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Found/Saved/Subscribed/Shared - Anubha Bhonsle
What content has Anubha Bhonsle noticed recently, and why?
It's really fun getting to know how different people’s minds work - it’s why lots of us like reading the typical Media Diet interview. With our version of this format though, we want to unearth not only what but why - why people share what they share. It’s the foundation stone for all of Storythings’ work on audience behaviour and attention (also see: our original research project on audience attention patterns since the pandemic - Scroll Stoppers, and our previous interviews with Steve Bryant, Rosie Yakob, and Anab Jain in this newsletter).
On to this week’s:
Anubha Bhonsle is an award-winning journalist, author, and the founder of Newsworthy, a new media company that creates social impact through strategy, design, and storytelling. Through much of her career as a journalist, telling honest, authentic stories was a way to understand the world. That endeavour continues agnostic of platforms, and clients. In this age of anti-news and information fatigue, Newsworthy gives cogent, comprehensive news summaries highlighting news not noise, context not conflict and information worthy of people’s time, attention and mental health. At Newsworthy.Studio Anubha follows the same rigour, empathy and innovation creating a positive social impact for businesses, people and the planet by telling stories that matter. Anubha is based in Delhi, India.
I have found the joy of consistency. As the word reveals, it takes a long time coming. I was hearing it everywhere: accelerator programs, community groups, writing prompts. While it's been somewhat easier to be consistent with work life, it is the joy of consistency in personal and an active life that has been a recent find.
Old books, a coach and a thought-out curated feed helped. It's been a worthy rabbit hole, I have to say. It started with James Clear's 30-day email course on building habits. I had read Atomic Habits earlier (I mean who hasn't). I topped it with Julia Cameron's Morning Pages. Every newsletter and podcast I was reading/hearing was referring to the simplicity, beauty and efficacy of this practise. And then a hard-nose coach and Shonda Rhimes’ TED talk entered my universe. With the former I have finally accepted that exercise expands time. With the Rhimes talk, it feels finding this thing called the hum of life, isn't so vague at all.
I am copious saver. I save quotes that pique my interest, pictures of white shirts (and white shirts too), unmatched cups and kettles in real. I screenshot designs, books I want to read, images of women doing things by themselves: reading, writing, drinking, sleeping. One day I will put them together in a social experiment meets storytelling project called #tableforone.
There are podcasts on brain health, neuroplasticity, and a few morning ragas I have saved to use on days when I need a calm boost. I bookmark articles but also keep an email thread going of pieces I want to read. I use the Twitter ‘like’ button to save things that have caught my attention.
I save on the phone, in long hand, in notebooks and as is evident in real life too. Anything that is saved on hard drives and noting apps is almost always lost on me. I also do saved lists nearly everywhere - on Amazon, on Netflix - a more recent habit aimed at time saving.
Amongst all my saves, so to speak, the one I cherish most are a couple of thin Moleskin, dark maroon notebooks where I write in long hand any and all twists of phrases I encounter. It could be a beautiful line or a long paragraph. I write them down if I find the lines simple, vigorous and thoughtful.
Over the years I have noted down paragraphs on trauma, memory, bread, loneliness, solitude, writing, data, assault, war and more. They are in no order. I go back to them whenever stuck with a writers block or devoid of any inspiration. And always come out with something that no ChatGPT can ever produce.
I am also a compulsive cleaner, and oddly I don't consider that at odds with my "savings". What I have never managed to bin are first notes from lovers and partners.
Two subscriptions, or follows to be more precise, that have stayed with me are Andrew Huberman and Esther Perel. I have followed and never unfollowed their work. They are free across platforms (I think).
Many may know about them: AH is a neuroscience professor at Stanford who runs a podcast focused on making science and the workings of the body accessible, while Esther Perel, a psychotherapist, frames modern relationships and their challenges in a holistic way.
I followed their smaller, short-form content before bringing them on to my listening and reading feed. To me the fact that they were rooted in science, deal with complexities without alienating and keep cultural contexts in the frame, makes them attractive. I am also drawn to their delivery. Both have very different styles. One is always in dark, and the other shows the power of colour.
It's refreshing, especially as a woman, to read someone talk about desire, its psychology and its relationships with ourselves in empowering ways. Perel's vocabulary is inclusive, fun sans burden and expectations. The best thing is she includes relationships to mean those that we have with ourselves, or a co-founder, and not just partners or romantic ones.
I would have never considered myself as someone interested in cognition, neuroplasticity but Huberman Lab has made the prefrontal cortex and the terms like BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) easy on my tongue.
Not just because I am the founder. But because I feel the 40,000 odd folks on our Instagram feed, a lakh (100,000) or so on Facebook, about double that number on Twitter and 60-odd partners & clients across India and the world are proof enough -that people need news and information not noise, context not conflict. And communities don't engage with climate change, gender, public health SDGs as homogeneous issues and entities, but as stories.
If you’re a regular person watching news today, it’s probably hard to tell: what’s a mountain and what’s a molehill?
News has lost meaning for many. Can it be trusted, what is news, what is opinion? Why do some voices continue to appear, and why do some people remain news deserts?
Though I think we all could generally stand to be better informed, there is too much out there, and yet you could spend hours getting nothing of import.
So I share the work across both our news and social impact verticals, openly, unabashedly and regularly to anyone who would hear it. It makes business sense but also because we marry news & information, public interest and social impact in innovative ways.
Our audience tells us this is the only source of information they have brought into their routine. Our clients across public health, gender, climate change, data and SDGs have seen great value in this framing.
How does that make me feel: I am getting used to it. I also see this as an opportunity to reclaim public good, trust and some sanity. I write about our workflows, processes and what we do, why we do and how we do it often in my (love) letter of sorts. It goes between a Wednesday-Thursday and I could send it to you as well.
Thank you, Anubha! That was fascinating.
That’s it for this week. Next week, we’ll be back with another creative mind letting us know what they’ve found, shared, subscribed and saved recently. Don’t forget to share this post with friends if you like it, and ask them to subscribe if they haven’t. See you then!