A spurt in literacy rates along with a renewed focus on regional language publications have been the main drivers of this growth anomaly. However, another lesser known fact is that Indian newspapers are primarily made from recycled newsprint, while also being aided by government subsidies. This makes newspapers in the country far more affordable when compared to other parts of the world. Additionally, the credit also goes to the socio-culturally embedded routine of having newspapers delivered to the doorstep every morning amongst a large section of the society.
The first newspaper in the country was started in 1780 by the British and was known as Hicky’s Bengal Gazette. This gave an impetus to establish other newspapers that covered the tidings of the British Raj along with local news. Notably, the oldest continuously published newspaper in the country is the Bombay Samachar and was established in 1822.
The most popular daily in the country is Dainik Jagran and is published in Hindi. Among English speaking Indians, The Times of India had the highest average readership in 2017. Regional publications which are read avidly include Malayalam Manorama, Daily Thanthi in Tamil, Eenadu in Telugu and Lokmat in Marathi amongst many others.
As the younger population is increasingly embracing news on their screens, it cannot be denied that some of the print sector has taken a hit in the country compared to its growth trajectory from a few years ago. Moving on, the challenge for India’s newsprint industry is to be able to retain their audiences through digital platforms, while still maintaining enough advertising and subscription revenue to continue the print editions.