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.
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 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.
Aruna Natarajan is an Associate Editor at Citizen Matters Chennai. She lives in Chennai and writes and edits stories about urban systems and policies. Aruna has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Stella Maris College and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism.
Before moving to civic journalism, she enjoyed stints at a think-tank, Transparent Chennai, and an NGO, Slum Soccer. She is interested in politics, policy and sports. She enjoys reading and watching movies and cheering on Chelsea FC from afar.
Shobana Radhakrishnan is a Senior Reporter at Citizen Matters. Prior to this, she worked with The New Indian Express as a Reporter in Madurai. Shobana holds a Bachelors in English Literature and a Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism from Pondicherry Central University.
She is interested in writing on humans with a multidisciplinary approach towards understanding their roots and culture. At times of repose, one could find her away from the digital world.
Padmaja Jayaraman is a Reporter at Citizen Matters. She has worked as a freelance journalist previously. She is also a rank holder in MA Journalism and Mass Communication, specialising in magazine production, from Kristu Jayanti College, Bengaluru.
With a background in chemistry and physics in her undergraduate studies, Padmaja keenly tracks environmental and scientific developments in Chennai, among other things.
During her leisure, she reads books and makes memes.
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.
Citizen Matters was a finalist for Namma Bengaluru Awards, 2010.
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.
- 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.
- Citizen Matters: A successful model for a citizen journalism news site – International Journalists’ Network, March 2015
- Citizen Matters: A local news outlet for Bengaluru – Mint, January 2015
- Mint features Citizen Matters in its write-up about the Manthan Awards: Digital innovators honoured at Manthan, December 2014
- Citizen Matters described as Bangalore’s watchdog e-magazine by the Washington Post, April 2013
- The BBC covers Citizen Matters. Journalist Jamillah Knowles also blogs and features Citizen Matters in a radio show.
- “Based in Bangalore [Citizen Matters] is well integrated mix of traditional Journalism and citizen Reporting” – Jamillah Knowles BBC U.K, August 2009
- “Apart from the impact of individual stories themselves, though, Citizen Matters has also pioneered in India a model community journalism that may see as the inevitable future” – Mint, National business daily, November 2008