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Newspaper readership increasing in India: Gupta

Media Coverage |05-06-2023

Lokmat’s contribution in the development of Vidarbha and Maharashtra is significant

This write-up is based on Editor-in-Chief of The Print Shekhar Gupta’s speech at an event organised in Delhi to release the book ‘Ringside- Up, Close and Personal on India and Beyond’ authored by the Chairman of Editorial Board of Lokmat Media Group and former member of Rajya Sabha Dr Vijay Darda.

Lauding the steadfast commitment of the Chairman of Editorial Board of Lokmat Media Group and former member of Rajya Sabha Dr Vijay Darda to the highest standard of journalism, senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of The Print Padma Bhushan Shekhar Gupta said he (Dr Darda) is a man of principles and did not change his ideological commitment with the changing political climate.

On the occasion of the release of the book ‘Ringside- Up, Close and Personal on India and Beyond’ authored by Dr Vijay Darda, Gupta said while the weather experts say that people change their relationships and commitments with changing weather, Dr Vijay Darda and Lokmat did not change. They remained firmly committed to and maintained a high standard of journalism as reflected in various publications of the Lokmat Media Group.

Praising the popularity of Lokmat which is the number one Marathi newspaper in Maharashtra, Shekhar Gupta said the publication like Lokmat has also shattered his pride of being from Delhi and English-speaking. Consider the circulation of Lokmat, which mirrors the situation of regional language newspapers such as those in Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Gujarati languages. Their circulation is many times more than that of the English newspapers, he noted.

He said the problem with the Indian media is that they believe it (the media) is Delhi and Mumbai-centred and both these cities are English-centred.

However, when it comes to Indian languages, there is incredible skill in regional languages. He has himself worked in regional languages, he said, adding, in the 1990s, he held additional charge of Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and later Gujarati at India Today. The marketing people then used the term vernacular for regional dailies, so he went to Arun Puri and told him that the term vernacular should not be used, and that it was used by the British. These are all Indian languages and it is perhaps called ‘Varni’ in Marathi, he pointed out.

Gupta said while the number of print media and newspaper readership is declining globally, it is increasing in India, for the country is adding four to five crore literates every year. Anyone who is literate reads newspapers, he remarked.

The senior journalist noted that the number of literates which our country adds every year is equal to the population of many European countries.

Gupta congratulated the Lokmat Media Group for being a strong voice of Vidarbha and Maharashtra, saying that Lokmat has made a significant contribution in the development of Vidarbha and Maharashtra. Maharashtra is also very important politically, as it is the second largest state in terms of Lok Sabha seats after Uttar Pradesh.

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