The curious case of The Times of India and HT

Does the home-turf breed complacence?

Media specialist and author of The Indian Media Business, Vanita Kohli-Khandekar, makes an interesting observation in her column in Mid-Day, Bombay.


“Mumbai is my hometown. In my growing up years we took only one newspaper at home—The Times of India….

“In 2003, I shifted to New Delhi. And TOI turned out to be a big surprise. It was and still is a crackling read in the capital. It has good reportage and some of the best analyses on any given news. In one instance of a murder story that I remember, Hindustan Times reported that an aunt was the only relative of a murder victim. TOI managed to trace that aunt, interview her and carried her picture.

“Funnily enough when I come to Mumbai, and I do that very frequently, Hindustan Times is the paper I prefer to read for exactly the same reason. It is a better read in Mumbai….

“This is not to say that TOI Mumbai or HT Delhi are bad but simply that they are better in the other’s City. Why do these two papers do a much better job in the home markets of their competitors? One reason seems obvious, there is strong incumbent competition. Mumbai has been TOI territory for decades. So when HT came here in 2005, it has had to work harder to woo readers, build up circulation and get ad revenues.

“Similarly Delhi is seen as HT‘s territory. So TOI works doubly hard there…. So competition always eggs brands to work harder.”

Read the full article: To read a good newspaper


  1. n

    This is, to some extent, true with say The Hindu. In Bangalore, it makes a really good read. In Chennai too, the quality of reporting is good, but one can sense the complacency. The Hindu of Chennai also tends to carry lighter stories than it does in Bangalore.

  2. kavaseri

    ToI started from scratch in Bangalore and long overtaken the leaders including The Hindu. But in Chennai, TH is yet to be overhauled though ToI is indeed working hard. Apparently staid old Chennai (should I say Madras?) is still too conservative for competition.

  3. karthik

    Its not about being conservative. Its about giving relavent news. TOI has to fix itself and stop publishing porn to be a hit in chennai.

  4. Indian

    I never liked TH. I went with TNIE and now TOI – better any day than Ram’s TH

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