It looks damn cool, (as does the website), I mean it really, really looks nice. I will go as far as to say it is the best looking paper in the country. And they almost called the paper 'Orange'. No seriously, there were huge, and I believe stormy meetings where Norman Garcia wanted to call the paper 'Orange', and some in the management team almost came about to the view. By the way, like DNA, 'mint' also expands out into something silly, but lets not go there.
But, to launch on a day where you are not staring down the barrel of a gun for stories - and you have the best possible stories possible, the coverage was poor. Really poor. ET and TOI had far better coverage of both Tata-Corus and RBI Policy - TOI had better coverage from a 'young people' angle - how the rate shift will impact you. Both had interviews with the man, possibly marking a friendly return to Tata ads in BCCL papers with the ugly Tata Finance fiasco now being put to rest.
To be honest, HT itself had better coverage of Tata-Corus. I know that Papermint is a young paper, but to fall flat of Day 1. But then again, maybe it is a better thing to begin slow and build up than to follow HT's rather spectacularly disasterous Mumbai launch which was to begin by using a rehashed story with a big bang and earn immense badwill in the entertainment industry (which is now being addressed by Khalid, the new boss of HT Cafe aka HT City in Mumbai for non-Mumbaikars). Fair enough, I had an overdose of Tata-Corus on TV yesterday, everybody doing it from the 'India' angle, even the business channels - too few negatives were covered - there are some quite obvious short-term negatives (but longer-term positives should outweigh the negatives).
Anyway, I really think it wasn't just front page content (awful anchor story on potty, not something you want to read in the morning) but even inside content which was nothing spectacular. I wouldn't say poor, but it did leave a bit to be desired. I don't understand the stocks pages (no indicators showing upwards and downwards movements of the scrips?) and a bit too much international content (including a pointless story about JV's in India which is rather old by now, maybe not for foreign audiences, but over here?). Four pages of international content is good, but story selection has to be bang on. If you addressing an 'Young' audience, don't feed them stuff that they can get off Feed Aggregators.
Anyway, it still looks good and hopefully because the team is solid on top they will be able to keep the look. I just wonder if the team is solid enough in the middle and junior levels to keep content coming in. But it still looks good! But not enough to make me give up ET just yet, I'm sure the team at Times isn't going to fret for a while.
And mint (I will however call it Papermint) is a lot better than Orange. A business paper called Orange, it is almost as unbelievable as Papermint! OK, this is where I add the mandatory :-P
But, time will tell how it turns out!