Editor’s Note

Print edition : March 21, 2014

This December, Frontline will complete 30 years of its existence. In these three decades it has created a space for itself with its kind of journalism, which is intellectually stimulating yet socially responsible, sensitive yet non-sensational, adversarial yet non-confrontational, critical yet non-abusive, diverse in coverage yet focussed in perspective—attributes that have earned for it a loyal, unshakeable readership that our marketing team will vouch for. In this “age of information” with multiple 24x7 sources of news competing with one another to fill the heads of readers and viewers with news, Frontline, without succumbing to the attention deficit disorder of “mainstream journalism”, has stuck to long-form journalism. And it has succeeded in drawing the readers’ attention to fundamental issues that matter in India and abroad—social, political, cultural, environmental, and so on.

Over these three decades the magazine has undergone changes only to make its rich and serious content more engaging, accessible and popular with the help of unobtrusive design elements. The biggest image makeover happened in 2006 when Garcia Media headed by Mario Garcia gave it a design that was “clean, elegant, usable and true to itself”. Commending Garcia’s work, former Editor-in-Chief N. Ram said: “The purpose of the redesign is to offer readers a more modern, disciplined, structured, accessible, newsy, interesting and elegant magazine.”

Our next major effort at value addition was in 2011. Frontline, with some more aesthetic modifications on the lines of Garcia’s pure design and new features and columns, was relaunched by Vice-President Hamid Ansari in New Delhi in September 2012. It was an instant hit, and the relaunched magazine with an increased cover price gained more readers and reached newer areas. Almost simultaneously, we redesigned our online edition (frontline.thehindu.com), making it more dynamic than it was in the past and increased its social media presence (Facebook and Twitter). The response has been encouraging.

It is well known to our readers that Frontline has a long shelf life. In fact, we have come across readers who possess all the issues of Frontline since its launch in 1984, neatly bound and stacked up in their little home libraries. The magazine, they say, is worth storing because of its value as a rich source of reference. The latest issue of Frontline comes in a perfect-binding format, doing away with stapling pins, in response to readers’ complaints of the photo feature pages falling off. For the cover, we have used 130 GSM art paper with increased thickness, to improve its storage value, and for the inside pages we have used light weight coated (LWC) paper, to make it visually more appealing.

These value additions, along with growing inflation and fluctuating dollar rates that keep pushing up production costs, have made it impossible for us to continue with the cover price of Rs.50. It has been revised to Rs.60. With the promise of keeping up the high standards of journalism that Frontline is known for, we solicit the cooperation and continued support of our committed readers.

R. Vijaya Sankar

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