update and request for reporters added to the site.
Madhava - Thu, 15 Apr 2004 04:54:50 +0530
Braj Mohan, do you think you'd be able to drop in an editorial now and then?