Present Scenario of Print Media In India

In India, the Government uses print media to secure wide coverage of messages through various newspapers and journals. Print media as a traditional media plays a significant role in the development communication. In India, print media strengths have largely been shaped by its historical experience and, in particular, by its association with the freedom struggle as well as movements for social emancipation, reform, and amelioration.

Given national literacy rates as low as 51%, the very limited reach of newspapers and magazines, and the distinctly urban educated readership profile, the role of print media has been defined more in terms of information dissemination and advocacy. The picture is a lopsided one: circulation figures are rapidly increasing as are advertising revenues, but this is especially true of English publications, which account for 71% of the total ad revenue of members of the Indian Newspaper Society.

A key feature of these publications, unfortunately, is the increasing preponderance of glossy, ad-friendly film and TV-based reporting. That the sole trendsetter in this increasing corporatization of the fourth estate, The Times of India, also ranks 10th among the top-selling newspapers in the world, is no coincidence. Given the increasing costs of newsprint and production, and the pressure of market imperatives, newspaper houses have followed the piper in carrying ad -friendly fluff at the cost of more serious development and health reporting. Leading dailies have over the last few years dropped their special sections devoted to development and health. The low literacy rates and high production costs have also stymied the possibilities of smaller alternative publications that could potentially reflect the concerns of the development sector.

Today various modern and sophisticated technologies are using by the print media in both developed and under-developed countries and they also face stiff competition from electronic media. The circulation trends of the print media: newspaper and magazines in India and other few countries and also that how the role of print media in the development communication is changing in recent era needs to be studied. It also concentrates on what is the impact of new electronic media on the print media.

Post 1947, newspapers in India had a choice to make – either align with the government and support all its initiatives or act as a critique to the newly democratized country and its head. Newspapers at first acted as unofficial sponsors of its various initiatives and schemes. The five year plan especially came highly endorsed by the national newspapers. Most of the newspapers in India came into existence post independence. Today thousands of magazines and newspapers are in circulation. Whilst in the early days of democracy, the Indian government enjoyed full support of the media houses.

Today, due to the changing and advanced technology used in printing and communication media, print media get huge importance in mind of people. So it‘s become important to study how the trend and role of print media is changing in development communication.

Print has more than 10000+ unique titles in India. 46% of the registered publications are in Vernacular language. There are two sources of information for print evaluation – Indian Readership Survey & National Readership Survey. The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) is a body that ratifies the circulation figures of the publications but is not used as a primary source for evaluation of publications. Out of these above survey NRS has not been updated since 2006, while IRS updates its survey results every quarter. The IRS provides both the Average Issue Readership (AIR) which based on whether the respondent has read a publication within its last period of publication (last one day for dailies, last one month for monthlies etc) as well as Total Readership. It covers both Urban & Rural India under  its  survey  representing  around  876  Million.

