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INMA 4th Annual Conference: 'Mint-ing' business

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 11, 2010
HT Media says that its business daily, Mint changed the pattern of consuming business news, making it a more interesting read.

Pink is the colour that is most often associated with business papers. However, HT Media broke the monotony by launching its very own business paper, Mint with an orange masthead. In the second session of the day at the 4th Annual INMA South Asia Conference, Sukumar Ranganathan, editor, Mint, spoke about how Mint broke away from the cliché and became a success.

Ranganathan said, "Mint was launched after research conducted by the HT Media team said that there is a set of smart or curious readers, who are looking for a business newspaper which is different from the present business papers. The first difference that was created was by selecting a unique name like Mint; as business papers usually have heavy names like Herald, Time, etc."

Ranganathan shared that the idea behind the design was to keep it simple yet sophisticated; so, rather than adopting the broadsheet format, the company went for the Berliner format. Second, orange was selected as the masthead colour by designer, Mario Garcia. The navigation of the paper was kept very simple; so that readers would be able to find stories very easily. A lot of emphasis was laid on visuals.

Content was very important for the paper and Mint took a different approach. Ranganathan, explained, "Any story on Mint is based on two aspects - 'Why now' and 'who cares'.

Additionally, journalists were expected to add value, rather than reproducing a press release. "Apart from this, we at Mint kept language simple and have stayed away from the use of heavy jargon, which can be difficult for the readers to understand. The thought was to create an intelligent paper that would not talk down to its readers. Furthermore, our collaboration with Wall Street Journal for content was another feather in the cap," Ranganathan added.

He shared that Mint took the unusual route by publishing soft stories and stories on social and developmental issues, which have been appreciated by its readers. Additionally, supplements such as Mint Lounge and Mint Money were introduced to get closer to another set of readers.

According to Ranganathan, after getting its content in order, the next task was to create an efficient newsroom. For this, the company selected some of the best media professionals who were experts in their domain.

Ranganathan believes that Mint has maintained and created content as per the positioning 'Clarity', which is one of the reasons behind the business paper's success.

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