After reading this article you will learn about the role of Indian press in advertising.

Press in India 1995-96:

The growth of the press in India retained an upward trend during this period. A few important newspapers closed down but some resurfaced. Special interest magazines continued their stride while general interest magazine, barring a few continued losing ground.

The attacks on press and media persons, with loss of life were the major threat to the freedom of expression. Another threat of foreign newspapers and magazines starting their publications provoked heated debate but the prospect remained unresolved. There was a reshuffling of editors in some major newspapers. Metropolitan cities and metropolitan newspapers dominated in circulation and influence.

Growth of Newspapers:

According to the 37th annual (Latest available) report of Registrar of newspapers of India (1995) some of the high lights are:


1. There were 30,214 newspapers in 1994 and the number rose to 31,957 in 1995 registering 5.8% growth.

2. There were 3,502 dailies in the year 1991 while in the year 1995 their number increased to 4,027 recording a growth of 8.4%.

3. There were 26,728 periodicals in 1991 while in the year 1995 their number increased to 28,184 registering a growth of 5.4%.

4. Among the 28184 periodicals, 9555 were monthlies, 10375 weeklies and 4315 fortnightlies. Circulation wise also, the weeklies had the majority share (30.1 percent). They were followed by the monthlies (14.8%) and fortnightlies (9%).


5. The share of periodicals in the number of newspapers was high as 88.2% but in circulation it came to only 56.1%.

6. Language wise, Hindi press remained on the top with 11638 newspapers followed by English 5,139 publications. Bengali had 1,994, Urdu 2,120, Marathi 1,510, and Tamil 1,411 newspapers.

7. Among the states Uttar Pradesh retained its position on the top with 4,631 publications followed by Delhi 4,226, Maharashtra 3,497 and West Bengal 2,843. (circulation wise Utter Pradesh came on the top with its newspapers selling 88,94,000 copies while Maharashtra with 78,28,000 copies came second and Delhi came third with 71,53,000 copies)

8. Uttar Pradesh retained its top position in having highest number of dailies (535) while Bihar (379) and Maharashtra (307) came second and third respectively. Language wise break up of newspapers according to latest figure with the registrar of newspapers, India (Table 19.2).

Altogether, there are publications in 96 languages which include some foreign languages also (Table 19.3).

Number of Dalies in Different Languages


Circulation Level:

The latest information available with the registrar of newspapers for the year 1995 is as under:

1. Anand Bazar Patrika, a Bengali daily of Calcutta continued its lead having the largest circulation among all the single edition dailies with 44,6,767 copies.

2. “Malyala Manorama” (Malyali) topped the position among the multi edition dailies with a circulation figures of 67,9,485 copies.


Among the weeklies, the first position went to “Malyala Manorama” (Malayali), commanding a circulation figure of 11,07,553 copies in the fortnightly category “India Today” (English) topped the list with 353748, while Reader’s Digest was the largest selling monthly with 37,4,333 copies.

Out of the 4027 newspapers who made their data available to the registrar of newspapers were big (cir. Above one lakh), 386 medium (cir. Above 50 thousand) and 3499 were small (circulation below 50 thousand). Their share in the total circulation was 34 5 per cent (2,19,75,000 copies), 24.6 per cent (1,56,26,000 copies and) and 40.9 per cent (2,60,66,000 copies) respectively.

Hindi newspapers remained on the top, selling 2,46,69,000 copies followed by English 87,92,000 and Malayalam with 58,28,000 copies. Among the dailies also Hindi sold 1,12,21,000 (39.9%) while the English dailies sold 38,86,000 (13.8%) copies.

State wise in Uttar Pradesh dailies sold 40,61,000 copies followed by Maharashtra with 34 61000 copies and Delhi with 19,38,000 copies. After taking into consideration the periodicals, too, situation remained the same with U.P. publications having a circulation of 88,94,000 copies, Maharashtra 78,28,000 copies and Delhi selling 71,53,000 copies.

Circulation and Concentration of Newspapers

Highest Circulated Publications

Some Interesting Facts about Circulation:

1. Four metropolitan cities i.e., Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and Delhi together were publication centers for 28.4% (9084) of the total newspapers in the country while their share in overall circulation was 30.89 per cent.

2. There was 48 large publication units which controlled 1276 Newspapers, among them, 232 were dailies. Their share in the overall circulation figure in the country was 23.8 per cent.


3. Among the big players Times of India group attained top position with its 22 news­papers having a circulation of 2068,000 copies while the second position was held by the Indian Express group with its 45 newspapers having a circulation figure of 15,00,000.

4. Out of the total circulation of daily newspapers in India, 49.3 per cent was hogged by the big units. In this, the Times of India group had the biggest share of circulation with English dailies having 19.9% while the express group had 13.2% and Kasturi & sons, publishers of Hindu having 9.2% of share in the circulation:

Top Ten English Dailies

Top Ten Hindi Dailies