Dear Reader,

In a significant development that has the potential to transform the fate and fortunes of digital news media in the US, their lawmakers introduced the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, two weeks ago. A legislation designed to enable digital media platforms to collectively negotiate and “secure fair terms” from platforms like Google and Facebook which at the moment pay minuscule monies for content, or don’t pay at all.

The US lawmakers evocatively described the urgency to create a level playing field for media - “the moment is urgent. At a time when journalism is more important than ever, the press is facing an extinction-level event. Congress must act”. MediaNama argues that while Indian media organisations have taken up the issues of non-sharing of revenues by big platforms for using their content, the government’s strategy is unclear. The government will do well to make this US bill the lodestar to shape regulation at home, it asserts.

Siddique Kappan, the journalist from Kerala, who was arrested by the UP Police in Mathura has already spent more than 700 days in jail. Even as the Supreme Court is on the cusp of deciding his petition for bail on September 9, observers are terming the incarceration as a classic case of an “egregious miscarriage of justice, deliberate misinterpretation of India’s laws and vindictive prosecution”.

With little proof to back the Police claim, Kappan has been accused of “promoting enmity”, outraging religious feelings and “raising funds for terrorist acts”. Article 14 looks at the detention and events that followed in the courts, and how this has become a bellwether case for the country’s journalists and dissenters.

Displaced communities, people who are forced to migrate under duress – mostly due to natural disasters and armed conflict and violence - are steadily increasing in India, with an estimated 5 million disaster-induced displacements in 2019 alone. Other than being wantonly uprooted, they slip through the cracks of the public health system with disastrous results. India Development Review looks at what can be done to change this.

The Roe v. Wade judgement in the United States this July restricting American women’s right to abortion, has been a huge setback for women’s rights. In comparison, India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, amended last year, has been touted as ‘forward-looking” and respecting a woman’s choice, including her privacy. The India Forum, however, argues that challenges are many, including the lack of access to abortion facilities in India.

For more stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

If you have been forwarded this email, please click here to subscribe

US’s New Bill To Make Google, Facebook Pay For Digital News Content: Takeaways For India

Will the US’s new bill seeking to persuade big platforms to pay for the content from digital media lead to a transformation in the revenues of the latter? MediaNama tells you why India can take a page from the legislation to create a level playing field for the Indian media.

Read Here

Why Siddique Kappan’s Bail Plea Is A Bellwether Case For Indian Journalism & India’s Justice System

With the Supreme Court set to decide on the bail plea of Siddique Kappan on September 9, a Kerala journalist who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police on his way to Hathras, Article 14 looks at the critical issues involved.

Read Here

Enabling access to healthcare for internally displaced persons

Displaced communities and people who are forced to migrate due to climate change or violence is steadily increasing in India, and the public health system is less than equipped to deal with it. India Development Review looks at what can be done.

Read Here

Abortions in India: Myths, Facts and Reality

India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, amended recently, has the ingredients of a progressive act – respecting the decisions of the woman and providing her privacy for choices. However, on the ground, Indian women face challenges, as The India Forum points out.

Read Here

More from the grantees
School Fagat-Hansi - a far-fetched mission for government schools?
Even though Manipur launched an ambitious mission – ‘School Fagat-Hansi’ – to rejuvenate ‘model schools’ in the state, Imphal Free Press finds that one of the oldest government schools, the Eastern Christian High School in the Ukhrul district has only four teachers against the sanctioned strength of 23.
Ground Report : स्मशानभूमी अभावी प्रेत दफन करण्याची वेळ
Max Maharashtra reports from the ground in Saloshi village near Koyna Dam in Satara district of the state where the villagers are severely depleted of basic amenities – roads, medical facilities, schools, and even a crematorium.
"हमारे गांव में इतना गंदा पानी आता है कि उसे जानवर भी नहीं पीते" देखें ग्राउंड रिपोर्ट
The Har Ghar Jal Yojana has been a flagship scheme of the centre, in partnership with the states, to provide tap water to every rural household. However, Democratic Charkha finds that in the Garhpura block of Begusarai district in Bihar, the scheme has run aground with the water being unfit not only for drinking but to even wash clothes.
അസീസും അച്യുതനും കടലില്‍ മരിക്കില്ലായിരുന്നു
Two fishermen, Aziz and Achuthan, who had gone out to sea from Kozhikode's Chombala Harbour on August 25, along with their other fishermen, died because of the perceived inadequacies of the Coastal Police and the Coast Guard to respond effectively to emergencies on the seas. TrueCopy Think tells us this story.

This email was sent to

Independent & Public-Spirited Media Foundation
4/6-1, 1st Floor, Millers Road, High Grounds, Bangalore-560001, Landmark:Opp Manipal Hospital