Are you on our social media pages? If not, I would say get on it at the earliest possible. It offers readers the opportunity to interact, engage and connect with the newsroom in real time, along with walking away with several offers.
For Facebook, you just need to type in Gulf News on a search engine and you will be directed to our page - please ensure that it is the verified presence, by checking for a little tick mark near the top. For Twitter you can follow us on @GNReaders and for Instagram it is #GulfNews.
Reader interactivity has expanded and so have we. With nearly a million likes, our Facebook page is one of the newest and most active channels for reader conversation. Community reports are one of the oldest initiatives by us, driven by the same purpose. Discover how the old and new merge.
Created to promote transparency and accountability, Community Reports has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The volume of articles is testament to this growth.
We hope you embrace our social media interactivity initiatives with equal gusto and continue to be active partners in this effort. It has a single-minded agenda - hyper local content that matters to you, our readers. So, without you, it is a bit of a pointless exercise. Hoping to see all of you there ...
Moving on to this month’s winners, the report, ‘‘Share ‘N’ Care’ library comes to the aid of neighbourhood children’, published on March 19 highlighted a young man’s work to better his community and those less priviledged. The Dubai-based student Vivekanandhan M.N. has set up a library at home to help people build a love of reading. Functioning with his own inventory and gifts, the little home library has over 30 members. All things big and small help make our world a better place to live in. Vivekanandhan proves that. We congratulate him on his placement as top winner for the March competition.
Second place goes to a personal favourite, because it is about the joy of gardening - the report titled ‘Leftover vegetables put to productive use’, published on March 25. Filed by Rema Manohar, a medical professional based in Dubai, the report was an eye-opener to many, including me, who presume that having a garden, let alone fruiting plants is a near impossible dream in today’s world of urban highrises. She works with leftover vegetable scraps from the kitchen - nothing too complicated or expensive. With clever management, Manohar has created a tiny oasis in her home. It just shows that initiative is more than half the battle won. We hope that her report has inspired others to follow suit.
Third place goes to the March 9 report, ‘Lack of civic sense on display’, by Manoj Kumar. The article and associated pictures are just shocking. How could people actually dry their clothes in this terrible manner? It shows a complete disregard for others and also a lack of personal hygiene. We hope that appropriate action has been taken against these perpetrators and they will cease to indulge in such unseemly activities.
Each report was clear, focused and well written. The mentoring applied was at a minimal level, which is a massive progress compared to past years. As more reports get published and participation increases, the quality of the submissions has gone up. This is a happy outcome for Gulf News. We hope that this continues and many more will join this growing band of Community Reporters with each passing month.