Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Stone Rolls in India

I'm cheered to learn this morning that Rolling Stone is starting an edition in India. The BBC website reports:

The first issue hit the news stands last week with a quirky marketing spin - five different covers featuring Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Amy Winehouse, Jay-Z and Anoushka Shankar were put out together with a mix of local and original content.

I haven't seen this issue, but I think that the "local and original content" will be the deciding factor in whether this publication is a success.

India has a multitude of English-language newspapers, some published nationally, but a paucity of top-quality magazines serving the growing middle class. A p.r. fellow I know complains that the problem does not end there, and that he has trouble finding competent English-speaking p.r. firms in India.

I'd say that both ends of the equation, journalism and p.r., are ripe areas for growth in the country, for entrepreneurs who can navigate the local bureaucracy. Fortune is commencing an Indian edition, and it will be interesting to see if other publishers follow. There is definitely an unfulfilled need in the market, as a browse through any Indian big city newsstand would show. Two-day-old copies of the International Herald Tribune just don't do the trick for news junkies.

© 2008 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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