Visthar Media Research and Activist Forum® was born as a result of decades of media
research found that the seamless boundaries of media content and activism converge at the
last frontiers of robust, professionally guided vigorous research.
Be it a press conference or documentary filmmaking, radio talks or photo shoots, thorough
research of facts, concepts helps in lending more weight, more credibility of the content.
The content can engage the reader / viewer / listener or interactive participant only if it
retains the focus and attention of the target audience. In the era of the internet and 24X7
TV channels the role of robust research in retaining the attention span of the discrete
viewer / listener / reader is very challenging for us in the Fourth Estate.
Such robust professionally focussed research enhances the weight and credibility of media
content and can actually constructively contribute to creating solutions. Media being the
fourth pillar of Democracy when backed with research and resources for proactive
constructive activism can contribute a mighty bit to the strengthening of society. Activism
ought to take off where Media trails off due to professional detachment. Credible content
can win over an antagonist with reasonable and plausible – wholly plausible perspectives.
While death penalty is an extreme form of sensational debate for instance, robust debate
avoiding sensationalism can help us atleast reach plausible solutions…similarly the question
of indigenous peoples… politically right perspectives apart, questions need to be asked,
solutions need to be found…. Towards this end indeed the Media is a powerful tool for
change. Imagine treating such issues in robust multimedia engagement… I have reason to
believe that sustained credible campaigns can stymie the rot in the corrupt world order.
Enforcement against symptoms only is not going to provide solutions unless the root cause
is eliminated – be it any disorder, drugs, death penalty or diabetes.
This is my experience as a freelance photojournalist, writer and filmmaker remains the
challenge staring at Media / Fourth Estate. Issues ranging from biodiversity to indigenous
peoples’ issues, water and sanitation, poverty, wildlife issues, climate change, public health
issues, freedom from corruption needs intellectual engagement and exercising of the non-
linear parametres within the skull of intelligent humans – to find lasting solutions for the
conflicts plaguing humanity.
I have myself reported on anthropogenic conflict in a biodiversity hotspot – the Western
Ghats in India, I have reported on indigenous people, developmental polemics, enviro legal
issues, public health, poverty being the montage for HIV, compensatory afforestation and
the politics of reforestation, unsustainable fisheries, application of scientific tools for
development, sustainable development, disaster management climate change and cropping
patterns solid waste management, water crisis, poaching of wildlife, habitat destruction
human animal conflict and so on for 2.5 decades. After I started contribution to IPS in 2007
my exposure, engagement and understanding of global issues increased, while
simultaneously reinforcing my determination to find solutions. Knowing the shortfalls and
challenges we in the Media face, I honed my skills to make credible content plausible in the
journey towards universal solutions…
These are the thoughts that marinated in my chest for atleast two decades and then I
requested for like – minded thinkers to join hands and sign up for registration of a not for
profit organisation – Visthar Media Research and Activist Forum. I do passionately hope that
we will be able to put together credible research based solutions to the ills facing our
planet. Integral, inclusive growth is the backbone of a prosperous society. The Media plays a
pivotal role in such growth.
To be able to reach out / preach to the unconverted we need not just the reach and
dexterity of different media…. Print media, photos, web, advertising, radio, TV and social
media … but also constructive / proactive well guided activism to supplement intellectual
engagement. This kind of proactive activism and constructive engagement we hope will also
lead to capacity building of human resources that need to be engaged for universal
Even passive activism like documentation can be progressive and constructive. It also makes
for meaty media content! That should explain why the Media needs activists – to energise
its content… On that note, cheers to winning your trust and support to do better than our
best…It is also our fond hope that our media content will inspire change… inspiring