Friday, January 1, 2010

6 lessons we can learn from newspapers in India

A story that I think is significant comes to us today from Rachael Stearne in something called the Ground Report. It points out six lessons US newspapers can learn from the growing newspaper market in India. I totally agree with her, and have a couple more I'd add from my time reading newspapers in the fastest-growing newspaper market in the world.

But, first of all, notice that the lessons are about content. Yes, content matters. Indian newspapers are full of content. It's not the same as ours; as Stearne points out, it's deeply political and has far more entertainment and celebrity news than most American newspapers. Sex columns are popular. But the newspapers include lots and lots of short stories, hearkening back to when American newspapers were filled with tasty little morsels of filler stories. I think we miss them.

But they also include lots of trend stories in a fairly short form; stories that try to spot trends in Indian society and alert their readers. By and large, Indian newspapers (and I was reading the Gujarat version of the Indian Times, which is in English) are lively, engaging and interesting. I found them quite similar to Australian newspapers (another growing market).

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