Are You Open?

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At Open, we are invested in the idea of ‘openness’, and we would like to think the value permeates our magazine/webzine. Watch this commercial we made to make this pitch to the world. Also read the Editor’s letter to our readers, carried in the inaugural edition of the magazine (issue date: 10 April 2009)


Welcome to Open. We hope you will find it a friendly word: inviting, liberal, without biases, inclusive and eager to engage. A pause amid the breakneck pace of TV and new media, more of a saunter than a sprint. After all, we’ll trouble you only once a week.

It’s only polite to introduce ourselves first. We are the first magazine from the newly set up media venture of the RPG Group, the Rs 14,000-crore industrial conglomerate that includes companies like Ceat Tyres, Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation, Saregama, Zensar Technologies, and brands like Spencer’s. RPG is the largest industrial group to enter Indian print media this century.
So, what does Open hope to be? We hope to be a weekly offering on your life and times. We hope to inform, engage, stimulate and entertain in an intelligent fashion. But isn’t this what almost all magazines set out to do? Yes, there may be nothing new in what we want to do, but we think we will be distinctive in how we do so, in these strange and complex times we live in. So let’s start with what we won’t do.

We won’t repeat the news you have already watched on TV, read in the papers and on the net, unless we can find a new approach to it, or contribute significantly to your additional knowledge needs. We won’t know whether we have succeeded till we hear from you, but this is our promise to you: We value your time. And we don’t want to be an echo. Also, we don’t want to be a purely India-centric magazine. You are a global citizen, and you are as interested in Barack Obama’s hair greying considerably in his first ten weeks in the White House as in the men and women who are the closest advisors of Rahul Gandhi. We are a magazine from India, for the global-minded Indian. The front section of the book, if you turn this page and see, is called ‘Small World’. Almost every section has something international in it.

We will be quirky. So, in this issue, you will find a story on the abdominal guard used by batsmen—an extremely important cricket accessory that has been always journalistically neglected. And a story on how nonsense—okay, utter bullshit—rules our lives in so many ways. Also we will try to avoid journalistic clichés. There will be no stories in this magazine whose last sentence will begin with the words: ‘Only time will tell…’ We will be often opinionated. You will often, we are sure, not agree with that opinion. Let us know. Let us talk. We will not shirk from admitting mistakes. And we will not be a magazine that mostly men find interesting. Ever.

We know that our typical reader is a busy person. His or her information needs are specific, they are well aware and decisive about their turn-on nodes. They enjoy the good life and are curious to know how they can enjoy an even better one. We hope we can aid in that. And that you will help us grow too.

We are proud to say that we have as talented a bunch of people, both on the editorial and business side, as we could have hoped to collect. Only a small percentage is older than 40. We, the elderly, learn from them, and are often surprised by their passion, and the ideas they come up with. Because, finally, we will be about ideas: their richness, their unpredictability quotient.

So many hopes we have, so many things we want to do through this magazine, so many ways we want to engage with you. And these are not just words for us, though we are fundamentally about words. Above all, above all, we will try our damnedest never ever to insult your intelligence. Call that more than a promise. Call that a covenant.

Sd. Sandipan Deb, Editor-in-Chief, Open

This weekly magazine, brought to you by Open Media Network (of the Kolkata-based RPG Group), launched in 12 Indian cities on 4 April 2009