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The ministry of information and broadcasting has given the final nod to Wall Street Journal India Publishing Pvt. Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Journal publisher Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) Inc., to bring out the facsimile edition of The Wall Street Journal and The Wall Street Journal Asia.
Suman Dubey, who has been designated the publisher and editor of the fax edition, said the company had several steps still to complete before the paper can hit the newsstands. “We are of course very pleased and we hope to implement the project at the earliest. But we still need to get RNI verification for the titles and there are other procedural issues to be taken care of,” he said. RNI, or the Registrar of Newspapers in India, is the agency that grants titles to publications in India.
A source confirmed that the Journal’s Indian subsidiary is in talks with The Indian Express Newspapers Mumbai Ltd, publisher of The Indian Express, to print the fax edition locally. The fax edition is likely to be priced at Rs30, the person added. A facsimile edition is the exact replica of a newspaper published abroad and it cannot carry local content or advertisements.
We reported on Monday that Dow Jones’ investment in the new company has been cleared by the government’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board.
The development brings to focus the Journal’s content sharing agreement with HT Media’s business daily, Mint. Dow Jones executives have maintained in the past that their decision to publish a fax edition in India would not impact the content sharing agreement with Mint. But it will now lead to a situation where the Journal content is available in its own fax edition for Rs30, but the most India-relevant content of that is anyway available in Mint, which sells for
Rs2 Rs3. Online subscription to WSJ.com’s recently expanded Asia coverage is priced at $1.99 a week, which is close to Rs5,000 for the whole year.
Correction: Mint recently hiked its price to Rs3. We regret the error.