Natasha Kewalramani. Founder, Director, and Editor of WTD News. Equally passionate about hydroponic farming and binge-watching garbage TV shows.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I began writing and producing animated explainer videos on current affairs as a hobby. At that time in India (i.e. 2013), there was no organization dedicated to contextual, simplified and visually-appealing videos like there was in the West (e.g. In A Nutshell, CrashCourse, etc.). WTD News was officially formed over 2 years after the initial idea, as the videos I had co-created continued to perform well on YouTube. The Indian audience was clearly hungry for this style and format of news-telling, leading me to start my own digital media initiative.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
A typical day involves sitting with the Content, Production and Marketing teams separately, going over what they’re working on, providing feedback and double-checking everything before it gets published. The Internship program at WTD News is very close to my heart, so no matter how busy my day is I make time to oversee what they’re doing, make sure they’re learning and getting the most out of this experience as they possibly can. At any given point of time, our newsroom is also working on future projects so a good 30% of my day is spent on planning.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE?
The WTD News team is small but lethal. We’re broken up into 3 main departments – Content, Production (Graphics + Animation) and Marketing. A lot of our writing is crowd-sourced while the office maintains tight editorial and artistic control.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR GO TO GET INSPIRED?
At WTD News we target the non-news reader. This is an audience that is not motivated to read the news unless it’s made simple and interesting for them to follow. Being of some service to this audience is my main inspiration. With everything I read, see or hear, I am driven to showcase the news in different, exciting and intelligent ways to them.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
‘They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds’ – it’s a Mexican proverb. Being a fledgling newsroom in India, in an industry dominated by legacy media, I am so proud that WTD News has carved out a niche and style for itself, and is being recognized for the work we’re doing.
WHAT IS THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
For many, the news can be overwhelming and confusing. Plus if you aren’t naturally pre-disposed to follow current affairs, chances are you will feel uncomfortable and embarrassed by conversations on these topics, prompting you to drop out of the conversation. WTD News tries to be the solution to this problem. We hope to see a mindset shift in India, in which intelligent discussions don’t have to be serious and intimidating.
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION OR TOOL THAT MAKES YOU THINK IT IS A GOOD DESIGN FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
I love Snapchat. The concept, interface, and tools available on this platform are great to tap into for news story-telling. Not only does it pique a users curiosity, but it is completely non-intrusive and voluntary. WTD News sees it’s highest audience engagement on this platform and that’s why we put extra love and effort into the content we create for Snapchat (follow @WTDsnaps!).
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
In the digital space, everything moves at the speed of lightning, and you will feel the pressure to do so as well. If you want to create a brand that lasts and stands the test of time, perfect your product, love the team you trust to deliver it and be patient.