Thursday, February 01, 2007

Paper mint! First day, first show - opinions.

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!


Saravanan said...

The website appearance is good. But the top portion of the page is wasted with images and fancy graphics. I see only 5 story links in the my browser window without scrolling. Compare this to where I can see 10 story links without scrolling. Content is important, not fancy stuff.

Other thing I hate is that I have to register to read the news. Most of the users are lazy like me and they dont want to create yet another login to read news. So they are going to lose lot of traffic due to this.

chaitanya mahaprabhu said...

It's the potty bonhomie is it? K don't worry, the potty man would surely give you a job anytime. You needn't suck up to him this bad.

Anonymous said...

K, you have lost your usual sense of balance..Agreed the big man there is a pal, but a honest review was what we were expecting..I agree with Mahaprabhu, u don't need to suck up this bad...Admit the first day was a disaster...the second one even more so with him returning to his fav company ego boosting (admittedly under the Sudha Menon name)...abt the IT daddy...Several months old story...Mint for stale news

abhi2point0 said...

don't listen to the rot above k - I agreed with you .. design and look was refreshingly different though news was a bit wanting.

Website is defintely a disaster though! Check it out today ... Mitra Kalita's mug looks suspiciously like that of our PM!

simran said...

haven't seen mint but the comments above strike me as particularly vicious. just the fact that you haven't deleted them speaks volumes, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...
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K said...

OK, Next post now!