Indian Newspaper Day 2024: Know Amazing Facts, History, Significance & More

Indian Newspaper Day 2024: Know Amazing Facts, History, Significance & More

On January 29, 1780, an Irishman launched India and Asia's first printed newspaper, the English weekly 'Hicky's Bengal Gazette', also known as the Original Calcutta General Advertiser.

Aditi ThakurUpdated: Sunday, January 28, 2024, 09:08 PM IST
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Indian Newspaper Day 2024 | Freepik

India observes Newspaper Day every year on January 28 to commemorate the launch of the country's first newspaper in 1780. On January 29, 1780, an Irishman launched India and Asia's first printed newspaper, the English weekly 'Hicky's Bengal Gazette', also known as the Original Calcutta General Advertiser. This day promotes newspapers and encourages people to read them daily.

Indian Newspaper Day 2024: know history and significance

Augustus Hicky, a James Irishman, is famously known as the 'father of the Indian press.' When news took days to reach audiences, newspapers altered how things were done. The weekly 'Hicky's Bengal Gazette' gained more popularity during the British Raj for its unbiased reporting and opinion. The weekly was noted for its honest reporting and viewpoints. It challenged Governor General Warren Hastings' regime and was notable for its direct journalism and fight for free expression in India. The weekly was a significant step towards bringing the average citizen closer to the administration and those in power.

Indian Newspaper Day 2024: know amazing facts 

1) Mumbai Samachar (previously Bombay Samachar) is India's oldest existing newspaper, first published in Gujarati in 1822.

2) Most newspapers are published in India's Uttar Pradesh, and their language is Hindi.

3) G. Subramanya Aiyer founded India's first Tamil newspaper, the Swadesamitran, as a weekly in 1882.

4) Newspapers in India are produced in over 100 languages, including English, despite the fact that only 22 major languages are mentioned in the Constitution's Eighth Schedule.

5) About 'Hicky's Bengal Gazette, the writing in the weekly was notoriously sarcastic and thought-provoking. It was shut down in 1782 for criticising Governor General Warren Hastings. 

The Free Press Journal and its legacy

Established in 1930 by Swaminathan Sadanand, the founder of the Indian Express newspaper, The Free Press Journal has played a crucial role in influencing public opinion and disseminating information in the Mumbai region. During the freedom movement, the newspaper actively advocated for India's independence, covering significant events such as the Quit India Movement on August 8, 1942, and the Royal Indian Navy mutiny in 1946.

The Free Press Journal also holds several firsts in journalism, including being the first to publish a full-page dedicated to sports, edited by the legendary A.F.S. Talyarkhan, known as Bobby Talyarkhan, a pioneer in sports journalism in India. Another groundbreaking initiative was the introduction of a full-page exclusively for business news, initiated by Shanti Lal Shah.

Moreover, The Free Press Journal was the first to provide an open platform for cartoonists, featuring renowned artists such as R.K. Laxman, Balasaheb Thackeray, Shankar, and Kutty. The newspaper has seen the contributions of many notable figures in Indian journalism, including S. Sadanand, Dom Moraes, S. Natarajan, T.J.S. George, M.V. Kamath, Rajat Sharma, M.J. Akbar, S.A. Sabavala, Ashok Mehta, Janardhan Thakur, A Hariharan, K Srinivasan, and many others.

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