Feb 8, 2007

High hopes...

Just like any other 'Madrasi' who can read a word or two in english, my morning has never begun without a cup of coffee and The Hindu (delivered promptly by the hyperactive 'newspaper boys' at 5 A.M).

After coming to the U.S., I managed to substitute traditional coffee with (and adapt to) the Instant version. But The Hindu I could not. The online edition of the paper is pathetic and it depressed me further with the never ending pop ups (something akin to the numerous advertisement slips inserted into the newspaper by the delivery agent, which keeps falling on me as I open each page). When the epaper of The Hindu was introduced, I was more than happy. It gave as close a feeling of reading the real paper as it ever can. It did come with a rider, that its free only for a trial period. I was thinking that after it goes the paid way, I will purchase its subscription.

But I was shocked to see the subscription rate: 10 dollars per month or 100 per year!! It is almost the cost of the local paper's subscription here in the US. Whats the idea charging 100 dollars for an epaper? I am sure to get responses like "If you like it pay the price or else settle for the free online edition", and "cost of devoloping an electronic edition is high (really??!)".

I am sure only a miniscule of The Hindu's loyal readers back home resort to the online edition. So a free epaper is not going to bite into its subscription base. But I am not expecting it to be free either. People outside India will be happy to pay a nominal amount. But not $100 or Rs 4000 per year as The Hindu puts it.

So it was with dire consternation that I clicked the Log In button with a thin ray of hope, that some bug in the server will allow me to access the epaper. It didnt. But what I saw made me laugh my heart out. Here is a National newspaper, trying to sell its epaper at 4 times the cost of its print edition, and this is what they have to say to the 'unsubscribed' readers:

My subscription "has been expired"? I should renewal my subscription?
High hopes indeed for The Hindu.

Update: Looks like someone had pointed out the mistake and so the message now states
"You now need a subscription to access the epaper."
Still having high hopes, arent they?


An experince called Life February 12, 2007 at 9:50:00 PM EST  

being a loyal reader of 'The hindu' i feel utterly disappointed by the subscription rates. May better sense prevail and there is a downward revision of the rates.

Rohit February 14, 2007 at 11:26:00 AM EST  

Nice article...although i have always read "THE HINDU" its one of the worst papers I have read...just too many biased opinions n its opinions r too leftist....It is sad n pathetic that people in chennai dont want to read anything else (i.e. have no taste) n these idiots have a monopoly....n WITH SUCH HIGH SUBSCRIPTION RATES PLEASE resort to reading other papers..it will do good for u...:D

Santhosh February 14, 2007 at 8:25:00 PM EST  

@an experience called life: Yes I am sure The Hindu will learn from its experience, and reduce the cost though I dont see it happening in the very near future

@rohit: podaaaa

Filarial February 28, 2007 at 3:51:00 AM EST  

actually the hindu as a news paper actually sucks.. they are extremly biassed.. but given the alternative- indian express ppl in madras all probabaly feel like u!..in bombay or delhi u would have a lot more choices and hence more quality..

hey chk out ndtv.com its well designed

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