Communicator of the month: The Economic Times

If you pick up your copy of ‘The Economic Times‘ today you are likely to find the venerable pink paper, the world’s second largest financial daily after the ‘Wall Street Journal’, staring back with a sprinkling of Bollywood pictures and famous bits of dialogues. No, the paper hasn’t suddenly turned into Filmfare, but is certainly taking some editorial risks to appeal to a younger, attention-starved audience.

The ‘Bollywoodisation’ of business news in India

The front page of ‘The Economic Times’ is using stills from Bollywood to highlight major front-page stories. One edition, this September, had as many as two films featured on the front pages to highlight stories. First up, this memorable shot of Charlie running with the horses from Kaminey to highlight a story on taxes on betting:

Source: The Economic Times

Top of Form

In the same edition, coincidentally enough also involving horses, is this immortal still of Basanti and Dhanno from Sholay illustrating a story talking about the decline of rural demand:

Source : The Economic Times

Across editions stills from Rajneeti, the famous bottom scratching shot from 3 Idiots, the shot of Neil Nitin Mukesh from ‘Jail’ talk are used to provide visuals for stories ranging from a rise in sales of toilet cleaners to what constitutes sedition in the state of Maharashtra:

Source : The Economic Times

And of course, the line about mothers that needs no introduction to talk about a speech made by Rahul Gandhi:

Appealing to a social media fed audience

ET has also added a supplement called Panache which is a cross between GQ, Fortune and Page 3 featuring light stories on corporate toys for boys, clothes and tales about business families. While it does carry stories about women, most of the editorial is targetted at a distinctly male audience with a startup or two or more on their mind.

The very academic ‘Corporate Dosser’ has been retired last week, putting an end to the long read articles about business theories.

Print media fight back

There is no doubt that papers such as ‘The Economic Times’ are fighting back to win an audience fattened on social media bytes. The ‘Times of India’ group which includes ET has always pushed the editorial envelope by introducing page 3 and even long form journalism with the now closed ‘Crest’. Now regional giants such as ‘Dainik Bhaskar’, which outsells the Times of India, has also introduced the concept of no negative news every Monday. The paper carries only positive news on its front page across 58 editions nationally.

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