A featured case study on HT-Mint Story was presented by Sukumar Ranganathan, Editor, Mint, at the 4th Annual South Asia conference of INMA on November 10, 2010. Ranganathan discussed how Mint, launched in 2007, was able to create a success story in such a short period.
At the time when Mint was being launched, the market already had several successful business newspapers and magazines. For Mint to be successful, it was essential that they created a strong differentiating factor from the other existing newspapers in the market. The differentiating factor in Mint, said Ranganathan, came from the name, size, coverage, writing, values and its relationship with the Wall Street Journal.
Most newspapers had clichéd names using times, express, chronicles, etc., however, Mint made sure that its name would be different from them all, said Ranganathan. The size of Mint, too, is different from other business broadsheets as it follows a Berliner format, designed by Mario Garcia. Ranganathan said, “Mint has been positioned on clarity. We decided to give our readers hard and objective news, yet news that easy to understand. Mint has de-mystified business news. For us, simplicity and journalistic ethos are very important.”
“Mint has been providing authoritative business journalism in jargon free language since its inception. One such example is our coverage of the credit policy, which was better than that of our competition. Also, over the years we have hired excellent journalists to provide a great product to our readers,” added Ranganathan.
Mint also has a weekend supplement (magazine) called ‘Lounge’, which adds value to the product. Priya Ramani is the Editor of the magazine.
Ranganathan disclosed that Mint had a rewrite desk and four to five levels of checks before any news went on print. This increases their credibility, which is the lifeline for any newspaper. To go along with this, Mint has a corrections and clarifications column, which acknowledges all the mistakes it made, irrespective of whether someone points it out or not. There is also a year-end audit, which studies the number of mistakes made throughout the year.
“For credible reporting, Mint has set up a strong code of conduct. There is also a set style book for reporting. There is fairness in Mint’s reporting, as the news that we put on print is verified at different levels,” Ranganathan said, adding, “Our editorial and business side too is separated by a Chinese wall and governed by code of conducts. All this confers credibility to Mint and is the cause for its success.”