Jawed (MJ) Akbar, journalist, author and former editor in chief, The Asian Age and The Deccan Chronicle, is all set to roll out a political magazine called Covert.
A political fortnightly, Covert will hit the stands on May 15. The title is the first offering under the flagship banner of MJP Media. Akbar, chairman and director, MJP Media, says, "I have been in journalism and the media business for long. So, a magazine from me should not come as a surprise. Having said that, Covert is a political magazine that is aimed at decision makers."
Explaining the significance and relevance of the title, Akbar says, "The name of the magazine is self-explanatory. For us, news is something that has to be unearthed, to bring to readers something that they don't know. Covert will uncover news that has not been covered or written about. Currently, all other popular magazines such as India Today or Outlook cover politics, but they are moving towards lifestyle coverage. I see ample scope and space for a political magazine like ours."
Akbar says, "The magazine aims to inform and educate youth, especially aspiring decision makers in the political field, to make informed choices. Currently, a lot of real news, facts and figures get lost in the dissemination process. Our magazine will attempt to make a mission statement. Serious politics will be discussed through interesting columns."
Citing an example, he adds, "Apart from regular write-ups and columns by well known writers and columnists such as Kuldeep Nayyar, Seema Mustafa and Arif Mohammad Khan, we will also pick up non-political issues, such as interesting topics on social law and so on."
Akbar is being supported in this new venture by veteran journalist Seema Mustafa, who will be the editor of Covert. Mustafa says, "I have known Akbar for long. I have worked with him earlier when he was at Sunday magazine and The Telegraph. I am excited because the new working relationship is different from the previous ones. For the first time, I am working closely with him on a startup project, which is proving to be an exciting and challenging job."
For the record, Mustafa had followed Akbar when he parted ways with Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age. She adds, "Journalism cannot be practised as a business. As a journalist, I know that I will get to exercise true freedom and independence under Akbar. So the move to his publication."
Akbar and Mustafa agree that the magazine will have a low key launch. "Any new product or service, to be launched, should make investments in tandem with the size of the business. There is no point in going overboard. We will definitely take to promotions and advertising for publicising the magazine. A few print ads and a viral campaign will be employed to announce and spread the word about the magazine," concludes Akbar. The creative campaign for Covert is being done by Equus Red Cell.