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September 23, 2011 / subramanyam

A magazine for the curious mind

          When I first learnt about BBC Knowledge being launched in India , my first question was ,why are they doing this ?At a time when many magazines seem to be folding, when people are running to Wikipedia for every information based need, why is BBC Knowledge launching its Indian Edition ?

          I am a reader with diverse interests, hence magazines used to hold out a good promise to me. The non-news ,feature based and topic driven magazines were some of the sources I used draw my content from. With the emergence of Internet(web 2.0 in particular) and its gradual ascent as a reliable content provider, magazines started loosing their sheen as the one stop content providers for me .In the recent past , many magazines started focusing on current news,current stories and eventually their science sections , Q &A sections started becoming either a little bland or very knowledge heavy . What’s worse, in some magazines you see articles compiled from what can be called a 5 minute serious search on the web. Things of this sort  drove me away from magazines .

BBC knowledge issues I went through

          However, BBC knowledge has got something different to offer. I realized this after going through the complementary copies of BBC Knowledge I received for review. I read them over the last one week and in this article I am trying to give my opinion on this magazine.

          BBC Knowledge mainly focuses on 3 areas Science, History and Nature. The articles are crisp, smart, and well illustrated. They are well researched, intellectual but not too stuffy and will retain your interest on the topic till you complete it. Then you have maps, drawings and other graphic representations that help you sink-in the content faster. The best thing about the articles is that they are nicely balanced and offer you some very nice perspectives. Nice layouts and the beautiful pictures make the magazine visually appealing too. You have nice tidbits and sidebars which feed your curious mind with interesting facts.

          The 2 issues which I read, had articles on espionage, Korean War, Sumatran Rhino’s,BigBang theory ,World religions,Theory of relativity, Dinosaurs and other interesting stuff, so that speaks about the diversity of the magazine. As I mentioned before articles themselves are well written and easy to read.

          The Q&A section deserves a special mention here, the answers are to the point and have real well researched content.To me,this magazine scores points over the its counterparts in this particular section,I found every answer a well researched one, the questions selected were good  and the answers better.I also liked the Quickfire and How its works ? sections.

          Having said all this , I should say that I have a complaint or two to make,one, As an Indian reader I would be expecting something about India in the magazine ,I felt the content was awfully short on that front. The second one, too much of diversity at times may make people dismiss the whole stuff as trivia.

          I am sure the course correction will happen in the days to come and as the positives heavily outweigh the negatives, I suggest people “with a curious mind” to go through this magazine and I am sure you are not going to regret your decision. I am sure it’ll be good to have this magazine in school and college libraries .

          At the start of this post, I said that I moved away from magazines because I was finding everything I wanted on the Internet, this holds true even in the case of BBC Knowledge, but will I find the information so well-organized? so well researched ? so many perspectives? I doubt… Magazines like this give us pointers on what to look for. I highly recommend this magazine. If you have a curious mind, this magazine is for you.


One Comment

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  1. Sai Krishna / Sep 24 2011 8:55 am

    I saw this magazine a couple of times in the store. I liked the title ‘Knowledge’ but for some reason I never bothered to browse the magazine. Also, I never knew that this is from ‘BBC’. May be that might have pulled me to browse the magazine.

    Next time, I am going to have a look at this magazine. It is nice to hear that BBC has come up with a magazine for India. Thank you.


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