IT news guru Mike Magee launches Indian website

The veteran technology journalist behind one of the UK’s earliest online news sites has set his sights on the burgeoning Indian media scene for his latest launch.

Mike Magee, who co-founded technology news website The Register in 1994, has hired four Indian journalists to work on the newly launched ITExaminer.com – and has pledged to train and grow the editorial team further in the coming months.

‘I have a mixture of experienced people and new kids. I’m going to hire two or three more,’said Magee, who jetted over to Bangalore in March to interview 12 prospective candidates for the jobs.

‘I was interested in the idea of training up journalists. I’ve done this for so long – I like the challenge of bringing new people on.”

The English-language site, which soft-launched last month, is backed by a Chinese company called Metaplume and aims to capitalise on the growing importance of India in the IT industry, and give an Indian perspective on global computing news.

IT Examiner is the third online launch from Magee, the technology reporter turned web entrepreneur who left The Register in 2001 to set up a rival site, The Inquirer, which was then sold to Computing publisher VNU in 2006.

Magee, who has taken the role of managing editor on the new site, told Press Gazette there was a real sense of excitement about the rapidly growing Indian journalism market.

‘The cities are very modern. When you look on the newsstand there are dozens of magazines,’he said. ‘The software and outsourcing businesses are booming.”

He is currently co-ordinating the team in Bangalore – and a team of four freelance stringers dotted around the world – from the UK, but acknowledged that he would ‘have to go out there for longer’to oversee its growth. ‘I want to get the Examiner up and running and pass that on to another editor and then start on another one. I’ve got some ideas,’he said.

‘The company that’s put the money behind it wants to set up other websites in different sectors.”

Magee is not alone in seeing potential in the Indian media market. An Indian edition of Marie Claire launched in 2006, followed last September by rival women’s magazine Vogue.

Spectator publisher Andrew Neil revealed last month that he had been to India with a view to launching the weekly magazine there, but said the plan would have to be a joint venture with a local publisher because of regulatory rules preventing foreign ownership of a title.

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