Tamil Nesan to start English pullout

September 3rd, 2012 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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This is indeed a bold and innovative move by Tamil Nesan. I assume there’s no price increase.

The positives:

– news on Indian community can be provided to the non-Tamil speaking section. Can’t be depending on Star/NST or other papers.

– mouthpiece for party and government initiatives.  As mentioned by Vell Paari, info like the RM180 million SME fund is still not as accessible as it should be.

– another source income from advertisement

– can possibly increase readership numbers

The negatives:

– would it be able to get the targetted section to buy the paper? This means pulling the readers from their regular English papers.

– sustainability is a concern.

– negativity surrounding Tamil Nesan as propaganda tool may not attract the intended readers.

Its a risky move, but worth giving it a try. Maybe Vell Paari should start with an online version first to see how’s the response.

Anyway, I will give it a try when the English pullout appears. Hope its not too political and end up being rejected. And definitely should have local news instead of news from India etc, unless relevant.

The Tamil Nesan daily is starting an English pullout on September 15 as its MIC-linked owners want to widen readership among non-Tamil-reading Indians ahead of the general election which must be called by next April.

There are four Tamil newspapers that cater to the 1.7 million Malaysian Indians in the country, with the oldest being Tamil Nesan which is owned by S. Vell Paari, the son of former MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

Vell Paari says the English pullout of the Tamil Nesan is to reach out to more Indian ethnic groups. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

“Our target audience has always been Tamil readers, but we want to increase it to the sub-ethnic groups; the Malayalees, Punjabis and Telegus, for example,” Vell Paari told The Malaysian Insider in an interview, saying that the local English and Bahasa Malaysia newspapers do not cater to the Indians, a key vote in a number of federal and state constituencies.

“Take, for instance, the government’s recent announcement of giving the Indian community RM180 million. None of the dailies further explained how or where the Indian community could get it from. Tamil Nesan wants to use our reach to inform the community specifically on these details,” he said.

The pullout, which will be a tabloid insert, would be published on a weekly basis with an average of 12 pages but could eventually be printed daily, said the newspaper owner.

Vell Paari, who is also MIC information chief, said the daily had received an approval letter signed on behalf of the secretary general to the Ministry of Home Affairs dated June 20.

Tamil Nesan’s English pullout comes exactly two months after a new Tamil daily, Nam Naadu, hit the streets to compete with Tamil Nesan, Malaysia Nanban and Makkal Osai. The new daily is backed by prominent businessman and Malaysian Association of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) president Datuk Kenneth Eswaran who also runs the fledgling pay-TV venture Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN).

Despite the number of Tamil newspapers licensed by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government, a majority of Malaysia’s ethnic Indians rejected BN in Election 2008 and threw out a number of MIC candidates including Samy Vellu from his Sungai Siput fortress. Analysts have attributed BN’s poor support from the Indian community to the snub to the Hindraf movement and falling circulation of the Tamil dailies.

Vell Paari said the 88-year-old Tamil Nesan has an average daily circulation of 44,000 copies while the Sunday edition has an average of 85,000, admitting that circulation has fallen over the years.

“Our highest so far for the daily has been 81,000 copies while the Sunday edition once registered a circulation of 178,000,” he said, expressing hope that the English pullout would increase circulation by catering to a new audience.

“Some Indians nowadays don’t read and write Tamil because they went to government schools, others just prefer to read English. We plan to cater to these readers as well,” he added…

source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/tamil-nesan-starts-english-pullout-helps-mic-woo-voters/


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