Hindustan and BBC to teach English in Hindi heartland

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | May 26, 2010
The Hindi daily has a launched a supplement with the objective of helping readers in UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand learn English

The Hindi daily, Hindustan, has launched Jano English - a supplement that intends to teach English to the younger population of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Launched on May 21, Jano is an eight page tabloid sized paper. The content of the supplement has been produced in association with BBC Hindi.

The supplement is being distributed free of cost with Hindustan across all its editions located in UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand. According to the company officials, the total print run is expected to be about 15 lakh copies.

A company official says, "Once we get the RNI (Registrar of Newspaper for India) registration, we will switch to a paid model with a Re 1 cover price. It will be available to anyone who wants it, even if he or she is not a reader of Hindustan. Though circulation is bound to go down then, we will have a focused set of readers. This will also have positive IRS implication for us."

The source further adds, "This is the first of its kind initiative amongst Hindi newspapers and through this, we want to send out a strong signal that we believe in progress and that we are empowering our readers to walk that path."

Talking about the type of advertisers Hindustan expects to tap through this initiative, he adds, "The product is designed for the youth. So, any brand that wants to target the young population will find this an ideal option. Also, as the content is of high quality and engaging, we are of the opinion that the readers will spend a lot of time with this supplement. There is also scope for contextual advertising by English teaching institutes." The group also hopes that kids' brands will get a dedicated audience in this supplement.

The content of Jano English will be a mix of information and entertainment. The supplement will cater to the needs of its readers to understand grammar, correct pronunciation and spoken English; it will also carry cross word puzzles and jumbled words.

The supplement is being promoted by a quirky campaign involving word play. The newspaper has launched a campaign spread across outdoor and print in UP, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand. While the daily is relying heavily on outdoors in UP and Uttarakhand, in Bihar and Jharkhand, it is using Hindustan to promote the supplement.

The group has put up more than 100 hoardings across the key cities of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to promote the initiative. The Hindi daily is also using mobile and online media extensively.

As of now, Jano English is a weekly supplement that is released every Friday along with the daily in the four markets.

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