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Newsbits makes Impact: Our 60 stories that broke 'media silence' in Central India

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NewsBits.in was launched in 2015. In a short period, we have broken numerous stories including scams that were either suppressed or were not being reported due to several reasons.

We reported from the ground, our series of reports drew attention on the condition of villagers during the severe drought in Eastern MP earlier this year, we focused on malnutrition and health, kept an eye on corruption.

Apart from stories and analyses, Newsbits wrote against the powerful people. The 'no one else would write' code was broken in MP journalism, as stories uncomfortable to those in power, were carried by us, and other media groups had to report them as well.

Read a selection of 60 stories from the hundreds we covered during the year:

Questioned police role, broke story from C India, later became big story, HC took cognizance.
1. Questions raised on Madkam Hidme ‘encounter’, activists say woman was gang-raped and killed

Exclusive. Ground report that drew nationwide attention on malnutrition. It became face of Oppn campaign
2. 20 days life in a bamboo basket: MP baby girl couldn’t survive the system

 

Tracking human rights violation, cop torture in conflict zone

3. Fake encounter in Chhattisgarh: Villager crucified, beaten up, shot

Keeping eye on issues related to corruption
4. ‘Pro-govt’ Lokayukta must go; whistleblower demands fair process of new appointment

5. Activists question ‘stealthy, in the dark of night’ appointment of dy Lokayukta

Stories that were not carried by other papers

6. Rule of RSS, no longer rule of law in Madhya Pradesh

7. Shorts out, RSS gets going on brown full pants; Vidarbha orders 10k pieces

8. Warning bells: Green cover of Bhopal shrinks by 77% in four decades

Rural reporting, exclusive

9. Only chapati-salt to eat, malnutrition situation worsens in drought-hit East MP

Issues. Social concern
10. 96% women denied maternity entitlement in India

We tracked status of government schemes and announcements, gave space to dissenting voices, exposed bureuacratic wrongdoings and highlighted politicians' doublespeak. We focus mainly on MP, Chhattisgarh and Vidarbha.

[Kept eye on implementation of schemes, reports of agencies, situation in rural areas]
11. Ladli Laxmi failed: Asian human rights panel hauls up MP on infanticide, foeticide

Scam
12. Whistleblower unhappy with Vyapam probe, meets CBI officials

[Issues, situation in rural areas. Social indicators, Women and children's issues]
13. Rural kids, girls most vulnerable in MP; under-5 deaths highest in country

Culture. Religion
14. Sindhu water meets Kshipra: Devotees from Pakistan attend Simhastha

Torture, Human Rights
15. Tension in Ujjain town after police publicly torture man, tie him to jeep bonnet, parade him

Custodial death, expose, police torture
16. Custodial death in MP: Kin couldn’t arrange 20k for cops, reveals audio

Exclusive
17. Cow vigilantes’ terror: Another life lost in Madhya Pradesh

18. Balaghat rerun: Now protests to dismiss cops for 'thrashing' RSS workers in Jhabua

Police torture. Human Rights
19. 'MP cops torture woman, force son to drink mother's urine'

Communal harmony. Positive story. Lifted by other websites, went viral
20. Mosques open door to Simhastha pilgrims, Muslims host Hindu devotees in Ujjain

We carried stories that were not published by other newspapers and also reported Police-RSS conflict, discrimination with Dalit children, reports about police excesses et al. There were stories exposing high and mighty, the stories which 'mainstream media' avoided.

21. Anti-alcohol, strict vegetarian Chouhan served non-veg, liquor at a Japan party

22. 379 kids die every day in MP; UNICEF report says disadvantaged most vulnerable

Taking bold stand for journalism, on issues. Gave space to dissenting voice, open letter against Facebook
23. Journo's letter to FB after he gets blocked for exposing media hoax

Bureaucracy
24. Action on bureaucrat Gangwar: Would a pro-BJP comment invite same reaction?

