Sunday, October 17, 2010

Addendum to unpublished column: My take on the new Radikal

This is a first: I am writing an addendum to a yet-unpublished column. While this week's Hurriyet Daily News column won't be out until midnight (they have  automatic publication), part of my additional comments are not about the column at all and therefore, I don't need to wait for the column to get published. 

As you'll see in a few minutes, or whenever you have a chance to read the column, the motivation of the column is the new format of the Turkish daily Radikal, which is undergoing significant changes. I am interested in this development solely because my favorite daily Referans was gobbled up by Radikal; it had its last issue on Saturday, but some of its journalists and columnists will be working for Radikal from now on.

I was quite enthusiastic with this development, which was public for some time, mainly because Radikal and Referans already had most of my favorite Econ. columnists. Besides, as I detail in my column, the Radikal editor-in-chief has been promising radical changes to op-eds and columnists, so I was wondering how it would work in practice. So I bought the paper first thing in the morning, but could have a look at it only an hour ago due to a busy day, which involved varied activities such as writing my Hurriyet column, writing up responses to reviews at Tripadvisor as well as ordering fruit and vegetables during my moonlighting stint as a purchase manager. Here are my first impressions:

The Format: Love it. I have a always been clumsy at reading the paper at tight spots or when it is windy, at which most Turks excel, so the small size really helps me. It could even have been a bit smaller, maybe the size of WSJ Europe.

News: Quite rich, but this was a weekend issue, so we'll see how it does during the week.

Columns: I know who is writing, so no surprises there, but it seems they are really straining to fit the editor-in-chief's "street columnist" concept. Either they'll catch up, or he will cave in, or...

Speaking of that, I am not sure what the guy really means by that, but he is supposed to be a whiz-kid from Harvard, so he might be on to something. Besides, I recently read a McKinsey report saying that opinion pieces and analysis would overtake traditional news in the next decade, so it would not hurt honing my columnist skills.Therefore, in my column, to be released to the web in just a few minutes, I tried emulate my understanding of the concept.

The way I see it, there is great potential for opinion pieces also reporting from the field- analysis and journalism in one. The Economist does that quite well more often than not, and if you are looking for individual names, the first two that come to mind are NYT's Thomeas Friedman and FT's Gillian Tett. Unfortunately, I don't know of any Turkish names that do that as well as these guys. But maybe I am totally off the track, and "street columnist" means something else...

1 comment:

santia said...

I like Dinar.and its revaluation of currency.