For a long time, India Today was the only option available for English language readers as other newsmagazines had either closed down or become outdated in the changed environment; then Outlook brought a new perspective. Knowing Vinod Mehta, I looked forward to reading the magazine and was never disappointed. In recent years I’ve noticed, and it’s become more prominent after Vinod Mehta’s passing, the magazine is becoming increasingly opinionated and swinging to extreme points of view. Outlook has always had a leftward leaning but given the present geopolitical environment, sometimes Outlook’s pendulum swings too far left. And the opinionated writing is not even comprehensive, it is badly argued and lacks all essentials of rational debate. You are not a polemical magazine and we expect to see both sides of an argument. The share of softer stories, features, has come down—a little more space for the arts and human interest issues would be great.
Over the years, there has been a stark change in media consumption patterns and like most magazines worldwide, Outlook has not adapted to it. Since the amount of time people have to consume print is reducing you need to find a way to engage with people better and faster. Try illustrative storytelling and sharper writing, instead of long, languid essays—Arundhati Roy’s writing being just one example; I used to admire her writing but now find it laboured. Yet, I am happy to see Outlook having survived 20 years in a competitive world.
Amit Khanna is film-TV producer, actor, writer, ex-Reliance Entertainment chairman.
Outlook invites readers to take part in its 20th anniversary celebrations. Send us your bouquets and, more importantly, your brickbats. E-mail your entry to editor [AT] outlookindia [DOT] com