Sunday, February 18, 2007

And the winner is: Indian Express

After Hindustan Times & DNA launched with huge budgets and much fanfare, I bet my friend that in 2 years HT would be the leading broadsheet from among the two. Well the story now is that none of them are in the lead and both seem to be flagging in content.

The surprising march ahead, atleast in content, has been by the Indian Express. Long written off as a poor second contender to Times of India, and considered by many to be a nice paper focusing on pessimistic news "Journalism of Courage", off late I have been happy to notice that the quality of content has improved to a New York Times level.

Today's (Sunday) edition is miles ahead of TOI, HT and DNA, covering indepth issues nationwide and worldwide, while the other three just seem to repeat the week's news in their "India Shining" narrative style.

IE definitely needs a new coat of paint, its antiquated layout and style hide the magnificent journalism lying underneath. Though its not much of a makeover and one done quite easily.

But is India ready for this quality of journalism? Probably not. India is still masala news country. Bombay & Delhi do not have even 1 cinema house showing Independent films, where, even cities like Columbus Ohio have one. And what about blogging, Indian bloggers are a rare lot, hardly anyone blogs here, or even reads blogs, showing the dismal state of reading & writing in the country.

But the day of Indian Express will come, not now, not in 10 years, but maybe in 50 or 60 years, but it will come. The good news is that we are headed in that direction, while in many parts of the world there is no hope even of that.

1 comment:

Sanjay said...

It was interesting to read this post. I am a recent convert to Hindustant Times, after having grown up with the Grand Old Lady of Bori Bunder - The Times of India. And I thought that the HT was infinitely better than the sham journalism that the ToI has fallen to.

I guess it is the packaging of the Indian Express that does not appeal to me.

Finally, I am not sure if there ever will be a market for quality journalism. The latest IRS results show that there has been an overall dip in readership of dailies. And with increasing C & S (and to a lesser extent, Broadband Internet), I am afraid this will only drop...