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Business News/ Opinion / A newspaper for the digital era

In 2006, when we were preparing to launch Mint (the paper launched on 1 February 2007), the question we were asked most often was whether India needed a fifth business newspaper. A decade on, the Mint newsroom and the paper’s owner HT Media Ltd have answered that question. Mint is now one of the most respected and trusted news brands in this part of the world (Mint Asia launched in Singapore in April 2013). The Mint newsroom has, in the past decade, won more journalism awards (that matter) than any other newsroom, big or small, across India. Mint’s code of conduct for its journalists has become a template for other newsrooms. Its disclosure standards on native content (created by the advertiser or the marketing department of Mint, but designed as content) are among the best in the business and have been adopted by several others. And Mint’s style of writing and journalistic process, through emulation and the only-to-be-expected dispersal of journalists from its newsroom, has contributed its mite to improving the overall standards of writing and journalism in the country.

The Mint newsroom was India’s first integrated newsroom and had started doing data journalism long before either term became fashionable. It was one of the pioneers of long-form (or narrative) journalism in India, a trend that has since caught on. It has continued its practice of correcting all mistakes (and carrying every year, a graphic of the number and kinds of mistakes, and who made them).

The Mint style of journalism—described as an equal opportunity offender by one of its editors—has meant being tough, but fair. Such an approach requires commitment on part of the newsroom, but, more importantly, on part of the company, and HT Media and its board have been unstinting in their support of honest, high-quality journalism.

So, why change?

Because the world has changed.

In 2007, when Mint launched, print was a dominant medium. It still is, but the digital medium is growing (and fast). The new Mint is simply a contemporary newspaper for the coming digital era. But more on that in a bit.

Back in 2007, when the approach of most business papers was to give readers less of more (or sketchy stories, often no better than headlines, on a lot of topics), Mint’s response was to do more of less (in-depth analytical pieces on substantive issues). Circa 2016, readers are demanding more of more for two reasons: there has been an increase in the number of issues that matter to them; and they would prefer to get everything they need from a newsroom they have come to trust as an accurate and authoritative chronicler and analyst of the business and economy. To achieve this, Mint has had to transcend the limits of the Berliner format it popularized in India and become a broadsheet, albeit one with the navigational aids, wraps, long-form narratives, and data stories that in many ways define what a newspaper should be in the digital era. Mint and Mint’s digital platform will complement each other. In effect, this isn’t just a cosmetic change in design and size but a fundamental rethink of a print product—and in terms of content too.

After all, today’s tweens and even some teens could live to be 100, even 110, given the advances in medicine. A colony on Mars is no longer merely in the realm of science fiction. Nor is a robotic customer service agent, or a self-driving car. Earlier this year, Portugal ran for four days on renewable energy alone in an interesting experiment that came a day after Germany ran for an entire day on clean energy. That same week, the contribution of coal to the UK’s energy supply hit zero several times (for the first time in over a century). The new Mint will expand its focus to bring its brand of clear, authoritative writing to these new, new things.

You will discover how in the coming days and weeks, and you will also discover many other changes in Mint—all tailored to help our readers stay informed in a rapidly changing world.

Also Read: The heart on fire, the brain on ice

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Updated: 13 Sep 2016, 09:19 AM IST
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