Chennai: K Asokan, Editor of The Hindu Tamil newspaper talks to tvnews4u.com in an exclusive chat on the positioning of the paper, the strategy, content and style of the Tamil paper The Hindu.
Q: It’s clearly a historical event – the first vernacular paper from one of India’s oldest English newspapers, The Hindu. How does it feel to have the prestige of being its editor when it is being launched?
A: It’s a big responsibility and also a big honour. I never thought I would be the Editor of The Hindu’s Tamil paper. I had spent most of my journalistic career with the Ananda Vikatan, the popular Tamil magazine. So it will be a new experience for me to be the editor of the Tamil newspaper.
Q: The Hindu has a hoary tradition and carries with it a certain history and a sober style. Will the Tamil paper be similar in approach or will it be different?
A: The Tamil paper will be different. It will have its own style. Firstly, it will have ‘Tamil manam’ (the fragrance of the Tamil language). The Tamil paper will have its own content and style sheet.
Q: How are you building the editorial team?
A; That’s a big challenge. First and foremost, we have looked at people with passion for the Tamil language. Who can write beautiful and flowery Tamil. That is very important. We have been building up a good team.
Q: What about style?
A: We will adopt a conversational style. More like Makkal Tamil (People’s Tamil). The Tamil will be easy to follow. We will have a kind of direct communication with the readers.
Q: How many editions do you plan to have?
A; We will hit the stands from nine key markets in Tamil Nadu. The Hindu group already has printing press facility in Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore. The Hindu has full-fledged English editions from these four centres, therefore it is easy for the Tamil paper also to reach out across Tamil Nadu using these centres.
Q: Obviously, the distribution network of The Hindu will be of great help to the Tamil paper?
A: Obviously, that would be a big asset. It goes without reason. The Tamil paper would have great reach, using the organisational and distribution network of the group.
Q: In terms of content, what have you planned? You have stiff competition in this arena, isn’t it?
A: The idea generally is to have a different presentation. We will look at presenting content in a different and interesting manner. This will be a Family newspaper. Something that the entire family can read in the drawing room of every house.