A few weeks later, I come across a superb issue. They haven’t changed the quality of newsprint, I still wince when I see the yellow and black slugs, the navigation still leaves me groping in the dark, but the content first neutralizes and then overcomes all the handicaps.
Pages I enjoyed include the Cry Babas, a feature on successful males (Federer, Kapil Dev, Yeduriappa, to name a few) who aren’t afraid (is that the right word?) to sob in public. Guess I’m not successful enough to cry in public. The piece de resistance in the issue is the cover story, the 20 years of Sachin one (page 15 once you open the e-paper). Contributory articles by Imran Khan, Vivian Richards, Steve Waugh and Sourav Ganguly. Each gave me an insight into Sachin that was refreshingly different from the other.
Next came two more pieces on Sachin that I was delighted to see, one by Santosh Desai and the other by Shiv Vishwanthan. Santosh’s disappointed me for reasons I can’t quite figure out (even after having read the piece thrice) but Shiv’s was absolutely brilliant. And to close the Sachin feature, the Crest roped in writer Gideon Haigh – who I will certainly read when next I come across his name.
What’s the point of this post?
It’s not just to plug the Crest (which I am doing).
The point is: do you buy the Crest? Have you read this issue?
If you don’t buy the newspaper or if you haven’t read this particular issue, do you want to read it now?
If I hadn’t written about this issue, would you have heard of the contents?
That’s the point of this post.
There is a lot of good content, a small amount of great content being produced by media which reaches just a fraction of the people that it ought to.
The Times of India’s Crest edition, for example, reaches no one in Kolkata or Pune. Does the newspaper hold appeal to consumers there?
Similarly, what happens to all those with Tata Sky and, therefore, cannot watch ET Now?
All media houses in India are doing is to take the content and slap it on the Internet.
And how do consumers know that the content is there, free and available?
They don’t. They won't, unless media houses learn to market the content to them – to all those who are unable, for whatever reason, consume the primary avatar of the content delivery mechanism.
There’s the bonus when you do this – you’re getting yourself ready for the imminent future.