Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Under British Rule

- Bengal Gazette (English weekly) published by James Augustus Hicky in 1780 Jan 29th from Calcutta. It was the first news paper in South Asian sub- continent

- Bengal Gazette alias ‘Hicky Gazette’, ‘Calcutta General Advertiser’

- Declaration ‘a weekly political and commercial paper open to all but influenced by none’

- Hicky had his own column, many persons wrote by pen names.

- Bengal Gazette could not survive more than two years due to sharp confrontation with Governer General Warren Hastings and Chief Justice Elijah Impey.

- Indian Gazette as a rival to Bengal Gazette, published in the same year (1780) by Peter Read, a salt agent (backing by Hastings).

- After Bengal Gazette, other publications from India were- Madras Courier weekly (1785), Bombay Herald weekly (1789) merged into Bombay Gazette in 1791, Hurukaru weekly (1793), Calcutta Chronicle (1818), Bengal Journal, Indian world, Bengal Harkarer etc.

- In the early period newspapers in India were run by Britishers.


A renowned man of the pen – born in Bombay – his father, a British citizen was a government officer in India – Rudyard joined Civil and Military Gazette (Lahore) in 1872 at the age of 17- worked for five years in Gazette- then moved to the Pioneer- his writings specially monologue and fictions were very impressive- ‘writing and every thing associated with, is a glorious fun’, ‘I love both the fun and riot of writing’- after suffering from malaria he was compelled to left India and went to England in1890- he served about 7 years in India as a journalist- he is still remembered as a creative journalist in the history of Indian journalism- reflections of his Indian experience can be seen in his several writings.

Indian’s involvement in publication

- Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the pioneer Indian journalist and social reformer

- By his inspiration Gangadhar Bhattacharjee published Bengal Gazette (1816),
the first Indian owned English daily newspaper, but could not survive long

- Raja’s own publications- Sambad Kaumudi (Bengali 1821), Mirut ul Akhbar (Persian 1822) and Brahminical Magazine (English 1822)

- Press Regulation –1823 imposed by British govt. in India to control newspapers.

- The regulation was used as a tool to deport James Silk Buckingham, Editor of Calcutta Chronicle.

- Raja presented a petition to Supreme Court to protest the regulation in favour of J.S. Buckingham.

- It was his bold step for the preservation of press freedom, however he defeated the case.

- Anti reformists Hindu fundamentalists published Samachar Chandrika weekly to challenge Raja’s social reforms.

- Raja passed away in 1833

- 1857 Mutiny (the first war of Indian independence) was a turning point to Indian journalism.

- In the issue of mutiny, British owned press and Indian owned press blamed each other in the lowest level.

- British owned press acted like blood mongers of Indians.

- This event worked as a fuel to Indian owned press against the British rule in India.

- Pioneers Indian journalists on those days- Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Gangadhar Bhattacharjee, Bhawani Charan Bannerjee, Dwarkanath Tagore, Girish Chandra Ghose, Harischandra Mukharjee, Ishworchandra Vidyasagar, Kristo Pal, Manmohan Ghose, Keshub Chander Sen etc.

- Other major publications by Indians- The Reformer, Enquirer, Gyan Auneshun, Bengal Herald, Bang Doot, Hindu Patriot, Indian Mirror, Sulab Samachar, etc.

After Mutiny

- Standard, The Bombay Times and Telegraph merged into Times of India in 1861, Robert Knight was the owner , he was also owner of Statesman daily (1875) from Calcutta, Indian Economist monthly and Agriculture Gazette of India, his editorials and writings were balanced and impressive.

- Other major publications- Indu Prakash weekly, Gyan Prakash, Lokhitavadi (all 1861), Amrit Bazar Patrika (1868 Cacutta), Pioneer (1872 Allahbad), The Hindu (1878 Chennai) , Keshari (marathi) and The Maratha (English) (both in1878 from Pune by veteran freedom fighter Balgangadhar Tilak)

- Pioneer Indian Journalists- Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahadev Govinda Ranade, Dadabhoi Naoroji, Gopal Rao Hari Deshmukh, Vishu Shastri Pandit, Karsondas Mulji, Bal Sashtri Jambhekar etc.

