Following Government’s decision to allow up to 100 per cent FDI, foreign newspapers are venturing into India with their facsimile editions. After Wall Street Journal launching its facsimile edition in Delhi and Mumbai on May 18, Financial Times is now expected to follow suit soon.
According to the new FDI norms for facsimile editions issued by the Commerce Ministry, up to 100 per cent FDI is allowed in facsimile editions of international newspapers, provided the foreign investment in the Indian subsidiary is by the owner of the original foreign newspaper.
Wall Street Journal Asia, the region’s leading international business newspaper, has commenced printing in India in a comprehensive arrangement with The Express Group from May 18, 2009. The paper is priced at Rs 25. The paper will be printed Monday through Friday at The Express Group’s print sites in Delhi and Mumbai. The paper will be delivered the same day to individual and corporate subscribers and will be available at newsstands in major Indian cities.
On the launch of WSJ, Suman Dubey, Editor and Publisher of WSJ Publishing India PL, said, “Today’s launch is a truly significant milestone in recognition of India’s increasingly prominent role on the world economic stage. There is unprecedented demand for business and financial news among India’s business, opinion and community leaders, who need authoritative and trusted news and analysis about the global economy and international affairs.”
On the kind of circulation that is expected from WSJ, Dubey said, “We are not in a position to give circulation projections. Prior to the commencement of printing in India, WSJA’s circulation in India has been several thousand copies.”
Talking about the marketing and subscription drive, Dubey said, “Our launch campaign includes a mix of print, online and mobile initiatives aimed at building awareness of the brand and driving new subscriptions.”
Meanwhile, British business daily Financial Times has also sought approval to print and sell newspapers in the country. Talking on the launch of Financial Times, Azmar Sukandar, Head of Communications, Asia Pacific, said, “The Financial Times has submitted an application to the relevant Indian regulatory authorities for permission to publish a facsimile edition of the Financial Times in India and is also seeking associated FDI approvals. We have no further comments at this time.”
International Herald Tribune (IHT) already publishes its facsimile edition through Hyderabad-based media firm Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd.
On being asked how IHT was doing and what was circulation of the facsimile edition in India, all PK Iyer, Managing Director, Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd, would say was, “There is no set number of circulation that I can tell you as there is no ABC figure for it. Also, these international papers don’t go beyond a few thousand copies. That is how things have been in the past and that is how they will be in the future.”