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Flavour Of The Day

Pink or Mint was my first reaction. When I called up a friend and ex-colleague to enquire about the launch of the much talked-about new business newspaper set to change trends in business journalism, he was like "never mind, make fun". My intention was none. I wasn't sure of the name.

Much to the persistence of a nag, who wants to see the paper in flesh and blood and have it posted to him in the States, I was bound to buy two, not one. My savoury delights of Mint left me with a familiar taste. Published by HT Media Ltd in association with the Wall Street Journal, Mint is indeed a replica of WSJ. For starters, its look and feel. I thought I was going through the Hong Kong publication of WSJ, especially when looking at the last few pages. Basing on my romance with business journalism which is a little over one year, I am quite a novice but with patrons claiming "unique offering because of its unmatched journalism and insights into global businesses, markets and economies and its unrivaled journalistic standards worldwide", my expectations, to say the least, were dangerously high.

But lo and behold, the debutant paper has some sleepy subs, probably overworked with trial runs and re-runs. A bold intro on a big story (page 3) on public sector banks has the blooper "the remuneration gaps betweenublic-sector executives and their private-sector peers is still huge." What's more, The Story of Mint, from the mouth of famous designer Mario R. Garcia, one the brains behind it, is not without its typos. That's keeping a hawk's eye, part of my job! But there are warmth and insights in Garcia's thoughts when he says "we still expect serendipity in a newspaper... that gem of a story that we knew nothing about until we found it here. It does not have to be serious or transcendental, but it may be good to know, or even entertaining to read. A lot of what one enjoys is ephemereal in value, but enjoyable to consume..." Good reason for those who love Omar Khayyam who said: The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

But I am in disagreement with Garcia's 'iconic use of the coin' as a branding element of Mint. He says it symbolises the old world of the gazetta one one side and the modern world of today on the other and that in a more subtle way, it is a way of saluting the newspapers of the past as "we create a newspaper for the smartest, most demanding and impatient consumer of news ever". I can't relate to it that way except for the fact that to me as a layman (and having just watched Guru), the coin is that very symbol of fortune OR misfortune! I hope it's fortune all the way. As for me finding a job at Mint, that is ruled out, rest assured!

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