The New York Times (NYTimes.com) on 12 September announced the launch of India Ink, an English-language Web site offering news and analysis about Indian politics, culture, business, sports and lifestyle. The site, nytimes.com/indiaink, provides a distinct perspective on the news and events that matter most to Indians and those who follow news about India, both on the subcontinent and abroad. Initially, access to India Ink will be exempt from The New York Times’s digital subscription packages.
Jim Schachter, associate managing editor, NYTimes.com said, “India Ink provides a platform for our India-based journalists to expand on the work they do for NYTimes.com, The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, providing a richer, deeper, wider report for an audience in India – and the Indian diaspora – that is hungry for independent, authoritative coverage reflecting Western journalistic values.”
“The site will be updated several times each day. It is a news site – though not one that will rush to provide breaking-news updates on everything that happens around the country. Our journalists will attempt to lead a conversation through the day about the most important news of and about India, and to frame the big issues of everyday life in a fast-changing society.”
The site has been currently launched outside The NYTimes.com's digital subscription plan. However, NYTimes.com added that it will evaluate India Ink’s performance to determine the best business model for it.
India Ink is edited by The New York Times in India and the International Herald Tribune (IHT) in Hong Kong, led by lead writer Heather Timmons, who has covered business in India for The New York Times for the last four years. It features contributions from New York Times journalists, including New Delhi bureau chief Jim Yardley and correspondent Lydia Polgreen, Mumbai correspondent Vikas Bajaj and former New Delhi bureau chief Somini Sengupta, as well as contributions from top writers in India and the Indian diaspora.
Among those contributing to the site are: Sonia Faleiro, author of “Beautiful Thing,” who will cover India’s many subcultures; literary critic and columnist Nilanjana S. Roy, on women’s changing roles; sociologist Dipankar Gupta on economics; novelist Sidin Vadukut on cricket; “Following Fish” author Samanth Subramanian on the historical context of current affairs; critic, television presenter and author Anupama Chopra on Bollywood; and frequent New York Times contributor Shivani Vora on the New York diaspora scene.
The company has ruled out roping in an outside agency to promote the website and will rather be executing the in-house marketing strategy. Hayley Nelson, senior product manager for NYTimes.com, stated, "We will be running an internal campaign on NYTimes.com and in print in the International Herald Tribune newspaper. We are also using New York Times e-mail products and social media channels to promote the site.”
With a series of website and newspapers entering the Indian market through content- partnerships and collaborations, NYTimes.com too feels that the India is an important market. Especially, since it has invested significantly in coverage. “We think that people deeply engaged in Indian public affairs and cultural concerns are looking for a place to conduct a robust, but respectful, conversation about how the country and society are changing. As The Times, NYTimes.com and the International Herald Tribune are all respected news sources in India, we're hoping that India Ink can offer that forum,” stated Schachter.
“Expanded coverage of India is a natural fit for The New York Times and its Global Edition, the IHT,” said Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, publisher of the International Herald Tribune. “We are delighted to better serve our readers and advertisers in India and abroad who care deeply about news in the region."