[Update: Although we've used the word 'circulation' we should've said 'readership.' Please scroll down to the comments section for a rather illuminating discussion of the terms, involving Subir Ghosh, a member of Newswatch.in]
Newswatch.in, a media watchdog organization, has just released new statistics on newspaper circulations in India. The results make a fascinating read and are a wake-up call to anyone who, like me, has a lot more contact with the English media in India than with vernacular newspapers.
The Times of India is the country’s largest circulation English daily (13 million) and yet there are newspapers in five vernacular languages whose readership figures demolish that of the Times. Furthermore, the English dailies’ circulations have tended to contract slightly since last year while over the same period the Hindi dailies have made gains on the order of 1 to 3 million additional readers.
In Hindi, the top paper, Dainik Jagran, has a circulation of 56
million and the second place paper, Dainik
Bhaskar, is read by 34 million people.
Indeed, all five of the Hindi papers
listed by newswatch.in have higher circulations than any English paper.
Additionally, papers in Marathi, Tamil and Telegu have a higher circulation than the Times and if we lower the standard of comparison to the second-highest circulation English daily, Hindustan Times, which has 6 million readers, then there are more widely read papers in Gujarati, Kannada and Malayalam.
In any case, since the total readership of the top five Hindi
papers is 160 million compared to 31 million for the top five English papers—which
is a staggering difference, it looks like I should add Dainik Jagran to
my daily media overload.
More SAJAforum coverage of India's media:
- Murdoch to beef up India presence
- International magazines, Indian twist
- India's hot media market
- A look at new business dailies
- More on the business press
- James Mutti essay on India, democracy & the press
- Questions for Sevanti Ninan on monitoring South Asia's press
- Courting Dalits as readers
- Can journalism keep up with India's media explosion?
- One problem with Indian media
- News investors, turn to India (and ditch America)