INMA Elevate Scholar: Aparna Seth of Newslaundry

By Paula Felps

INMA

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

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On October 28, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals around the world. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Aparna Seth didn’t set out to have a career in the media industry when she went to college.

“I studied law in my undergraduation,” she said. But then she began working in multimedia production and discovered a passion for the media industry that changed her entire path.

Aparna Seth originally studied law, but then she fell in love with the media industry.
Aparna Seth originally studied law, but then she fell in love with the media industry.

“Since 2017, I have shifted entirely to news,” Seth said. That has included working as a photo intern for The Caravan, a long-form narrative magazine, and working at the independent legal news outlet The Leaflet.

Then, after studying still photography and visual communication, Seth began working at Newslaundry, a reader-supported independent news media company in India. Today she is the company’s subscription growth manager, and she has quickly become entrenched in this aspect of the media business.

“We rely entirely on subscriptions for revenue free from corporate and government interests,” Seth said. “My work primarily focuses on retention and acquisition of subscribers. That means coming up with ways to engage with existing subscribers and strategies to increase subscription base.”

Seth believes the different positions she has held within media companies have helped her learn more about the industry, and she sees the new media industry as her future — although she may work in many different departments and wear many hats throughout her career. 

“I aspire to continue working with news outlets. I want to understand the ins and outs of news business,” Seth said. And as part of that, she sees herself continuing on a path of constant growth and learning: “I want to upskill myself to not just be an asset for the organisation I am associated with, but also for the people I interact with during the course of my career.”

One area Seth is eager to learn more about is the migration to digital platforms and how to leverage them for the good of the news media industry: “I want to be able to increase subscribers, readership, and revenue of the news organisation I am associated with. I want to understand this shift [to digital] better.”

Seth also is committed to helping newsrooms become more diverse, particularly in regard to the LGBTQI+ community:

“I realise the lack of representation of the community in the mainstream. A lot of people from the community are not hired for full-time jobs. With time and growth in the industry, I hope to be in a position where I can be in charge of recommending or hiring more LGBTQI+ folks. Being open about my identity, I feel a great responsibility on my shoulders to be a beacon for others to be part of the mainstream.”

About Paula Felps

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