Hafta letters: Farmer protests and the subscriber-funded news model

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

ByNL Team
Hafta letters: Farmer protests and the subscriber-funded news model
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Hello Team,

Subscriber here. The News Minute did not open up their subscription for NRIs for a long time and when they did, the pricing was in dollars. The Caravan and The Ken also have pricing in dollars. The Scroll has it in Indian rupees. The Hindu does not allow subscriptions for NRIs. Is there some special permission that media outlets have to get, to receive subscriber money from NRIs or foreigners? How does Newslaundry do it?

Thank you

Kind Regards



Hi Newslaundry team,

I'm a new subscriber of Newslaundry and just want to say kudos to the team for adhering to true journalism. I moved overseas 3 years ago and to be honest didn't care much about the ruling government at the time. Modi was seen as a welcome CHANGE and change was all it was. As a person who's now on the outside looking in, I am sad to see our country deteriorating on almost every front whether its health, economy, environment or basic human rights.

I'm a cynic by birth and believe things will only get worse before it gets better. This dangerous wave of religious extremism and lack of tolerance is resonant of a global shift. But one thing that scares me the most is how a generation of educated, well read, well-travelled millennials like us, refuse to take the saffron blinders off and address real issues. It breaks my heart when I speak to an Indian colleague/acquaintance/friend who truly believes that the Modi government has done more good for the country than harm. Those who listen to the voice of reason know this is far from the truth. While my approach earlier was to get into a heated debate, now it is just to address facts and ask for evidence. When you ask a blind bhakt to provide evidence for their argument, they are indignant. I have also started cutting off bigoted friends and family who are anti-muslim. Such people are often fuelled by hatred and not logic. I feel conversation and meaningful exchange is the only way to bring about awareness. I have even gifted a Newslaundry subscription to my parents so that they can turn off the white noise (otherwise known as primetime news). While it seems almost impossible to address all the issues Indians are facing right now I’m glad we are starting somewhere. You have always got a supporter in me as long as you continue to do the work that you’re doing!



From the land down under.



I have been following Newslaundry since the last 7 years from my fun engineering college days in Chandigarh to my not so fun professional life in the San Francisco Bay area. I have been an on and off subscriber since then. This is my first mail and it is out and out NL appreciation mail. Newslaundry has played a major role in shaping my intellectual growth. I admire everyone in the NL team, but this mail is specifically for Abhinandan and Manisha Pande.

Abhinandan , I have been a great admirer of all the ventures that you were part of from NL to HOMP (big fan of Rocky and Mayur) to Gustaki Maaf on NDTV to the behind the scenes part you played in Monsoon Wedding ( one of my favorite movies) . Your opinions on almost all issues have been resonating with me since the last 7 years but the one I would like to mention is your opinion on Suhel Seth that you mentioned in one of your earlier Haftas :P.

Ms. Manisha Pande. I think she is the star of Newslaundry because of obvious reasons. Recently, Tahira Kashyap Khurana posted a picture of Manisha, Ayushmann and herself on instagram. I was so pleasantly surprised seeing that picture as all the people I admire were in it.

I get happy and proud when I get to hear from Newslaundry from the people around me without me mentioning it to them first .Most of the credit for this goes to Ms. Pande's Newsance.

One last thing, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend who has been pestering me to read/watch Hillbilly Elegy, I only succumbed after Abhinandan suggested it in the last Hafta.

Keep up the great work.


Aman Tyagi


Hello Newslaundry Team,

Inderpreet here from Mohali, Punjab.

I’ve been a subscriber for the last 2 years now. I got most of my information on the farmer protest issue thanks to your ground reportage. Wonderful reporters by the way.

I told my family members to subscribe too and so they did.

People have the resources to spend on good quality journalism and I thank you for providing such a service to us.

May you grow and prosper !


Dear Team NL Hafta,

I loved your coverage of the farmers protests. It was quite disturbing to hear the views of the email last time basically ranting about the inconvenience protests cause. It is a sign of privilege when people's lives are literally at stake and you care about being 5 minutes late to a place. Also, I am tired of the "This is not the right way to protest" argument because the state has a monopoly on violence and the privileged middle class has a lack of empathy, In India, this is why the caste system still exists, the sheer apathy towards the lower classes and castes is staggering. Therefore, the last resort left is a peaceful but disruptive protest because people nobody seems to care otherwise. 300,000+ farmers have died in 3 decades but people are happily dining at five stars and oh! now they want to give us shit about inconvenience? utter BS.

Here in France, we love protesting, we just organised one against a law that was passed which did not allow anyone to take videos of policemen on duty and the government had to backtrack, given our history of what we do to people who act like kings *winks* Last point: protests should be stop being labelled as anti-national and put up with by the privileged class or stop calling yourself a democracy.

"There is no right way to protest, because that is what protest is" - Trevor Noah on the Black Lives Matter protests. Recommendation:


Warm Regards,

Hemal Thakker


Dear Newslaundry team,

The past 4 months, every Saturday I look forward to my Spotify time with the NL Hafta team during my evening walk. Also it is such an immersive experience and i feel i know all of you Manisha, Abhinandan, Raman, Mehraj, Anang and Jayashree and the other guests. I love the intelligence, depth, candour and respect you have for each other. I am also impressed with Abhinandan entrepreneurial skills to sustain a subscriber-led media model for the past seven years. As an entrepreneur myself I know it is tough. Also Nidhi Suresh's interview with Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union was an eye opener.

Now my two tropes - your assault on Yogendra Yadav makes no sense. I had tweeted this to you also. I personally have no connection in any sort with him, but belief in communication and articulation in today's time is critical. And if he does provide clarity, it is valuable for the stakeholders he is talking on behalf. As it is we have very few people who are decent in public life and well meaning journalists like yourselves do a big disservice by trashing him

Secondly you had discussed this in the past (Hafta 305), but you must pursue an ad model with products and services that are aligned - conscious products, artisans, health lifestyle, software, hardware..for e.g. Spotify. Advertising is not bad..advertising dictating editorial decisions is non-negotiable

Keep up the awesome work.

Best regards,


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