‘You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
While the young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.’
— Masters of War, Bob Dylan, 1963
EmpireDiaries.com is a current affairs monitor created by Ratna and Nadim Siraj, two India-based journalists. The website does not cover news as isolated events, but presents them from the larger perspective of corporate power and modern-day imperialism. Empire Diaries believes that seemingly unconnected news events are part of bigger, geopolitical game plans with hidden agenda.
It presents its reports in the form of articles, videos, columns, and photo series. The content comes out in English and Bangla. A recurring theme that Empire Diaries covers is how corporate empires undermine human rights, and how critical-thinking people are fighting back.
Our Brand Of Journalism: What We Believe
Born during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Empire Diaries follows 7 principles:
- It is against centralisation of power.
- It is against concentration of wealth.
- It wants siphoning of national wealth to stop.
- It does not interpret daily news as isolated events.
- It is against corporate overcontrol and state overreach.
- It denounces corporate-led loot of financial resources.
- It feels it is obligatory behaviour for people to fight back against imperialism.
The idea behind Empire Diaries sprang to life when Ratna and Nadim, as veteran media industry insiders, noticed there’s a problem with the news people consume. There’s a fleet of media outlets for people to pick news from. But few offer a bird’s eye view of how corporate imperialists run our lives. News belted out by the mainstream media lacks context. A lot more news events are being reported with increasing speed. But still, news consumers aren’t shown the larger picture. This information gap sparked the concept of Empire Diaries!
Our Agenda? To Expose Hidden Agenda
This current affairs platform has its task cut out: to tell the stories happening around us in such a way that will help readers connect the dots between seemingly unconnected news events. So that they are able to see through the smoke how corporate empires control their lives.
So, who are these modern-day empires? We can’t specifically identify them. But clearly they’re a large, widely dispersed bunch of powerful business families that control the following ‘tools’ of control: MNCs, intergovernmental organisations, industry cartels, central governments, state governments, military dictators, monarchs, political parties, religious bodies, lobby groups, multiple-country groupings, terror outfits, NGOs, foundations, established movements, and influential individuals.
Why We Can Afford To Be Unbiased
You may ask: what puts Empire Diaries in a unique position to serve this unbiased role? Why are we different from legacy media houses and so-called independent media?
There are two reasons.
Reason one: this is what the founders believe in. Having worked in the mainstream media for close to two decades, they feel something is fundamentally wrong with how news is packaged. So, they chose to move away from popular journalism to set up a current affairs platform with no strings attached at all – freely focusing on larger perspectives and the hidden agenda behind daily news.
Reason two: Empire Diaries doesn’t take advertisements from companies and governments. It doesn’t get funded by interest groups and NGOs. That’s because the platform’s work is essentially against the idea of agenda-driven funding and advertising!
Their Hands Are Tied, Ours Are Not
Legacy media companies earn revenues by taking ads from governments and corporates, and also by getting bankrolled by funding lobbies and interest groups. That’s why the mainstream media can’t and don’t serve you – because you don’t pay them. They’re obliged to serve the agenda of only those who pay them.
Of course, Empire Diaries requires money to run! How else can we take our style of journalism forward? We have decided we’ll have only one source of funding – that is you, our follower. If you like our style of journalism and make contributions from time to time you are comfortable with, it is you who will get served – not corporates, governments and funding groups.
Ratna is a journalist with close to two decades of experience in reporting, anchoring and producing news shows in New Delhi, Kolkata and Muscat. As a TV reporter, she covered primetime news for many years. She worked at ABP News/ABP Ananda, Times of India and India Today Group. She has written for PARI, The Indian Express, Times Of India, Ananda Bazar Patrika and Asian Age. She co-authored a book on Greece: Into The Sunset: Rediscovering Greece. Kolkata-born Ratna currently resides in Delhi-NCR. The Kolkata-born journalist is also a documentary filmmaker. Her independent films were screened in national and international festivals.
Nadim is an author, journalist, and columnist who spent his career collecting compelling stories across India, West Asia, Africa and Europe. He worked at Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Statesman and Muscat Daily. Based in Delhi-NCR, Kolkata-born Nadim wrote the 2019 book Secret Notes From Iran: Diary Of An Undercover Journalist and also co-authored Into The Sunset: Rediscovering Greece with Ratna. As a reporter, he has covered issues such as the economic collapse of Greece, poverty in Kenya, life in Egypt, post-apartheid South Africa, and Nepalese life under Maoist control. He occasionally writes columns for CGTN.