It’s high time you take direct responsibility of what you write instead of giving us the reviews written by others and recommending very few stocks per week...” Delhi-based Dr R.K. Goel wrote to us a couple of weeks ago. He is a regular reader of MONEY TODAY, or so we hope. Dr Goel’s complaint, or query, strikes at the very root of journalism.
Journalists are communicators. Their job is to convey news to people. Often that news gets wrapped with the views—of experts and of the journalist writing it. The crux then is to define news. The most widely understood definition of news is event. The RBI increasing interest rates is news, a particularly important one for a personal finance magazine like this one. Sometimes the personality behind an event can also be news.
But readers could argue, and rightly so, that news is more than just that. It should also include educating and informing people on issues that are not in the news. In the context of MONEY TODAY that would mean writing on anything from the best insurance policies to the safest stocks to buy, from mutual funds schemes with highest returns to the direction and speed of change in property prices. Our editorial canvass must also include utilities such as tax calculators and answers to reader-specific investment queries. This magazine has attempted to address these areas, and plans to further add to the quality and quantity of its editorial content. The question that nags us is how far should we go in giving advice? And should that advice be outsourced?
The Market Watch section that Dr Goel refers to is our attempt to outsource expertise on the stocks that some of India’s leading investment houses recommend. We go behind the recommendations, extract the rationale and add company fundamentals to it so that discerning readers can understand why a stock is worth investing in. This is classic journalism—reaching the expert voice to the layman and wrapping it with add-ons in terms of design and content. This philosophy is also reflected in our regular sections like MT Insight (pg 59 to 65 in this issue), MT Basics (pg 49) and several features. The idea is to educate the reader and leave the final decision to him. Readers like Dr Goel would want us to go beyond these attempts and give regular and specific advice—down to stocks and schemes.
We are working on a few projects that could deliver us exactly that. We are making sure that what we offer you as specific advice is thorough, transparent, auditable and across technology platforms.
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