Education and Public Engagement

Nature in Mass Media

Illustration: Janhavi Rajan

We reach out to the larger public by developing series of articles and columns on nature appreciation in mass media platforms

Although there are ongoing efforts to bring nature to children through birds (Early Bird), there is far too little effort to bring birds and nature to the larger public in a variety of media, and in particular in non-English languages.

We develop strategic partnerships with mass media platforms and news organizations to spread awareness and appreciation of our collective natural heritage amongst the public. The thought is to find new avenues for India’s nature and birds experts in mass media and develop a sense of camaraderie and community around nature content that goes beyond individual organizations. The overarching result we seek from these initiatives is to inculcate a love and wonder towards nature and birds in the general public.

In this project, we actively reach out to editors in top Indian media in all languages and mediums (print and digital), pitching them a series of articles we want to develop with them. Once an editor is interested, we reach out to our community of experienced nature writers (within and outside NCF), develop the stories with them, find appropriate photographs and coordinate between our creators and the editors. We also work on topical stories for editors, liaising between the scientific community and media.

In 2020 we initiated, developed and got articles and columns published in different media platforms. Themes ranged from technologies that ecologists and wildlife researchers use, heroes of conservation, to experiential advice on how to do birdwatching from the balcony. We worked with the print edition of NavGujarat Samay (Gujarati) to do a series on Birds of Gujarat. We also initiated a series on Balcony Birding on Amar Ujala Digital and one on birds of Maharashtra with The Wire Marathi. In the English media, we did a series on nature research and technology with NDTV Gadgets and on conservation heroes with The Better India. We also initiated an article on ethical wildlife photography in HT Mint.

This initiative is ongoing and we are constantly on the lookout for responsible editors who want to increase awareness of nature in their media. If you would like some nature content for your platform, please get in touch with us.

Mass Media Series in 2020

GUJARATI: Birds of Gujarat, Nav Gujarat Samay (Print)

Nav Gujarat Samay is a daily newspaper in Gujarati by the Times Group and it has a circulation of about 1,48,000. We pitched a series of stories on ‘Birds of Gujarat’ by nature writers of Gujarat. The stories were featured every month from SEPTEMBER to DECEMBER 2020. The series will continue in 2021.

HINDI: Balcony Birding, Amar Ujala (Digital)

Amar Ujala is a top ranking Hindi website amongst all Hindi publishers. As per the June Comscore Report they had 500 Mn+ page views and 65 Mn+ unique visitors. We pitched a series of stories on ‘Balcony Birding’ by nature expert writers throughout India in Hindi. We have also received a contribution for this series from Rohini Nilekani. The series is ongoing.

पक्षियों और मनुष्यों का आपसी संबंध by Rohini Nilekani (Translated by: Raman Kumar)

घर बैठे पक्षी निहारने का आनंद और प्रकृति का सानिध्य by Chandra Bhushan Maurya

बालकनी से नजर आती पक्षियों की अनूठी दुनिया और प्रकृति की सुंदर रचना by Shobita Asthana

जब नन्ही सी मुनिया फुदक कर बालकनी में आ बैठी..! by Shoma Abhyankar

कोरोना संकट और लॉकडाउन: पक्षियों की रोचक दुनिया का अनूठा जीवन by Vikram Singh

पक्षियों का रंगमंच: मेरे घर से अवलोकन by Hittarth Raval

कोरोना संकट और प्रकृति: कौन देस से आए ये पंछी, क्या-क्या सुख लाए ये पंछी Summary Blog

पंछियों की दुनिया और एक अनूठा पक्षी प्रेमी by Avaneesh Shukla

पक्षियों की दुनिया और मेरी बालकनी, एक संसार जो मोहक है..! by Ritesh R Jaiswal

MARATHI: Birds of Maharashtra, The Wire (Marathi)

The Wire (Marathi) website has 5 lakh+ views monthly and each article gets 2K-3K views. We invited our Marathi nature writers to write stories on Birds of Maharashtra. The series started in November 2020 and will be ongoing in 2021.

ENGLISH: Conservation and Technology, NDTV Gadgets (Digital)

We pitched and developed a special series on ‘Nature Conservation and Technology’ for NDTV Gadgets. They have an audience of 40 million monthly visitors. A total of 11 articles, written by top researchers in the country were published in this. Each article received an average of 5K views. The series ran from August to October 2020 and has now been completed.

Stories by various researchers were published in their Science Features section, under this series:

From Porpoise Detectors to 'Hawkeyes', How Technology Empowers Ecology by Imran Samad

How a Portable Microscope Is Helping Study Diseases in Wildlife and Livestock in the High Himalayas by Munib Khanyari

Locus Maps App: Finder of Lost Phones and Great for Surveys Too by Rohit Pansare

How Scientists Use the Fulcrum App to Collect Data in the Field by Ganesha N and Sanjay Gubbi

Camera Traps and Motion Sensors Show the Wacky Side of Wildlife by Tara Rajendran

High Tech Meets Jugaad in the Jungle to Study Agumbe's Flying Dragons by Pranav Khandelwal

Using Bioacoustics to Unlock the Ecological Information in Soundscapes by Pooja Choksi

Research in the Wild: AI, Leopards and Photobombs by Amrita Menon, Sanjay Gubbi and Phalguni Ranjan

Locus in Focus: One Scientist's Story About Navigating in the Wild by Prashant Mahajan and Juno Negi

ENGLISH: Heroes of Conservation, The Better India (Digital)

We created a pitch and developed a series of stories on the heroes in conservation to editors at The Better India. As part of this initiative, connections were enabled between The Better India journalists and conservationists and details about conservationists who are doing exceptional on-field work were shared from the field of wildlife and conservation. The series is ongoing.

Rajasthan Man Rode Over 1,200 Km to Save Endangered Vultures & Tigers!

Bengal Woman Takes on Ritual Hunters, Rescues Over 300 Wild Animals

This Assamese Man Has Spent the Last 23 Years Saving the World’s Tiniest Pig

VARIOUS: Standalone Articles

To ensure that new research and developing trends in ecology and biodiversity reaches a new audience, we pitch news to editors, share contacts of experts, and initiate conversations about upcoming issues in ecology and conservation. For researchers, we have a ready database of media contacts that we can share to ensure article publication around different nature topics. In 2020, the following standalone articles were published thanks to this effort.

>> Fueling Change, an article by Phalguni Ranjan on climate change and ecology was published in Fundamatics, an e-magazine, IITB Alumni Association.

>> Mint Lounge on Ethical Photography written by their journalist. The article was initiated by us. We pitched and discussed the idea with the editor and provided contacts from within the community for this.

Are you a newspaper or media platform?

Are you a publisher or a newspaper? If you need fantastic content on nature and birds for your online platform or print magazine, we can connect you to writers, photographers and multimedia creators who specialize in nature and birds appreciation. Write to jignasa@ncf-india.org for your requirements.