I read a couple of issues of Focus, the new weekly business magazine, it was pretty good. But I opted to wait for another issue before issuing a verdict. Got the latest issue. The tag line for Focus is "business analysed" and they stick pretty close to that.
The Edge is a victim of posturing towards their revenue, i.e. too much of the publication is geared towards lifestyle articles, which makes it a lot more like a watered down issue of Prestige or The Peak. We cannot really blame The Edge for that, I guess, I mean, the advertisers are the luxury products and property companies after all (largely).
Does that mean we cannot get a more than decent business weekly? Will it be supported by advertisers then or will they go down the same road as The Edge?
Focus is very good (for now). Staying true to the tag line, it covers not just listed companies but also business policy issues and SMEs, and even little private enterprises.
The article on Air Asia charging RM75 processing fee for a customer to recoup RM25 in airport tax was, shall I say, necessary and audacious, the former applying to the business transparency and the latter to Air Asia.
The spotlight on the high cost of international schools was very good and informative. We have to ask ourselves why? Why the proliferation of international schools?
Their pullout edition is not "luxury goods" thankfully but people and life. It focuses on enterprising people in business. Things which are very much business in nature and exciting to know and examine further. How the Tom Dick & Harry team are expanding much like Ben/Plan B, sounds exciting to note.
The pullout also has a brief article on "nostalgia businesses", though it deserves a much longer article. Why are they succeeding or is it just kopitiams and refurbished hotels? Why are we clamouring for nostalgia? Is that viable or a fad as a business platform. The failure of Heritage Row could have been expanded to note the pitfalls for other entrepreneurs.
The columnists are a lot more relevant than The Edge. They examine current and local issues, things we want to read, be discussed and dissected. The Edge has too many columnists writing about things we don't care about, or so peripheral we just keep on flipping. The Edge already has too many syndicated articles (i.e. from other publications / financial media outlets).
I hope Focus stays on the path and won't pander to the advertisers like The Edge. I hope there are more advertisers who will support Focus so that they can stay true as well. Hard balance to strike.
Verdict: Focus gives a lot more bite per ringgit. Good balance on issues, listed companies, investigative reporting, SMEs and smaller private enterprising businesses.