The Kashmir Walla needs you, urgently. Only you can do it.
We have always come to you for help: The Kashmir Walla is battling at multiple fronts — and if you don’t act now, it would be too late.
2020 was a year like no other and we walked into it already battered. The freedom of the press in Kashmir was touching new lows as the entire population was gradually coming out of one of the longest communication blackouts in the world.
The last five months of 2019 were exceptionally challenging. While we kept on reporting and writing despite serious odds, the lockdown had pushed us into a serious financial crunch. There was no money. There was a moment when shutting down our operations seemed the only option. We aren’t dependent on government advertisements. We don’t also seek such advertisements as a policy.
This was also the time when the established media crawled and crumbled in front of the government pressure, The Kashmir Walla persevered.
We applied for international journalism grants and, luckily, we were funded by Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, an international body working for freedom of right to information, for a year. And more than 200 people supported us as subscribers through our membership model that was launched in 2020 spring. That’s how we sustained.
Today, all our resources have dried up, almost. We would have shut down if it wasn’t for you, the readers, who give us strength. It was your solidarity that kept us going through these trying times. It was your support that empowered us to exclusively keep on breaking important stories. We honestly and fairly covered human rights violations, surveillance, identity politics, health as COVID-19 rattled the Valley, and accountability — in multiple mediums, including texts, video, and audio.
Our free and fair journalism didn’t come without a price. We were harassed, intimidated, summoned to police stations for questioning repeatedly, our reporters were beaten up and we were consistently threatened with arrest and jail. We have an FIR against us for our reportage. This intimidation, however, didn’t deter us and we did not allow censorship to prevent truth reach our readers.
Today, we are in need of more than moral support and it is urgent. The international journalism grant that kept us going has almost finished. We have no money to spend on our newsgathering. Our staff doesn’t get fat salaries. The group of young reporters and editors, who form The Kashmir Walla, have been working with the sole purpose to keep writing and reporting freely and passionately.
We request you – our readers – to come forward and help us with whatever little you can offer to subscribe to The Kashmir Walla. You have been regularly complimenting us for objective and brave reportage and upholding the highest standards of journalism during these dark times. We promise to keep reporting and writing without fear or favor. Please come forward and contribute to keeping The Kashmir Walla running.
We are not a big organization. A few thousand rupees from each one of you would make a huge difference.
In this new year, tougher times stare us in the face. There are a lot of fresh challenges. The laws are changing at an unprecedented rate. Hundreds of people are still incarcerated and hardly anybody talks about them. politicians are kept in and out of preventive custody, activists are being raided and locked up, and Kashmir is undergoing one of the worst economic and unemployment crises. With such a situation, the role of a professional, unbiased, and informed media publication becomes even more pivotal.
The Kashmir Walla plans to extensively and honestly cover — break, report, and analyze — everything that matters to you. You can help us.
Editor in Chief