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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Changing the landscape of Bangladeshi business journalism

I wonder if you have noticed the recent change in the business journalism horizon of Bangladesh. Amidst a plethora of newspapers and magazines (both Bangla and English) and TV programs, a few who are trying to make a mark in business journalism in those domains are respectively the Daily Star, a newly launched monthly business magazine called Bangladesh Brand Forum and Ekushey TV’s ‘Ekushey Business’ program.

The Daily Star has increased its business page from 2 to 4 with renewed focus on various business issues of the country. Although its pretty early to comment, the Star seems to have the capacity and the brand name to nurture star business feature writers. Their recent e-version of the newspaper also appears to be a right step in the right direction, alluring more international internet audience to log on to their website for latest news and views from Bangladesh. What remains to be seen is how analytical the articles will be, other than posting only news or news-like stories, it is very important to provide a critical insight to business issues. Who knows Star might come up with a business blog in near future to stir up more interaction among topics and its readers.

P2P connections take you far and there is no branding better than self-branding. Although I personally always shied away from that, and thus find myself idling away writing in this blog, there are people who branded themselves as ‘gewrews’ in their respective fields and gave the world a larger than life impression about their expertise. Its also a good idea to keep a good relation with your past teachers….who are good teachers and especially business teachers who are adept in applying the business theories to real life and to themselves. Something similar came into realization when Bangladesh Brand Forum launched recently a brand new business magazine by the same name. Their ‘expert’ panel not only flaunts the name of the very best in the industry (like Kotler and Quelch) but also puts into limelight some ‘desi’ versions of Porters and Kotlers and Druckers mainly comprising of a few far-sighted IBA teachers, equally (if not more) far-sighted IBA graduates, and well established (perhaps IBA alumnus) business executives in the leading MNCs of Bangladesh. Their appearance in the business journalism horizon of the country surely spells doomsday for early starters like Executive Times and Economic Review who always lacked glamour and glitz. On the contrary, Bangladesh Brand Forum kicked off in style and glamour when they arranged a series of leadership forums by inviting famous foreign business leaders and arranged high-priced closed-door sessions in five star hotels in the country. That also got very good response from the business wanna-bees and wanna-babes who didn’t let go the opportunity to brush some shoulder with the movers and shakers of business literature and practices. All this, did give a good start and a certain element of class to the newly born business magazine. Let us wish the venture a success and a lot of fan following in the business community of Bangladesh.

Last but not the least is the advent of the business program in Ekushey Television called Ekushey Business. They have started providing live coverage of the stock prices directly from the exchanges. They are also arranging talkshows on contemporary business issues with different business personalities of the country. Its high time that ETV comes up with its own website so it can start streaming its programs over the internet for an interested non-resident Bangladeshi audience.


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