Considering the various issues in which the State is mired, the incoming Congress government faces a daunting task.
After weeks of racing against deadlines, we called it a wrap on May 28. The redesigned Frontline is now in your hands. It was a challenging but exciting time for the team as we worked to take this iconic news magazine to the next stage of its remarkable journey.
Launched in 1984, the magazine has witnessed and recorded landmark events in history, and there is a sense of rightness with which it claims its place in the annals of print journalism. It will retain and expand that role in its new avatar as well.
The design guru Mario Garcia, who has a long association with The Hindu Group, perfectly grasped the essential character of Frontline and the spirit of the transformation we sought. The idea was to retain the magazine’s original core—as a platform for fearless intellectual and critical thought—while imbuing it with fresh energy, new voices, more topics, and a lighter touch, tying it all together with contemporary typefaces and modern design principles.
The result that Garcia and his team have produced, which is now reflected across print, website, and our newly launched app, is exactly what we had hoped for. The design is quiet, stylish, and airy so that lengthy features are displayed with minimal visual fatigue. We inject drama through vivid headlines and drop caps while playing up the photographs. We have chosen two font families, Publico (serif) and LFT Etica (sans serif), that together produce a clean and unfussy look while standing out boldly.
The first cover feature in the new Frontline is, aptly enough, the new Karnataka government. Some excellent pieces look at the various issues in which the State and its capital are mired, making the task for the incoming government highly challenging but one which, if pulled off, can become a governance model to emulate. Besides health, infrastructure, and education, the Siddaramaiah Cabinet has to focus on ending the communalism that was unleashed by the preceding BJP government, a process of healing that will take time, sensitivity, and firmness. Siddaramaiah, Priyank Kharge, and others from the Congress in Karnataka have been unusually blunt about undoing mischievous moves like the anti-conversion law. It will be interesting to see if the Congress will take this face forward in 2024 or revert to its feeble “balancing” act.
Besides Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed, our man in Bengaluru, the political commentator Ashoka Mody, the economist Jyotsna Jha, and the environmentalist Leo Saldanha have contributed to the cover package. Siddaramaiah also gave his first media interview after becoming Chief Minister to Frontline.
From the States, we pick two disturbing stories to spotlight, Jammu and Manipur. Our writers go behind the headlines to find the festering reasons for the resurgent terrorism in the Pir Panjal belt and the rising fury and suspicion among Manipur’s tribes.
Back of the book, don’t miss the outstanding interview with the French photographer Charles Fréger on Aam Aastha, his new work that covers the gamut of Indian costumed traditions, from Kathakali to Theyyam to Gavri. Our Cannes Special explores in detail two Indian films, Agra and Ishanou, that made it to the Riviera this time. But what will catch your attention are Naveen Kishore’s surreal photographs shot in 2002 with straw dummies and a hand-held analog camera.
If you’re wondering why the magazine feels heavier, it’s because we have added 16 pages to this special relaunch issue. We hope you will find that Frontline is now more accessible and interesting while gaining a sharper journalistic edge.
Because finally, that’s what we want to do—good, old-fashioned journalism.