Every Indian household has a copy of a newspaper in their home. These newspapers are used as a primary source of information and entertainment. Every evening, for at least a week, most newspaper offices and news channels have a special feature to air news and other stories from all over the country, under one roof. From local news to international news, from large city breaking stories to breaking news on the exotic destinations of South India and other parts of the world, every newspaper has all the news you could want or need. From the time of independence in 1947, when newspaper printing and publishing started in India, till now, newspaper news in India has played a key role in Indian society.
Indian newspaper industry has an interesting history, which can be traced back to the historical times when Hindu leaders used newspapers and printed pamphlets as a weapon to fight against the British. The first newspaper printed in India was published in response to the Decades War. Newspaper printing in India first launched in Bombay after the declaration of independence. From then on, Mumbai, Kolkata, Calcutta, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Lucknow, Goa and Pune have been the frequent destinations for printing office to have a daily dose of news.
Although there are many newspapers published today, each newspaper still follows its own format and method of functioning. As per the guidelines laid down by the World Wide Web Group, any newspaper that is published and funded by the Indian government must conform to the newspaper industry’s format and mechanism. This group of editors-in-chief generally fixes a set of parameters defining what can be published in a paper and what can’t. For instance, a national daily newspaper that belongs to India can not carry news about disputed international issues or domestic violence unless those issues are covered under the ambit of domestic violence.
Newspaper circulation in India has witnessed exponential growth over the past few years. With rapid urbanization and increasing demand for news, the popularity of the Indian newspaper industry has further seen an upward trend. There has been no dearth of advertising spaces in newspapers owned by the elite or the mainstream publishing houses. Also, many people prefer online access to newspapers as compared to print access. Given the increased circulation and popularity of the Indian newspaper, the newspaper market in India is witnessing a brisk business from both the sides.
First published in 17roredge, the first newspaper printed in India originated in Calcutta. The first published on the subjects of politics, economy and finance, it came into existence at a time when newspapers were considered a potent political weapon to be used by the ruling British. As newspaper ownership and publication expanded throughout the country, other towns and cities followed suit. And now a day, every city in India has its own established newspaper industry. Initially, newspapers were published by the established newspapers owned by the elite. However, gradually local newspapers and dailies started publishing and circulated free to all.
After the empire was partitioned by the British in 1857, the demand for a national newspaper intensified and many newspapers were started in the new nation. Initially, a news report on a particular issue was published free to all but when the first national census was conducted under the new British regime, the freedom of speech and expression was limited and published news was restricted to a few specific topics. However, when freedom of speech and expression was introduced through the Decree on Prevention of Harassment of Women (women’s rights) in India, the demand for a national newspaper increased and it was published by every newspaper office. But, the growth of the Indian newspaper industry was overshadowed by the booming real estate market in the country. In this context, the newspaper industry was overtaken by the real estate sector in the west and the east.
The British ruled India from the time of the British Raj up to the formation of Pakistan. As per the Freedom of Information Act, published news can be obtained from Indian government offices and state news rooms but the access is very restricted and not without cost. As per the British rule, India was largely closed to foreign news media and the Indian press was forced to depend upon the foreign print media for its dissemination and distribution.
However, with the coming of the new dispensation in the form of the New democracy in India, the Indian newspaper industry started progressing and as per the records, it was reported that in the early twentieth century there were nearly 500 news papers printed and circulated in the country. Today, there are well over 100 major newspapers and more than a thousand regional newspapers published and distributed throughout the country. This indicates the immense popularity of the Indian print media. As the Indian newspapers are largely dependent upon the British colonial legacy, it is apparent that the newspaper industry of the country has developed as the result of the British influence and has come to encompass the entire culture and society of the country.