Weekly newspaper The Sunday Guardian entered the digital space by successfully unveiling its new website on November 7, 2010. The current site is a beta version of the newspaper and the second section, Guardian20, will take three more weeks to come up. The Sunday Guardian team has set a time-line of two months to graft the site and give it its finishing touches. Well-known journalist and columnist MJ Akbar is the Editor-in-Chief of the publication.
Speaking to exchange4media, Prayaag Akbar, Assistant Editor, The Sunday Guardian, said, “It is vital today for any media publication to have a presence on the Internet. We’ve taken our time over the website, but we wanted to create something which was user-friendly and also one that conveys the essence of what The Sunday Guardian is all about as a publication.” Speaking about the content of the site, he added, “We are a weekly newspaper and that content will form the bulk of the website. However, we will certainly be generating content throughout the week specifically for the website. The possibilities that the web offers are so much more, so there will be some video content too. The blog component of the site will allow our readers to interact with our writers.”
The weekly newspaper is heavily using social networking to promote the website. According to them, the response has already been encouraging. A separate team has been set up to look after the site.
When asked whether there will be an attempt to monetise the site, Akbar said, “We will not be creating any pay-walls or asking readers to pay. Pay-walls might be a necessary evil in this business, but that experiment is being conducted by media superpowers like Murdoch and the NYT. Let’s just say we are monitoring those developments. By providing content online for free, we don’t anticipate any fall in the subscription revenue. We have been growing at a pretty fast and steady rate and the Internet just allows us to reach a much larger audience, especially outside Delhi. We’ve had good support from online advertisers, who have seen the quality of content and style, and are very excited to be on board.”
The Sunday Guardian newspaper was launched in January this year. MJ Akbar, who is currently also the Editorial Director of the India Today Group, had conceived the newspaper.
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