Unspun thinks the readers of this blog are people of the world who have distinct opinions on what a good newspaper should look and read like. Here’s a chance to provide some input to the people who are putting out the English newspapers, The Jakarta Post and The Jakarta Globe, which is on its third day of production today.
Which is the better paper? You decide:
I can’t tell much about its physical comparison, nor the content :D. But I can tell something about the web design. I think TheJakartaGlobe.com can be better 🙂
I finally got a chance to look at the JG today and I have to say it certainly looks impressive. The design is much snazzier and modern than the JP, which is looking pretty dated these days. However I think they still have a ways to go, as there are some definite kinks in their reporting, story selection, and headlining writing. I felt like there was a lot of filler used to get to 48 pages, even with all the giant ads (The second to last page in the C section is just a list of emergency reference numbers and a map of the Transjakarta. Useful, but are they going to print that everyday?) There are also some technical issues with picture quality. However I’m sure that these problems can be ironed out eventually, assuming the paper lasts that long…
I’m quite curious as to what kind of market research they did before going ahead with the Globe. I still question whether there is enough of a market in Jakarta and Indonesia for two major English language papers, and I wonder if the Globe’s strategy is really to coexist with the JP or just to outright steal their readership? I’m curious what Unspun and others think about this, is there room for the Jakarta Globe and the Jakarta Post to co-exist in the marketplace?
@Mister E: I agree with you on the looks department and also the kinks department. Today’s front page headline story in the Globe, I thought, was pretty bizarre. Unspun fails to see what the news value is in the FBR leader saying that his thugs should be sent to religious detention class instead of jail. Where’e the news in that?
The question on whether Indonesia can support two English-language papers is an interesting one as it assumes that the the pie is only so large and whatever papers that come along will have to split it among themselves.
Unspun likes to think that if we have higher quality papers in Indonesia their quality will help expand the market. There are many Indonesians whose English is good enough for them to be comfortable reading an English-language paper, but has little reason to do so because – let’s be frank about it – the Post is often a paper that prints today’s news tomorrow.
There is little incentive for many Indonesians to pick up an English paper for that reason, even though the quality of Indonesian newspapers are not that high either. The nation’s largest paper Kompas, for instance, is boring, verbose and often misses the point all together. Yet compared to the Post it has much more useful and timely information.
But if an English language paper were to come along that reads well, and can provide the accuracy and incisiveness thst the Indonesian-language pepaers currently aren’t then it would grow the English-reading market. If that were to happen Indonesia would be able to support two or even more English papers.
The killer question here is: Is the Globe the right paper to bring about this change?