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.
Arathi Manay Yajaman supports the Mumbai chapter of Citizen Matters as a Community Anchor. She is also a market research professional and financial consultant, and has rich experience in local civic matters and community volunteering – citizens’ problems, apartment management, waste management, lake management and the like.
She was a national-level basketball player in her college days and still participates in veterans basketball and athletics.
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.
N Bhanutej’s career in journalism spans 26 years, beginning with The Times of India, and across The Indian Express, The Week magazine, Al Jazeera and The Economic Times. As a member of The Week’s investigative team, he produced many talking-point cover stories: the hoax of narco-analysis, mysterious deaths in nuclear establishments, how Indira Gandhi hushed up a nuclear leak, illegal mining in Bellary, to name a few. As city editor with The Economic Times, he anchored coverage of civic issues for the business daily, an experiment that brought more readers to the paper.
A keen photographer and wildlife watcher, he penned the script for ‘Wild Dog Diaries’, an award-winning documentary produced for the National Geographic channel in 2006.
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.
Navya has 12 years of experience in journalism, covering development, urban governance and education. She was earlier Senior Journalist, Citizen Matters, and Reporter, The New Indian Express. She has also freelanced for publications such as The News Minute, Factor Daily and India Together.
Navya won the All India Environment Journalism Award, 2013 for her investigative series on the environmental violations of an upcoming SEZ in Bengaluru, published in Citizen Matters. She also won the PII-UNICEF fellowship in 2016 to report on child rights in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Navya has an MA in Political Studies (JNU), and a PG Diploma from the Asian College of Journalism. She enjoys travelling and exploring new places, and is always looking for new interests to dabble in.
Raksha Kumar is an award winning multimedia journalist, focusing on human rights and gender. Since 2011, she has reported from 11 countries across the world and a hundred districts in India. She is also a documentary filmmaker, a Fulbright Scholar and a Chevening Fellow. She was the joint winner of Chameli Devi Jain award, 2015-16 for her work on land acquisition and forest rights.
Raksha is the Consulting Editor of our Mumbai Chapter, a role in which she intends to capture the Mumbai madness in its entirety. She is a keen follower of interesting recipes and rare films
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.
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.
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