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“I want to either create an impact or I'm not a journalist”: Navya Singh

As a teenager, it becomes difficult to decide what one wants to choose as their career. Similarly was the case with Navya Singh, who, as a 16 year-old didn’t know what she wanted to pursue in her career and she tried her hands at many things. For her graduation at Christ University, Bangalore she studied a combination of Media, Economics and Political Science. That’s when she decided that she wanted to get into journalism, giving her an avenue to challenge herself. While working with news channels like India Today, Times of India, The Logical Indian and The Quint, a lot of her good stories were dropped because it was assumed that they didn’t have the potential to go viral. Later, she realised that working with other organizations would mean working according to them, which wouldn’t allow her to make any difference. As she said, I want to either create an impact or I'm not a journalist.”

That was exactly why she thought of starting her own channel, which would allow her to share stories that needed to be shared while making a difference. She runs her channel called ‘News with Navya’ which mainly focuses on climate change.

“Everything that we do is affected by climate change and everything that we will do in the future will affect climate change. What you eat, what you wear, where you go and how you travel, the kind of company you work for, or the environmental disasters where you live. I think everything is impacted by climate change,”

she mentioned when asked why her main focus is on climate change. When she started talking about climate change, people told her that there was nothing much to talk about. But today, NewswithNavya has completed 76 episodes of ‘The Good News Show’ which focuses on climate change- not just the negative, but also the positives.

It was a difficult journey for Navya to leave her salaried job and build her startup with zero funds. It was a big risk in terms of financial liabilities. as NewswithNavya is not funded by any big company or political parties. But she has a supportive family and team at work, who had her back in all ways possible. Her team is always enthusiastic about covering the news and working for the organisation. 

While talking about the stories they have covered, she mentioned one about the Hasdeo Forest.

“There's this forest called Hasdeo forest in Chhattisgarh which is being cut down, damaged and completely cleared off for a mining project… and this is not a new development. It's been going on for the past 10 to 12 years and people in Hasdeo have been fighting for it every day.” 

Such stories are usually rejected by big news channels because they think they’ll not go viral. Platforms like NewswithNavya become a medium to share these unheard voices. News with Navya has received recognition from Harvard University where ‘Good News’ got them featured on a list which consisted of 17 individuals across the world, Navya being the only Indian to be featured there. They also got featured in an article by the BBC, early into their journey of setting up News with Navya. “It was a brilliant moment for us, and apart from that the support and the kind of engagement that we receive. We started off crowdfunding. We started off as a news organisation that was passionate about climate action and we asked people for their support and contributions for our stories”, shared Navya. 

There are times when it is exhausting to balance both work and personal life, but the results and engagement have always motivated the team to continue working and publish the news. There are days when Navya prefers relaxing and not touching her laptop because she believes she needs a break to work better.

A piece of advice Navya shares with the youth is, “You should do what makes you happy and believe that you are making the impact you always wanted to. Also, at a young age, you shouldn’t stress yourself too much as things will work out as you grow.”

Written by Shweta Choudhary

Shweta wrote this article as a participant of the Media-Makers Fellowship's April'24 cohort.

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