25. How cops with questionable role in Vyapam harddisk seizure, felicitated?

26. Gaur stings: Plays opposition in MP, embarrasses Shivraj Chouhan govt

Off-beat
27. RSS, Sena leaders spar after Nawaz Sharif effigy as 'Ravana' set afire

28. Kailash’s tweet on ‘bullock-cart Metro’ puts MP govt in soup again

Cow vigilantism
29. After Modi’s rebuke to cow vigilantes, Mandsaur women begin fight for justice

Bureaucracy
30. Senior IPS officer in MP ‘fudges’ birth date; CM orders inquiry

While we covered Simhastha, we also wrote about corruption allegations and mismanagement. We covered Investors' summit from different aspects, asking tough questions and also reported about cow vigilantes' terror. 

Off-beat
31. Bizarre: Madhya Pradesh man files police complaint against Sun for ‘harassment’

32. One in every 4 engg colleges in MP had over 80% seats vacant last session

 

33. SAPAKS on warpath against Madhya Pradesh govt over reservation in promotions

 

Social, rural reporting, issues

34. Lives snuffed by Silicosis: Kin of 342 dead, 824 affected persons in MP stare into bleak future

Corruption, Corruption of high and mighty
35. Shivraj faces heat over Simhastha corruption, Sangh seeks clarification

Stories that went viral, we broke first
36. Christian priest abducted, tied to tree, beaten in MP; Bajrang Dal workers booked

Stories others don't publish
37. In 'humble' MP CM's abode, only journos with car can drive in

Trends
38. MP youth turns social media bigwig, exposes politicians, lakhs watch his videos

Reality-check, Corruption
39. 'Shivraj govt's Global Investor Summits super-flop, just 4% investment came'

Breaking stories, scam
40. 871 medical seats allotted in 2 min after site hacked: 200 Cr scam in MP!

For us, it has been a satisfying year, as we reported from the ground, didn't go for 'link baits' or 'sensational reporting'.

Breaking, later went viral
41. Flood-inspection: Photos of Chouhan, his footwear carried by cops go viral

Breaking, Discrimination, Caste issues
42. Food discrimination with tribal students in MP school, administration acts

Corruption, Scam, Stories others didn't dare to publish
43. Unprecedented: MP Assembly question on Vyapam scam goes 'missing', then changed

Corruption, Expose, International, National, Crime, Stories others didn't dare publish
44. Breaking: Five Bhopal, three Indore businesspersons' names in Panama Papers

Sports, Interesting, Off-beat
45. Indore honours veteran cricketer for whom CK Nayudu defied Holkar Maharaja

Sports, Different aspect, Interesting
46. Thousands watch scintillating hockey, BPCL wins Obaidullah Khan cup tournament

Tracking issues. Intervention, journalism that makes difference through Twitter user
47. Sushma’s quick response may be ‘passport’ for jailed Uzbek woman’s baby

Environmental issues

48. Dangerous: Union Carbide waste contaminates groundwater in 12 more Bhopal areas 

 

Demonetization impact

49. MP: Ailing old man forced by bank to be personally present for money deposit dies

Demonetization impact

50. Demonetization crushes rural economy: MP villagers are cashless, getting fleeced

On Facebook and Twitter, we shared our stories and good overwhelming response. We consistently broke the stories from the region. Many of our stories were shared thousands of times on social networking websites. 

SIMI encounter

51. DAMNING: ATS chief's 'unarmed' stand big blow to MP govt's SIMI encounter story

SIMI encounter

52. Bhopal encounter: Protest in USA, Indian Americans want Shivraj's dismissal

Politics

53. Firmly in saddle for 11 years, Shivraj unfazed with questions on critical issues

Religious

54. Muslims from 30 countries reach Bhopal for Ijtima, lakhs attending congregation

Sexual harassment with minors

55. Bhopal: Warden accused of sexually exploiting minors but police register assault case

Tigers' deaths

56. MP turns tigers’ graveyard: 30th victim white tigress fell to botched mating attempt

Scam

57. Incriminating: IT documents show Sahara India paid Rs 10 crore bribe to ‘CM MP’

58. No crop, no work; migration only option for tribal people of Eastern Madhya Pradesh

 

Controversy

59. College expels medical student over beard in Madhya Pradesh

 

Issues

60. Nine reasons Shivraj Singh Chouhan is irked with RTI activists

We thank our readers for the support extended to Newsbits in its first year. Best wishes to all of you for the New Year. We assure you that we will continue to practice faith, ethical journalism.