Journey of an investigative media startup: How few students from Delhi University made a dent in mainstream media culture

 Journey of an investigative media startup: How few students from Delhi University made a dent in mainstream media culture

Nowadays, media startup ‘Falana Dikhana’, started under the Investigative Journalism tag on Twitter and social media platforms is being highly appreciated for its reports. The ‘Falana Dikhana’, now known as Neo Politico, which came into the limelight with its reporting on the Hathras incident, has at times surprised even big journalists with its reporting. This start-up, which has been making headlines in the media world, has managed to make a mark by publishing more than 4000 reports by the students of Delhi University in a single year.

The founder of ‘Falana Dikhana’ and ‘Neo Politico’ is 23-year-old Shubham Sharma, a student of Delhi School of Journalism, North Campus, Delhi University. According to Shubham, he was studying engineering before journalism. But from the very beginning, he did not want to do engineering. He had a lot of attachment to the social issues of the country, due to which he left BTech in a year and enrolled in journalism.

‘Falana Dikhana’ or ‘Neo Politico’ is mostly based on its own investigative reports. Shubham said that he realized the need for investigative reports in the early years of his studies in journalism when he saw the baseless reporting and quality of the mainstream media. Also, during his internship, a major media organization prevented him from writing a factual investigative report on a caste atrocity issue. 

From his University campus, in the year 2018, he started covering news at the national level. After which in the year 2019, he started covering big issues, transforming Falana Dikhna into an investigative media startup. In the recent Hathras case, the team of ‘Falana Dikhana’ had investigated the matter and changed the discussion of the entire episode. After which the government had ordered a CBI inquiry.

Shubham says that his team has used OSINT and the facts found on the ground closely in their reporting. Due to which all the media organizations had to contact him only after the report on the Hathras case.

While the investigative report of the Hathras incident established ‘Falana Dikhana’ as an alternative, in fact check this media portal has been ahead in publishing better reports than the so called established fact check websites.

Along with Shubham, Shivendra and Vikas are also two big investigative journalists in ‘Falana Dikhana’. While Shivendra is looking after everything related to politics as a political editor, Vikas fact-checks the reports being spread in the form of social tension. Vikas and Shivendra have been associated since the early days and are playing an important role in promoting the media startup.

Everyone was shocked by the investigation of the Amethi massacre

In the case of kidnapping and murder of a Dalit head in Amethi district last year, the investigation report of ‘Falana Dehna’ had shocked everyone. While all the major media organizations from the police had called it a case of murder, while ‘Falana Dikhana’ published two detailed reports on the matter and told it to be a case of suicide by setting himself on fire to implicate the other side in the electoral rivalry. Later, the police also put their stamp on the report of ‘Falana Dikhana’ and called it a case of suicide. Interestingly, in this case, before dying, Pradhan had given a statement against 4 people for kidnapping and setting him on fire, which the FD report said was baseless from the facts.

Want to expand in regional languages

The team of ‘Falana Dikhana’ soon wants to drop the tag of alternate media and establish itself as the mainstream media. For which other types of efforts are being made from raising financial assistance to establishing public contacts. After introducing ‘Falana Dehna’ in Hindi and Neo Politico in English, the team is going to try to bring its report in regional languages ‚Äč‚Äčalso so that more people can read their report with facts.

Ramesh Pasi

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