Citizen Matters serves as a knowledge exchange with insightful reports on critical urban issues, ideas and solutions for cities, diving deep into issues which affect our quality of life, including water, commute, public safety, air quality, governance, education, environment, local economy and more.

We bring together civic media, data and diverse voices to help citizens build sustainable, equitable and liveable cities.

Our work is supported by Oorvani Foundation, a non-profit trust that works on open knowledge platforms for civic engagement and community revitalisation. Oorvani Foundation also supports Open City, an urban data platform that enables data driven decision making.

Citizen Matters was founded by Subramaniam Vincent and Meera K in 2008.

Why this initiative?

India has 10 cities with 3 million+ population and 50+ cities with a million+ population. Our cities are marked by poor quality of governance, environment, civic provisions and lack of equitable access to resources. Bad public infrastructure and service delivery, be it transport, water supply, roads, or schooling has ensured the everyday life of citizens is painful.

These urban challenges need collective action to fix them. Action has to be based on a deep understanding of issues and root causes, and changemaking. Citizen Matters provides the information, the understanding and the tools for citizens to become changemakers.

#impact

Team

Aruna Natarajan Citizen matters

Aruna Natarajan is a Staff Reporter at Citizen Matters. She lives in Chennai and writes about everyday issues and the systems that contribute to them through an urban lens.  Aruna is an Economics graduate and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism.

Before moving to civic journalism, she enjoyed stints at a think-tank and an NGO working in sports for development. She is interested in politics, policy, sports and movies. She enjoys reading and playing fantasy football.

Ekta Sawant Citizen Matters

Ekta is the Engagement Lead at Citizen Matters. She closely tracks developments in the urban space and engages with voluntary organisations and civic action groups working in areas such as water and waste management, sustainability initiatives, migration, mobility, and livelihood. 

Ekta holds a Masters in Development from APU.  She enjoys working with young people and facilitates workshops and seminars in her free time. She also enjoys mobile photography, and boasting about Bengaluru’s gorgeous weather. 

T R Gopalakrishnan Citizen Matters

T R Gopalakrishnan (TRG/Gopal) is the former Editor-In-Charge of The Week, the country’s leading English weekly newsmagazine, based in Cochin. During his 35-year stint at The Week, 29 of them as its editor, the magazine reached its highest ever circulation as per ABC. As the editor, he had overall responsibility for content selection and presentation, managing an all India editorial team of 90+ journalists. Prior to this, he worked at the Motherland, followed by stints at India Today and Hindustan Times.  

In his spare time, TRG likes to read and travel. 

Satarupa Bhattacharya Citizen Matters

Satarupa has over 16 years of editorial and content experience across a variety of genres and formats. Apart from overall editorial oversight and participation in key editorial policy-making at Citizen Matters, she ideates, edits and occasionally writes stories for the National edition of the magazine. She is also presently the editor of the Chennai chapter. She holds a Masters degree in Economics from Calcutta University and keenly follows social and development initiatives across cities in India. 

Outside of work, Satarupa loves good old classical fiction and dabbling in culinary experiments. 

Saachi Dsouza Citizen Matters

Saachi D’Souza is an Associate Editor with Citizen Matters, Mumbai. She has a background in Sociology and Anthropology and has worked in different areas, from media to publishing. 

Saachi has written on gender, health, and society. She’s been published both nationally and internationally and loves engaging with cities on a local level.

Sabah Virani Citizen Matters

Sabah Virani is a Reporter for the Mumbai chapter of Citizen Matters. She is interested in matters of labour, policy and history. She is fascinated by the gradual swell of change in institutions and ideology over time. Sabah holds a degree in Journalism. 

In the interludes, Sabah can be caught reading, watching movies or driving, rather fast.

Awards

2015

Citizen Matters  was one of three finalists in the first ever ‪#‎innovationforgood‬ award, instituted by the Centre for Work, Technology and Social Change in collaboration with SASNET at Lund University, Sweden. We received the honorary prize at the Media and Innovation Days Conference on December 9th, at New Delhi.
Citizen Matters co-founder Subramaniam (Subbu) Vincent won the John S Knight (JSK) Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for 2015-16. He is working on ways to let civic activists and urban experts systematically help newsrooms like Citizen Matters track what is happening in the city — when journalists start to report on a topic, they are fully informed and armed with the collective wisdom of the community.

2014

Citizen Matters was declared the joint winner of the Manthan Award – South Asia and Asia Pacific, instituted by the Digital Empowerment Foundation, in the e-News & Journalism category.
Citizen Matters received the Manthan Award South West India, instituted by the Digital Empowerment Foundation, in the e-News & Journalism category, for creating an online resource of news and independent coverage.
Citizen Matters won the Namma Bengaluru Award for 2013 in the Media Organisation category.

2013

Navya PK, former staff journalist at Citizen Matters was awarded the All India Environmental Journalism Competition award for her series of exposes on the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project by Mantri Developers coming up on the Bellandur wetland – Mantri’s 72 acre project encroaching Rajakaluve: IISc Report, published on May 31, 2013.

2012

Vaishnavi Vittal, former staff journalist at Citizen Matters, won the Laadli Media Award for the best Web Investigative report – Government ignores us because we aren’t educated and rich.

Citizen Matters was a finalist for Namma Bengaluru Awards, 2012.

2010

Citizen Matters was a finalist for Namma Bengaluru Awards, 2010.

2009

Supriya Khandekar, a Citizen Matters’ journalist was awarded the Young Development Journalist of the year in 2008-09, instituted by Asian Development Bank Institute, at Tokyo, Japan, for her report on the women of Gollehalli, Women of a lesser society.

2007

The idea of Citizen Matters was shortlisted by the Knight News Challenge, USA in 2007 for innovative digital ideas in community news. Citizen Matters was beta-launched in 2008.

Recognition