Our Cover Story this fortnight is extremely special. While it may look like a regular ‘awards story,’ it stands for something much, much bigger. First of all, this was the first time websites in English and Indian languages were felicitated for their work and initiatives; they were judged on a spectrum of parameters such as content, brand partnerships and overall user experience.
In India, web publishing has been around for over two decades. If that number seems a touch too large, and if web publishing feels like a much younger industry, don’t fret. That’s a cognitive error we’re making, collectively. We’re making it because the business of online publishing is changing every day. Existing players are still experimenting and newer ones, some highly specialised, are mushrooming constantly. All of them grapple with similar issues: What’s better, mobile site or app? How does fake news affect my business? Are these algorithms out to get me? Is video advertising worth it?
Now, on to my favourite part: at the Digipub Awards, which, mind you, saw the participation of almost every major publishing group and website out there, the brand that swept the show, is a toddler in the universe of web publishing - The Quint. The news platform won five Golds, two Silvers and the Website of the Year (English) title.
This reminds me of a Cover Story we published last June. It was an interview with Raghav Bahl, who runs The Quint along with his wife and business partner Ritu Kapur. He said, at the time, about his decision to jump into the world of online news publishing, “I’m ready to pump in whatever it takes to be successful. We’re confident and ambitious and want to grow fast and big in our second innings... we still love being in the media business... also, there was a point to prove to the world…” He seems to be doing just fine, I’ll say.