This is a list of the newspapers in India by average circulation (in millions) for the six month period ended March 31, 2011. These figures are compiled by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Newspaper Language City Daily Circulation Owner
1 Times of India English Various cities and states 3.146 Owned by Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.
2 Dainik Jagranदैनिक जागरण Hindi Various cities and states 2.168 Owned by Jagaran Prakashan Ltd
3 Malayala Manoramaമലയാള മനോരമ Malayalam 10 cities in Kerala, Bangalore, Mangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi,Dubai, and Bahrain 2.048 Owned by Malayalam Manorama Group
4 Eenadu Telugu Various cities and states 1.70 [2] Founded in 1974, owned by Ramoji Group
5 The Hindu English Various cities and states 1.46 Founded in 1878, owned by Kasturi & Sons Ltd., exposed theBofors scandal
6 Sakshi Telugu Various cities and states 1.45 [3] Owned by Jagathi Publications., Mrs YS Bharathi Chairperson of the Group
7 Deccan Chronicle English Various cities and states 1.349 Owns Deccan Chargers franchise of the Indian Premier League
8 Ananda Bazar Patrikaআনন্দবাজার পত্রিকা Bengali Kolkata, West Bengal 1.277 Owned by Ananda Publishers
9 Amar Ujalaअमर उजाला Hindi Various cities and states 1.230 Mainly prominent in the Hindi heartland
10 Dainik Bhaskarदैनिक भास्कर Hindi Various cities and states 1.147 Also published as the Divya Bhaskar in Gujarat
11 Hindustan Times English Various cities and states 1.143 Owned by HT Media Ltd
12 Hindustanहिन्दुस्तान Hindi Various cities and states 1.142 Hindi extension of the Hindustan Times
13 Mathrubhumiമാതൃഭൂമി Malayalam 10 Cities in Kerala, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, and New Delhi 1.077 Owned by The Mathrubhumi Group
14 Gujarat Samacharગુજરાત સમાચાર Gujarati Ahmedabad, Gujarat 1.051 Owned by Lok Prakashan Ltd.
15 Punjab Kesariपंजाब केसरी Hindi States of Punjab, Haryana .902 Founder Jagat Narain was assassinated by Sikh militants on September 9, 1981
16 Dinakaranதினகரன் Tamil Various cities in Tamil Nadu and a few other cities .901 Bought out by SUN TV group in 2005
17 Sakaalसकाळ Marathi Various cities in Maharashtra .879 Launched English version Sakaal Times in 2008
18 Dina Thanthiதினத்தந்தி Tamil Various cities in Tamil Nadu and a few other cities .854 Founded by S. P. Adithanar
19 Divya Bhaskarદિવ્ય ભાસ્કર Gujarati Ahmedabad, Gujarat .840 Gujarati version of the Dainik Bhaskar
20 Aajआज Hindi Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh .748
21 Financial Chronicle English Various cities and states Unknown Owned by Deccan chronicle holdings Ltd.
22 Economic Times English Various cities and states .651 Owned by Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.
23 The Telegraph English Various cities and states .465 Owned by Ananda Publishers
24 Prajavaniಪ್ರಜಾವಾಣಿ Kannada Karnataka,various city in India .565 Owned by Mysore Printers Pvt Ltd
25 The New Indian Express English Various cities and states .309 Owned by Express Publications Ltd.
26 Deccan Herald English Various cities and states .350 Owned by The Printers
27 Udayavaniಉದಯವಾಣಿ Kannada Karnataka, Bengaluru,Mumbai,Manipal .185 Owned by Udayavani
28 Hadoti Express Hindi Baran .Unknown Owned by Mr.Ajay Singh
29 The Statesman English Various cities and states .172 Owned by The Statesman Ltd.
30 The Hindu Business Line English Various cities and states .163 Owned by Kasturi & Sons Ltd.
31 Business Standard English Various cities and states .144 Owned by Business Standard Ltd. (BSL)
32 News Post Hindi Various cities and states .125 Owned by Mr.Keshav Sen

With the emergence of the television and the new media (internet), it can be argued that newspapers are becoming irrelevant in terms of providing the latest news. However, both media has its own importance. The longevity of written media is much more than the electronic ones. It is the written media which has made history recordable and accurate. The age of an old manuscript found while digging a historical site gives information about the era in which it was written, which is not possible with electronic media. Print media is durable. Anyone can anonymously post articles and raise their voices. It is difficult to track the real owner of an article. With electronic media, anyone can copy any piece of information and present it as his own; plagiarism is at its peak these days.  The information provided by a newspaper is usually more authentic and genuine but it is not in case of electronic media. Electronic media depends mainly on electricity. In areas with frequent power cuts or in the rural areas, it is not a viable replacement for newspapers. Print media is easily accessible and widely read.  Anyone can buy it since it is cheaper and available in the remotest of the villages. In a country like India, subscribing to newspapers is cheaper than taking an Internet connection. Print media is local to the city or the region and carries information about the local events like a play being screened in the town or an inter-school chess tournament. Many newspapers in India and the world to some extent have started providing analysis of the news as well and so the demand and scope of newspaper is still sustain in competitive age. The coverage of the 2009 General Elections is the proof of that. Most newspapers had their own supplements dedicated to the elections and they scrutinized every detail of the elections in a way the television channels cannot provide. As of 2000, there are at least 41,705 newspapers in India and growing every day. The media whilst flawed is one of the most precious commodities in any democracy and as India celebrates another year of its emancipation, the media has a lot to celebrate as well – everyday for millions all over the country it makes this independence count substantial instead of some word uttered as a cliché at some cocktail party. The newspapers had the information in greater detail, depth and also had images which were not shown on TV.  In the recent era, many print media are also available in electronic forms. Shortly, the print media is now available at global level using the internet on which information  came in the print media format.