The idea of OdishaDiary (www.orissadiary.com) started with the introspective journey of a group of young Odias living outside Odisha. Though we started brainstorming the possibility of creating a platform from 2004 onward, the actual website came online on November 11, 2005. The online media was by then emerging as a major source of information across the globe. The first decade of 21st century brought the internet revolution in the World and like a wave it touched most parts of the world with greater force, however, Odisha remained mostly untouched. During that time Odisha’s presence in national media was largely confined to the stories of poverty, death and natural calamities. We wanted to remedy this very perception. We dreamt to promote Odisha as a brand across the globe. The idea was to spread positive side of the stories of our state on the World Wide Web.
The lack of facts and news on Odisha had driven us to start OD by taking inspiration from the ever expanding world of online news. The motto was not just providing historical facts and daily updates but to create a platform that reflects the voices of resident and non-resident Odias for the betterment and a positive change in Odisha. There were no local English Language news providers in 2005, though there were national sites having a section on Odisha but they were very selective in their coverage. We decided to work for OdishaDiary so that we put Odisha on the world map. In order to achieve this OD strongly believes in developing constructive engagements with the government, civil society, media and the industry.
The entire journey has been a rollercoaster ride for all of us. The OD team draws inspiration from our founder editor Mr.Rashmi Ranjan Parida. He has been a great believer in hard work, regularity and consistency. All of us get energy from his infectious enthusiasm and incredible passion to contribute to the cause of Odisha’s development.
During the initial two to three years OD went through very tough times as getting access to materials, facts, images were extremely difficult. Moreover it was hard to continue the flow of news without any viable business model. It is no surprise that OD was born out of a dream and a strong desire to serve the state and this commitment was a personal one rather than a business venture. However, despite difficult times OD continued to work with the same unshakable belief and unwavering passion. As time passed by many new-comers and veterans joined in as volunteers to extend their support in our journey. Ground level reporting slowly became stronger. Whether this is true or not, but definitely flattering and humbling to hear that big media houses and journalists are following OD for news updates on the state.
The OD team has grown phenomenally in last few years and we have been able to reach out to many remote districts of our state. In last three to four years OD has increasingly attracted the attention of Odisha based business houses. Amongst many of the partnerships, associations with Vedant and Tata Steel in 2008 have been notable. In 2009 a content sharing collaboration was established with the Hindustan Times, a leading National Daily and Factiva, an international agency of business information owned by the American publishing giant Dow Jones and Company.
OD in these years has been an interactive platform to raise issues and policies that directly affect the state’s interest. OD has always stood behind the people who have demanded greater national share in education, health and sustainable development. OD has strongly advocated for an IIT, an AIIMS, a Central University and other institutes and brands of national repute to be located in Odisha. True to our motto, we have been steadfast in facilitating informed debate on public policy and the citizen’s response towards that.
In the meantime the success of OdishaDiary has provided the launch-pad to start similar pan-Indian and international ventures like popular education site eodishadiary, India Education Diary, India Diary, e-Indiadiary and Odia language news portal The Odishan. The Odisha Media Info Services Pvt Ltd the company that owns Odisha Diary has also registered at least 64 domains that include all state and UT diaries. The dream has been to play a national and international role from an Odia base.
In 2010 Odisha Diary was proud the media partner with ETV for the ETV PriyaOdia Programme. We have developed a mobile version of the OD, first ever to do so in Odisha and a new entertainment section has also been launched.
In 2011 OD’s work has been recognized at the national and global levels. Manthan Award in the e-media category, IIM-Ahmedabad’s appreciation of OD’ community engagement model and opening of bureaus in Mumbai and Bangalore have been notable achievements. In 2011 we have set up annual Odisha Living Legend Award and in 2014 we have set up annual Kalinga Literary Festival.
The aim remains to be a national level media house and represent our state’s interest globally. On this occasion OD invites governments, civil society, media and business houses to support and build new and expand existing partnerships. A big thank you to the OD team, our dear readers and the valued partners, who have throughout stood with us to give strength and support to OD in order to develop and promote Brand Odisha. OD’s Brand Odisha is an inclusive society built on the partnerships of government, citizens, media and the industry where everyone is committed towards the welfare of the underprivileged, minority and the needy with a deep sense responsibility towards culture, heritage and environment of Odisha.