Ankur Paliwal

Founder and Managing Editor

I am a queer independent journalist. Over the last twelve years, I have mostly written narrative stories about science, inequity, and the LGBTQIA+ community. I have reported from India, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Germany and the United States for several Indian and international publications. Many of these stories have been supported by generous grants from the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting, GroundTruth Project, Alfred Friendly Press Partners, Medicines Sans Frontiers, Thakur Foundation, and National Press Foundation. I have a master’s degree in Science Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. You can see my work here.

I enjoyed telling those stories because they took me to new places and people, whose stories expanded my world and thinking. But in the summer of 2021, I decided to slow down. I reflected on my work and asked myself--what next? What did I really want to focus on in my journalism? What affects me most and where can I contribute most? I had come out as a queer man a year ago, and was still processing what that meant to me. I realised that one thing which always bothered me, was how the LGBTQIA+ community was portrayed or ignored by the media. But for some reason I used to ignore that feeling. Maybe I wasn’t ready to face it or didn’t know what I could do about it.

But in that 2021 summer, I decided to pay attention to the problem. I was no longer going to sit around and feel sorry about the situation. And then a radical idea came to me—a queer newsroom dedicated to serving LGBTQIA+ community. I named it queerbeat. It’s mission is to transform the public conversation about LGBTQIA+ persons by telling authentic stories about their lives.

In the fall of 2021, I was selected as a fellow at the Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program at The City University of New York. Since then, I have been slowly trying to build queerbeat. I am lucky to have a partner, a dog, and friends who support me when I feel stuck, and collaborators who have shown faith in my idea.

I am trying to raise funds to build a team so that together we can have queerbeat serve LGBTQIA+ persons, and everyone else, better.