- British govt. enacted Vernacular Press Act-1878 to suppress Indian language newspapers

- Indian National Congress (INC) founded in 1885.

- It was led by many nationalists like Surendranath Banerjee, Balgangadhar Tilak, Dadabhoi Naoroji, Motilal Gosh, Bipin Chandra Pal, G. Subramania Aiyer, etc., who were active journalists too.

- After establishment of INC, Indian press became an important part of struggle for independence.

Leading Newspapers After Establishment of INC

-1900- Bangalee English Daily (ed)- Surendranath Banarjee

-1901- New India English Weekly (ew)- Bipinchandra Pal

- 1901- Bande Mataram – Bengalee weekly- Bipinchandra Pal

- 1906- Yugantar – Bengali daily- Barendra kumar Ghose

- 1909- Leader- ed- Madan Mohan Malviya

- 1913- New India –ed- Annie Besant

- 1913- Bombay Chronicle –ed- Phiroj Shah Mehata

- 1918 –Justice- ed- Dr.T.M.Nair (published by non- Brahmin movement in Madras)

- 1918 – Searchlight- English biweekly- Shachindranath Sinha

-1919- The Independent -ed– Pandit Motilal Neharu

- 1919- Young India – ed- Mahatma Gandhi

- 1920 – Nav Jeevan – Gujarati weeky- Mahatma Gandhi

- 1922- Swarajya- ed- T.Prakasham

- 1923- Forward- ed- Chittaranjan Das

- 1923- The Hindustan Times –ed- K.M. Panikar (first daily in Delhi)

- 1929- Liberty-ed- Subhas Chandra Bose

-1932- Harijan- Gujarati weekly- Mahatma Gandhi

- 1938- National Herald- Jawaharlal Neharu

- Viceroy Lord Curzon Vs. Indian press

- In 1907 series of arrests and prosecutions against the journalists and press

- India Press Act –1910 asked for heavy security deposits

- 963 publications and press were prosecuted under the act

- 173 new printing press and 129 newspapers were killed at their birth by the weapon of security deposits

- British govt. collected about 5 lakhs Indian Rs. in the first year of the act enforcement

- During the First world war (1914-1918) Indian press were divided.

- The act was forcely executed against the press who were not in support of British side in the world war.

- In 1919 Jaliawala Bagh massacre was a big disaster to the Indian press.

- Even the Anglo- Indian press were not escaped.

The Golden Era of Indian Mission Journalism (1920 – 1947)

- Declaration of non-cooperation movement against British rule in India.

- Press marched shoulder to shoulder with satyagrahis.

- Mahatma Gandhi lauded for freedom of expression, ideas and people’s sentiments

- Gandhi would not accept adv., he believed newspapers should survive on the revenue from subscribers

- He would not accept any restrictions on the paper, he rather close it down

- His writings were widely circulated and reproduced in the newspapers all over the country

- A big challenge to non-Gandhian newspapers.

- Gandhi declared ‘Salt Satyagraha’ in 1930

- The nationalist press played a memorable role, which perhaps is unique in the history of any freedom movement.

- Press ordinance issued in 1930 to suppress Indian press through heavy security deposits.

- When second world war broke out , British rulers became more suppressive to the Indian press

- In 1940 UP government directed the press to submit the headlines of the news to the secretary of the information department for his pre- approval

- In response to this, National Herald (newspaper run by Jawaharlal Neharu) published the news without headlines

- Second world war and freedom fight gave more fuel to Indian press

- Britishers charged them as ‘ pro-Hitler’

- All India Newspaper Editors Conference held in 1940 at Delhi voiced against the suppressive attitude of the British govt.

- Fresh suppression and struggle started from 1942 when Quit India Movement initiated

- Many press, publications and journalists including Neharu suspended and arrested in1942

- It continued until the declaration of independence in1947 August

- K. Rama Rao, Editor, Swarajya “ It was more than a vocation, it was a mission and the newspaper was a noble enterprise working for patriotic purpose”.

