Thursday, September 18, 2008

Take back the city tonight...

This is the reference to the headline in case you're interested. And the single is already out on the torrent sites, sometimes I wonder if I am actually downloading faster than I can watch stuff after my speed upgrade with Airtel, which is worth every penny if you ask me.
I still maintain that Mint is beating all other papers hands-down on their financial markets meltdown coverage - tight focussed, no mad large point size headlines but decent, rational coverage. I guess I'm part of a small (but gradually increasing) minority, but as a business journalist I have switched over to Mint as my first business paper. I still read Times of India first - the loo read, but Mint is now the tea read. Don't get me wrong, ET still has a hell of a lot of news, much, much more news than Mint, but you can do a quick scan and get everything. . Other than the political pages of ET, which are dangerously right-wing and quite entertaining (in language terms, but I won't get bitchy now).
Not reading ET in the morning is still heresy, whereas not reading the other papers is quite acceptable - think about it, everybody has a finite amount of time. So two general papers (ToI and EchTee) and two business papers (ET and Papermint) plus Mail Today for sheer entertainment and drama value. I completely agree with Sandip on the point that Mint has taken a massive lead over the others in brand-recall terms. And for that, they have to be congratulated, but I really do not feel there is sufficient space for yet another paper right now. Sure there might be if you consider that a paper is nothing but a billboard printed on paper, but I would rather spend my time doing something more productive than reading ten newspaper.
That said, Mint's on-again, off-again TV venture might never take off if ET TV manages to position their heavy artillery correctly. Though, if I understand correctly from some folks who have shifted there, there is an idea to to have some sort of integration between the supplements and the TV channel. So you'll see Brand Equity and Corporate Dossier on TV. Which given the current state of those two supplements may not be the best idea, they both need a dose of Viagra. Maybe TV will be that Viagra, who knows?
Plus, while Outlook is on the verge of launching a man's magazine, the group could be shutting one of its three business magazines, and given that Outlook Money is a market leader in a very small market, I'm not so sure what that holds for the other two. This at a time when rumours of Outlook's long-term prospects are being bandied about, especially since there is very likely going to be an ownership change. Plus, is the Sakaal Times dream finally over, with one bunch of contracts town up?
Also, the slowdown has meant that some plans of launching additional channels by several groups, including a couple of real-estate companies might be put on hold. Inflation is up, and provional numbers are usually a little off. I don't know if the hold-out will be till the state elections in a few months. Talking about elections, Madam Shiela of the crazy bus project is looking less and less likely to win. When a senior BJP leader whose name has been bandied about as a potential CM of Delhi (but he claims he is better off as a BJP strategist) jokingly says that the "BRT Corridor is imposing economic sanctions on those who live on it", (in context of him missing a couple of court appearances, despite leaving well on time) I have hopes that the project will finally be shown the door.
Only a couple of months to go for the nightmare that two mad professor's placed in South Delhi to be over! Long live democracy! And I'm opening my edition of Spore tonight, so if I disppear for a few days, I'll be on my home PC on a lot of Red Bull.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Mint hiring these days? Some one please tell

Anonymous said...

synergy, integration, these are all much-bandied about terms that have been used time n again where ET and TN- tv are concerned. didnt happen with TN biz band and ET, so cant imagine a miracle suddenly that will ensure smooth bonhomie for the folks at ET Money, certain Messrs J notwithstanding....

Sushant Kumar said...

"BRT Corridor is imposing economic sanctions on those who live on it"--Bulls eye

I've been a victim of the BRT corridor since I can never miss it on my way back home.

Talking about MINT, although I'm not very business oriented, I've heard a lot about the tech section of MINT, the start ups. I'm looking forward to subscribe it.

J S Sai said...

Interesting observations. However, some research needs to be done before any conclusions could be drawn. Hope some journalism/ PR school takes the lead in this regard.

J S Sai said...

Interesting observations. However, some research needs to be done before any conclusions could be drawn. Hope some journalism/ PR school takes the lead in this regard.

Anonymous said...

I might be biased when I say this (because I've been an investment banker for 8 of the last 10 years and am now associated with a pretty large, non-American, one) but the free content of the WSJ and the FT beats - totally - Mint's coverage. IMO BS is the best business newspaper. Their worst op-ed page beats Mint's best. ET is unbeatable in news coverage. I'm sorry but Mint lacks intelligence and news. It's a sad rip-off of the FT and those who read the FT know that's true (for eg.: headline font, graphics, even cartoons). No depth. Some of their best pieces were WSJ articles written by a WSJ reporter who probably had better knowledge on the Indian subject than the Mint reporter.

Mint reminds me of Apple products - the iphone in particular. Beautiful to look at, great eye-candy, but sadly lacking on some very basic features. Lifestyle product with zero utility. People love it just because it looks good and they think they'd look good being seen with it at their desk, in the back seat of their car or under their armpit. Reminiscent of the weekend ET of the 90s when they cut daily ET price to Rs2 and increased weekend price to Rs9.

Now, I've read many of your posts extolling Mint, but unless you post specifics on how Mint trumped the other pink press on the financial crisis - or any other issue - I'll have to assume that your posts are what they are. Just personal bloggy type stuff for the heck of offloading. Not stuff written by an experienced journo. Stuff that makes me come here.

Anonymous said...

How is it that you did not get to know that Sonal Sachdev, Editor, Outlook Business, has quit? And that his deputy M Anand has taken over?

Anonymous said...

Annon @ 7:36
Apple product lacks basic features??!!
Mint is similar to FT in layout??!!