After more than five years in reporting with three national newspapers in four metro cities, Gangadhar Patil realized what mainstream media is missing and he started a venture 101reporters.com, which is an online platform for journalists to pitch story ideas to be matched with publications in October 2015.
Gangadhar Patil is a native of Belagavi but has studied all over the country due to his parent’s job postings. At 33, Gangadhar tried his hand at government jobs, had even run for politics. But in journalism, he saw an opportunity which he thought he could clasp.
Recently he spoke at the Fellows Session at TED2019: Bigger Than Us in Vancouver Canada.
101Reporters is based out of Bengaluru as an Off-Road Media Pvt Ltd venture, is an attempt to bring grassroot journalists across the country on a common platform for wider publication of stories that matter. We are building an interface for grassroots journalists to share their stories which are curated by our team of experienced editors before sharing them with existing publishers on a subscription basis.
Gangadhar says, In the process, we would not only recognize the tireless work that our grassroot reporters are doing in tough terrains but also earn an extra bit for a better living.
He further adds The platform will also help the freelance journalist to connect with publishers who would be interested in their work. Being a freelance journalist for past 10months, I know the problems faced by an independent journalist in terms of compensation. Our attempt is to ensure the work of freelance journalists are valued and paid for.
Gangadhar has worked with The Economic Times as Senior Correspondent mainly covering RTI, Law Ministry & CAG beats. After being trained in journalism from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore, in 2010, he began journalism career with The New Indian Express, Chennai. During one year stint with Express, he also served as Express correspondent in Coimbatore and reported briefly for Bangalore Bureau. He also worked with the Local In news Belagavi.
He later joined DNA, Mumbai in 2011 as part of its Investigations Bureau and worked for two years before coming to New Delhi and worked here until December 2013. After completing graduation in Commerce from Bangalore University in 2005 for the next four years I actively involved in anti-corruption movements in Bangalore and my native, Belagavi.
On the 101 Reporters website journalists fill out a form with details, including their story topic, why it’s important and how long they expect it will take to finish.
Patil personally reviews these submissions. If the idea is approved, the story is edited and pitched to a publication, to appear with the reporter’s byline. As long as the reporter makes the deadline, they are paid by 101, even if the story isn’t published.
101 Reporters is currently a vibrant network of more than 500 journalists all over India that grew organically. “Anything in isolation is not important,” says Patil, “but you can do wonders with a network.”
Saikat Datta, South Asia editor for Asia Times, says, “Because of people like Gangadhar Patil, we have solid journalism.” Asia Times has been buying stories from 101 since December 2017. “It’s real democratization of news, which tends to be urban [and] privileged. 101 attempts to move beyond that.”
Patil was one of a handful of journalists from around the world at this year’s TED conference —home to the famous TED Talks — speaking about how they’re fighting for independent journalism in their countries.