Response to citizen journalist

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This is the formal response of the Citizen Matters editorial team to allegations made by Sandeep Anirudhan of Bengaluru. Mr Anirudhan has contributed four citizen articles in the last 2 years – his work can be found here. https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/author/sandeepanirudhan 

On Oct 11th, Mr Anirudhan submitted an article — an in-depth analysis on the new BBMP bill (a longer version of his article which was published in the Times of India earlier), by directly logging in into the Citizen Matters’ content management system. The author made a number of additional edits before the editorial team took over. 

Our consulting editor, TR Gopalakrishnan (former editor in charge of The Week) edited the article and our desk editor, award-winning journalist Navya PK published it after a final copy edit. 

The version last edited by the author had 2568 words. Post the edits, the article is at 2051 words. The article provided 10 points of the BBMP Bill’s shortcomings — all these points have been retained, while some repetitive and superfluous lines were edited out. The overall structure and spirit of the article remains intact.

The article has been published here: Opinion: Can BBMP Bill be an opportunity to usher in ‘swaraj’ in Bengaluru?

Once the article had been published, Mr Anirudhan contacted Citizen Matters’ team asking for changes in the images that our team had used with the article (which were not supplied by Mr Anirudhan), as well as in the headline. These requests were acceded to. 

Once again, Mr Anirudhan contacted the team, asking that the article be taken down, pending further reviews and changes from him. 

However, unpublishing articles is against journalistic integrity, and we are unable to take such a step, in the absence of any serious factual errors found after publishing. Authors are free to point out factual mistakes if any, and the corrections will be made, with an errata.

We stand by our editorial process; submissions from all authors – whether professional journalists or citizen contributors, go through the same process. We review, fact check and copy edit to ensure accuracy, balance and readability. Our work has been acknowledged and appreciated by our discerning audience as well as peers in the civic and media space. 

We believe in bringing multiple citizen voices to a free and open public platform, and believe we have done it with commitment and honesty over the years.

The author is welcome to provide factual corrections he may want to make as erratum/addendum, which the editors will review and consider such requests on merit. 

Update, 1/Nov/2020

Following differences with Mr Sandeep Anirudhan of Bengaluru regarding his article on “Can BBMP Bill be an opportunity to usher in ‘swaraj’ in Bengaluru?”, we have decided to revert to the unedited version, since the author says he is not in agreement with editorial changes made by Citizen Matters.

Any voluntary or commissioned submission to Citizen Matters, automatically confers the right to edit and publish to the publication. For more details, check our Terms and Conditions.

The relationship between an editor and author has to be based on mutual trust.

At the same time, we reiterate unpublishing articles is against our policy and journalistic integrity. In order to provide closure to the matter, we are reverting the article to the unedited version.

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