The Wall Street Journal has shut its “India Real Time” blog, becoming the second major US daily to retreat from India-oriented offerings. “Seven years and crores of clicks later, The Wall Street Journal is winding down the successful blog,” Eric Bellman of the daily’s New Delhi bureau wrote on its website on Monday.
“‘India Real Time’ started in 2010 as the first attempt by a global newspaper to offer a news product for Indian readers through the internet,” he added. The New York Times followed it, launching “India Ink” with fanfare the next year, but closed it down in 2014.
“‘India Ink’s’ closure came soon after the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had been opposed strongly by many of its writers.”
The Times has since been publishing some of its content in different languages like Polish, Spanish, Mandarin and Korean, but not in any Indian language. Another New York-based newspaper, the Daily News, which was one of the largest American newspapers, launched “Desi News” in 2012.
But it was aimed mainly at an audience of Indians and other South Asians in the US rather than in India like the other two. It closed down the next year.
Since then at least two new media companies have launched India specific operations, both in 2014: Quartz, owned by Atlantic Media, and Huffington Post, owned by the telecom giant, Verizon, through its AOL subsidiary.
The Huffington Post’s India edition was started in association with The Times of India group.
In addition, Yahoo runs a stable of India-oriented sites, ranging from news to celebrity gossip. Yahoo was recently acquired by Verizon. Last week, The New York Times and The Financial Times reported that The Wall Street Journal was cutting back on its print operations in Asia and Europe.
The New York times wrote: “The Journal will continue to publish an Asian edition in Tokyo, but is exploring other ways to reduce print publishing elsewhere in Asia.” The Journal also announced that it was closing its “China Real Time” blog.
According to theatlantic.com, two reporters were laid off from The Wall Street Journal’s New Delhi bureau earlier this year. Bellman wrote that the Journal would “continue to offer the content Indian readers want through the more popular paths of distribution: subscriptions, apps and social media”.