Lippo’s Globe
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Lippo’s Globe

When The Point took to the streets in 2006 as Indonesia’s second national English daily, nobody thought it could survive long. It had no editorial direction, its distribution network was bad, and it had no deep pockets.

No one was proven wrong. One year after I have blogged about it, The Point is no more.

Yesterday, I was holding for the first time a copy of the Jakarta Globe, its 9th day of publication.

JakartaGlobe  With the tagline ‘Great Stories, Global News’, the Jakarta Globe runs six days a week in 48 full colour pages packed in three sections — main news & My Jakarta metro news, Business & Sports, and Life & Times. Cover price is Rp 8,500, which costs Rp3,500 more than Jakarta Post.

Full-page full-colour advertisements from notable brandnames like LG, Master Card and in-house placements by Lippo Group of companies have dotted the print run.

As a serious photographer, I like the way the Globe places emphasis in photo-journalism in the same league as South China Morning Post and Straits Times Singapore. In fact more, the centre-spread of Life & Times section is devoted to a pictorial feature, named “Eyewitness”, comprisng several images reminiscing the LIFE magazine era.

After decades of complacency, I reckon the dominant Jakarta Post finally meets its perfect rival. The editor at the Post had better start keeping track of the Globe. I don’t think the Post, with its 28-page configuration including the classified and news and features befitting the appetite of a village paper, could match the Globe in terms of width and depth in content. And content is king, as can be seen in most Bahasa Indonesia news and business dailies.

Interesting, the Jakarta Globe is linked to James Riady of the Lippo Group, a personality T. Ananda Krishnan’s deceased ASTRO operations in Indonesia are at odds with.

(According to Indonesia’s Investor Daily yesterday (Page 7, National & Politics), satellite TV subscribers in Surabaya who are left uncompensated subsequent to unilateral service termination are ganging up to hurl ASTRO to a class action registered under No. 671/Pdt.G/2008 with the Pengadilan Negeri, dated November 18, 2008.)

I hope Editor-in-Chief Wim Tangkilisan and CEO Marshall Cooper will stay the course and keep the Globe growing. With its English-speaking populace on the increase, and its expatriate business communuty forever expanding, Indonesia deserves a far better English daily than what it has now.

All the best!