225 years of Indian Newspaper

Indian Newspaper celebrates its 225th birthday today. This same day on 1780, the Indian newspaper was born and a new jobs called paperboys emerged. Hopefully it will continue to swing for the next 20 years like this. 20 years is just too much of a guesstimate given the supersonic developments in the tech area. However, newspapers would live longer than that but may not be in the same paper form. Who knows ?

Atleast in this part of the world, newspapers have been the prime source of news for more than a century. Else Bharati wouldn’t have never attempted to edit a newspaper called Vijaya when he was undercover in Pondicherry. The televisions which glare the red colored flash news snippets are just about picking up and can never replace newspapers. The internet however can.

Imagine, after 10 years from now, all of us might carry a tabloid PC or smaller than that, where we would subscribe to online editions of The Hindu, Times of India, Deccan Herald and those paperboys might just loose their jobs. Though personally I wish that never happens because there are numerous people whom I know, jump-start their morning biological compulsions only after a cup of filtercoffee and a gulp of morning news from The Hindu. Am sure Hindu’s online edition would improve dramtically then, to adapt the bulging online junta.

Vikatan group which publishes the widely read popular weeklies, is making it’s their online editions as a paysite. I am sure their online readership would continue to drop in the coming months but I am positive it might pickup in a year or two. All these days Vikatan.com was a free site and it was serving Vikatan only as a way of marketing their magazines. Now they are continuing to do what they have been doing online but for a sum of money. Even a few thousand dollars for them through the online subscription is extra. They can atleast break-even with this to pay their online content managers.

Back in the US, as the newspaper van throws a plastic covered newspaper at the doorstep which most of them pickup only when they take their cars out to work. They get dose of news from the numerous news channels and online news sources delivered to their multi-tasked PDAs. Ofcourse, I’ve read newspapers like Chicago Tribune, NY Times, Sun, Wash Post that have provide amazingly opinonated views to the news. It’s only that the urgency of life that make newspaper being read online than offline. A similar case would also happen even in India. I ain’t under estimating the power of newspaper but it’s due to complex lifestlyes, newspapers might get shrinked as marketing media for the readers. There could even be a Hindu evening edition in the coming years just for the whole lot of population that only gets up in the evening after a tiring night shift at callcenters.

All the above were on the future of newspapers. Taking about the contemporary state, few newspapers have started to take political sides or caste-based sides. A commoner has to read atleast two newspapers, watch the biased channel news, read online just to decide what the actual story was. Here’s the positive note for all those who think I was a little negative through out the post. If only newspapers continue to report(this is dicey word) news as they are, they can give a run to the online news content and news channels.

For those who missed to read today’s newspapers(in the wood pulp form), here are some the fabulous ad caption that The Indian Newspaper Society published as multiple quater page ads in most of the newspapers.

If this was just a paper, it wouldn’t have lasted 225 years. The Indian newspaper. Born 29th January 1780. Just as powerful today.

Go back to reading the paper. On this day in 1780, the first Indian newspaper hit the stands. And so began a ritual millions indulge in everyday. Come to think of it, that’s what you were doing before we interupted.

Just this once, the big news of the day isn’t in the papers. It is the papers. 29th January, 1780. The first Indian newspaper hits the stands. And ever since, the papers have become an essential part of daily life. Now there’s a truly newsworthy event.

14 thoughts on “225 years of Indian Newspaper

  1. Lazy,

    I woundn’t agree with you that news papers are going to be there only for 20 years. I dont think either the TV or the internet can replace print irrespective of the technological developments. Btw Am no techie unlike you guys!!! Thats why I guess I have a different perception about this.

    My day is not complete unless I read the ET for atleast an hour in the morning. I am sure this is going to continue throughout.

  2. Vasant, I was guessing that probably after 20 years newspapers may or may not be there. Did we knew at 1995 that there is going to be a information explosion like this.

    As I had asid many people even start their day only after a newspaper. But the internet superhighway is paving way to many advancements. Even dotcoms can become ET(extra terrestrial) in the next 10 years and there could some dashcoms. Noone is sure.

  3. i go with Lazy, and yes, 20 years is too much time. But there’s nothing like reading news from the morning smells of the Paper.

    and, Mr. I_F, Picassa 2 is really neat, and i like the Google logo on that,.

  4. Reminds me of the “every morning rush to get a hold of the first and the second page of the newspaper even before breakfast”, back in my college.

    I surely and sorely and sourly miss them.

  5. I get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t read the paper in the morning!

    But as the old joke goes, “Television can never replace Newspaper. You can’t pack your lunch in a television, can ya?” 🙂

  6. Hi Guru,

    Loooong time since i mailed u…

    Good post regarding newspapers.. But i doubt the 2o yrs concept..

    After all….Nothing can replace the pleasure of taking NEWSPAPERS to the bathroom…. HAHAHA

    online versions will continue to improve… But with indias diverse population and still 60 percent under poverty line, computer,internet etc will take a loooong time to reach most of them…

    what ya say

    gnanamani

  7. Lazy,

    Even if your prophecy slips the 2025 deadline, it is inevitable that News will no longer be seen in its paper format. The reason is not far to see, namely:

    1) Paper will be a very rare (& expensive commodity)
    2) Handhelds will no longer be for technophiles (lazygeek & me included ;). It will resemble paper (see Minority Report) or we will soon start getting used to it (26+ characters effortlessly SMSed from 12 button mobile?)

    I think, more importantly, this post rightly extols the longetivity of the print media. It was simplistically assumed that TV would replace all media. But the Radio and Print have survived. Simply because those media have been non-intrusive unlike TV. Radio can be played in the background and Newspapers can be scanned whenever you get a break. Print media is often more analytical and thought provoking than other media. The success of the Internet is nothing but the revival of the written word.

    On a witty note, there are some of us who are allergetic to the morning smell (kerosenesque) of fresh newsprint. We would be the early adopters of such technological change 😉

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