With the increasing tussle of TRPs and money-making in media, Journalists focus more on creating sensation through their news. Media coverage has become central to big cities only. In this run, rarely do reporters focus on problems and issues of local areas.
While the mainstream media has failed to raise the local issues, an initiative ‘Muzaffarpur Now‘ has brought the region back to news in the digital space. Santosh Chaudhary stated ‘Muzaffarpur Now’ in October 2014 with the view to raise local issues and garner support from people and get them solved. He said, “It’s not easy to get any problem solved in small towns until local administration and politicians come under media pressure. When big media houses blatantly ignored the problems here in Muzaffarpur, then I think I should take up the call and start an initiative myself.”
The platform, which began as a Facebook page, gradually became a success among the local people. Muzaffarpur Now’s followers on Facebook have reached 8.730 lakh. It is now also available on Instagram with 76,000 followers and on YouTube with more than 26,000 subscribers. Reporting unseen and unheard, Muzaffarpur Now has become people’s favorite for any trusted local news.
While the mainstream media’s reportage is focused on either the major metros or Patna, Muzaffarpur Now is trying to report from the underrepresented sections of the Bihari society, and they are not alone. A section of young journalists has started reporting on ground issues over digital platforms. Muzaffarpur Now has also a group of aware citizens who report local issues as citizen journalists, offering a better alternative media platform.
“We just not report issues, we also try to get it solved by getting in touch with authorities. Our platform has also helped a lot of people to find their lost loved ones. Muzaffarpur Now is just not a digital media platform, it is a people’s movement”, said Santosh.
Sometimes news in English looks cool, but it has not much reach in downtrodden areas of Bihar, so Muzaffarpur Now focuses on news in Hindi for better reach and understanding. Starting in the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, Muzaffarpur Now has now started to cover the whole of Bihar.