media and also through the website. Last year we carried out crowdfunding

twice and through that our networks also increased’, says Disha.

Khabar Lahariya does reach additional readers through its digital

channels, including its website, Facebook page, and Twitter handle. But print

distribution still has the highest reach. Internal data suggest its monthly reach

on Facebook, for example, is around 40,000 viewers, less than half of the

estimated weekly print readership. Mrinalika Roy looked into the digital

distribution strategy of Khabar Lahariya as part of a research project done at

the Sarai Program at CSDS and concluded that, while access is still an

obstacle, the rapid dissemination means this is less and less of a barrier.

Instead, the issue is that many rural mobile internet users find other online

offers more compelling than local news. One of the local people Roy spoke to

asks polemically, ‘Do you think these young boys [with mobile phones] will

access the Khabar Lahariya website, read the articles and share them with

others?’ 53 Instead, a large part of Khabar Lahariya’s digital strategy seems

focused on fundraising – the top of its website, for example, prominently

features an inspiring video in English about the newspaper itself and the

work it does (rather than a local news story in a local language or dialect): see

screenshot. Having a website and various social media accounts help make

the newspaper more visible well beyond its circulation area, and the site is

used to solicit both individual donations and sponsorship.

Screenshot from (5 Apr. 2016).



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