Mapping India

“Mapping India” is an ongoing mega-docuseries which aims to portray the lives of Indian citizens in every state and Union territory in relation to (a) Governance: the governance they receive, or lack thereof, (b) Democracy: their rights and freedoms they have, or lack thereof, and the representation they have in decision-making, (c) Economy: their ability to earn a living to be able to live with dignity, and (d) Society: issue they face in the society they live in....

This mega-series involves producing 144 video/audio stories (over 4,000 minutes, or 66 hours, of content) from the ground, to help the Indian audience look at issues from a more humanitarian perspective, and to “feel” what their fellow citizens go through in their day-to-day lives. It will also encourage them to respond to issues with empathy and to discuss them in a manner that is not politically divisive. Further, this series will help people elsewhere understand India in an intimate way. This series can also be used for educational purposes.

In addition to our collection of 144 stories, we are incorporating narratives from our “Radio Local” audio series in “Mapping India.” These stories are brought to you by local, knowledgeable journalists from community radio stations, shedding light on issues that hold great significance to their communities. The first part of this audio series is being done with the support of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies to cover the southern states of India.

This series is of paramount importance in India.

In a nation beset by unprecedented social and political divisions and violence, where emotive issues rather than the governance records of parties determine election results, there are two pressing needs: that concerns of the common people are placed at the forefront of public discourse, and that empathy is generated amongst the country's diverse communities.

With this aim in mind, we are pursuing a form of journalism that is people-centric, and that utilises the structure, components and art of cinema, or storytelling.

To us, at Newsreel Asia, being national does not mean covering issues of national significance, but rather issues that are important to people in each state and Union territory. In other words, being national to us means the sum total of all states and Union territories.

Through this mega-series, we are also creating a model of journalistic storytelling that is compatible with normal newsroom budgets and timeframes. While all media are using the latest technology in news gathering and post-production, we are elevating the editorial game through the use of technology, and teaching other journalists through our Newsreel Academy, pro bono, to do the same, in the interest of journalism and journalists.
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