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Our Take On Network18’s IBN South

The Network18 group has launched a new section dedicated to South Indian states for its news web site IBN Live,  called IBN South. The site covers news from the four South Indian states and their capital cities. Besides in-house news reports, the site sources news stories from PTI and interestingly, The New Indian Express powers a separate Southern News sub-section.  The news articles also feature topic related hash tags and features videos from CNN-IBN and picture slide shows.

Our Take

– On Regional focus needed: The Indian media is often accused of being far too Delhi and Mumbai centric, and tend to lack the regional flavor, and the tendency has been for channels like IBNLive’s sister TV channel CNN-IBN to run special capsules focusing on news from the Southern region, in order to address this gap. This is perhaps mirroring that approach.

– Discovery: Perhaps it is true that there is adequate regional content available online, but because of the sheer volume of news and entertainment coverage of Delhi and Mumbai – or national news – the rest of the country gets dwarfed in comparison. Creating a separate section can aid content discovery that is specific to a state or a region.

– Platform approach: The present implementation is more like an aggregation of news from the states linked under one sub-head, but much like Yahoo India, IBNLive can look to

– Content Creation: We’d also like to see more local news from other major cities in each of the states. Also, info such as weather forecast for the region can be integrated with the section. In addition, perhaps the very fact that you have a section dedicated to a region or topic puts pressure on the editorial team for updates. We’re not sure if IBNLive has the fund to put feet on the street for coverage though, and the Network18 group does appear to be

– What next for IBNLive?

We’d like to see them aggregate more Indic languages, and launch Indic language sites. It’s not about traffic, but building an audience.

We’d also like to see a mainstream publication or website aggregate news from the India’s north eastern states, because the coverage of that region tends not to be surfaced by editors, as much as others. For example, we need more on the 93 day old Manipur Blockade.

(with inputs from Anupam Saxena)

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