1947 Onwards

- India received independence from British rule on 1947 August 15th

- The press celebrated the independence, because it was their victory too.

- At the beginning of independence the relation between the national govt. and press was good, but a year after situation was changed

- P. M. Neharu, Sardar Ballav Bhai Patel, etc. were not happy with the press.

- Press Commission- 1952, report- 1954

- Recommendations – Press Council, press registrar, minimum basic salary for working journalists, strengthen the role of the editors

- The working journalist act-1955

- The newspaper (price and page) act- 1956

- Press Council established – 1965

- P.M. Mrs. Indira Gandhi declared state of emergency on 1975 June

- It was a shocking blow to the freedom of press

- Ignored the press freedom guaranteed by article 19 (1) in the constitution

- Heavy censorship during the emergency period under Defence Rule “ in order to maintain public order…”

- 1975 Dec 8th ordinance banned the publication of all ‘ objectionable matter’, no permission to report parliament, close down Press Council , blaming it was failed to curb provocative writings

- During 19 months of emergency 253 journalists detained and 7 foreign correspondence expelled

- When Janata Dal came into power, all the restrictions over press were removed

- After emergency Indian press became more professional along with high tech., simultaneous publications increased, tremendous change in the contents, more supplements, booming of specialized magazines

- Press Council re- established under new act- 28 member, chaired by retired judge of high court

According to UNESCO

Top circulation

The Times of India – approx. 18 lakh copies / day

The Indian Express – approx. 15 lakh copies / day

Total no. of all publications – approx. 40 thousand
Out of them dailies- 4,453 (including 320 English dailies)
NOTE : Circulation information may differ in changing situation.

The Times of India – 1861
Amrit Bazar Patrika – 1868
Pioneer - 1872
The Statesman - 1875
The Hindu - 1878


- Amateur Radio Club started local broadcasting in 1924 at Madras

- Indian Broadcasting co.(private) 1927- Bombay and Calcutta

- Indian State Broadcasting Service – 1930

- Name changed as All India Radio (AIR) / Aakashbani

- Before independence AIR stations in Hyderabad, Baroda, Mysore, Trivandrum, Aurangabad, Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Lukhnow, Pesawar and Dhaka

- During second World War radio became more popular in India

- After independence AIR was a major tool to dissiminate govt. information

- AIR as an ‘ electronic ambassador’ in abroad

- Now AIR have more than 200 stations covering 90% of the land and 97% of the population

- News in 24 languages including Hindi, English and many other languages of India

- From 1997 broadcasting is beeing regulated by an autonomous corporation under Prasar Bharati Act

- 12 radio sets / 100 people


- Door Darshan (DD) started as an experiment in 1959 from New Delhi, for educational purpose

- Regular broadcasting started from 1965 from New Delhi

- Indian Space Research Organization borrowed a satellite from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in 1975

- Community TV sets in 2,400 villages

- Colour broadcasting from 1982 on the eve of Asian Games held in New Delhi

- 40 different broadcasting centers

- covers 70% of land and 87% 0f population

- programs in about a dozen languages

- 6.5 tv sets / 100 people

- after 1995 many private channels

- all TV broadcasting regulated by Prasar Bharati Act


- Press Trust of India (PTI) 1947

- Hindustan Samachar 1948

- United News of India (UNI)- 1961

- Samachar Bharati –1965

Hindustan Samachar and Samachar Bharati produce news in various Indian languages while PTI and UNI in English

- Press Information Bureau (PBI), under Ministry of Information, provides government news and information in English, Hindi, Urdu and 13 regional languages.


Dr. Suchitra Patnaik said...

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R.Rojas said...

Good morning, I'm searching information on a magazine called "South" , published in India, about 1978- 1980,; I read it some times, here in Chile (South America) and I remember it for a detail: when refering to the U.S. and his people, it always wrote(at least as I remember) : "north americans", instead of "americans" ; what was a deference to our "southern" cultural patterns. I can not find nothing about that publication; it was a "Third world" one,I think.Thank you very much.

prici beejol said...

Gud eve,
The information which you gave under history of the press there is one small mistake.Annie Besant newspaper New India was started in the year 1914.Thank you.

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