In the seven years since was launched, a phrase seemingly wrapped in a redundancy has increasingly become a subject of discussion: independent media. Like the chai tea and naan bread now found in Western supermarkets, independent media is a tautology that’s relatively new.

Until not so long ago, autonomy was assumed to be an intrinsic characteristic of the press. In fact, it was the exceptions that had to be clearly labelled – most commonly, the warning that certain outlets were “state-sponsored media”.

But in recent years, governments and corporations around the world have intensified their campaign to undermine or capture institutions that are mandated to act freely and without interference. As the bullhorns of the powerful have come to dominate the mediascape, the value of entities that reflect the voices of the people on the margins and which refuse to buckle under the pressures of those in authority has become evident.

A free, independent media, it’s clear, is among the institutions that are key to preserving the diversity of perspectives essential for any democracy to flourish.

When was launched on January 26, 2014, we set out to mirror India’s enormous range of interests and opinions and try to make sense of them – while brushing off any attempts to influence us as we went about the job. Since then, we have been honoured to win the trust of millions of readers every month, who come to us for our award-winning rigorous ground reports, incisive analysis, trustworthy breaking news updates, vibrant cultural features and passionate sports coverage.

All of this, as is obvious, takes significant resources to sustain. For independent media to do its job, the support of readers is crucial. On our seventh birthday, we request our readers to make a contribution to our Ground Reporting Fund to help us keeping covering the news that matters and the things that make life worth living.