New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) Registered publications in India recorded growth of 5.8 percent this year with Hindi publications claiming a combined circulation of over 25 crore followed by English at over six crore, according to the latest annual report of RNI, released here on Tuesday.
Bengali newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika is ranked the largest circulated daily in the country.
Releasing the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) report, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said that media has vastly expanded and there are different angles to the same news.
“The dividing line between news and opinion is becoming very weak. It is time for the print media to strike back,” he said, stressing the old principle was that news is sacred and opinions go on the opinion page, but now there was an explosion of TV channels where discussion is often shrill.
“The viewer looks for the real news without opinions,” Jaitley said, adding that if people get such news, the print media will continue to have a growing readership.
Noting that newspapers with 8.16 percent growth mainly accounted for overall 5.80 percent growth recorded by registered publications, he said magazine journalism was vanishing slowly as alternatives have emerged and there was need to revive it in a new form.
Jaitley said circulation of print media was coming down globally but India was an exception as “print media here was both regional and national” and the the growth in print media may be due to growth of regional media.
According to Press in India 2014-15, the 59th annual report of RNI, there were 1,05,443 registered publications in total (newspapers category that includes bi and tri-weeklies 14,984; periodicals category that includes weeklies and other periodicals 90,459).
The number of new publications registered in 2014-15 was 5,817 while 34 publications ceased to exist in the fiscal.
The report said three largest circulated dailies were Anand Bazar Patrika, Bengali, (Kolkata edition) 11,78,779 copies, Hindustan Times, English (Delhi edition) 10,18,367, and The Times of India (Delhi edition) 9,72,180.
The Times of India, English (33 editions) was the largest circulated multi-edition daily with 46,30,220 copies per publishing day followed by Dainik Bhaskar, Hindi (34 editions) at 36,94,385.
Press Registrar and RNI S.M. Khan said the annual report is based on the information furnished by the publishers in their online annual statements as required under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 and the ministry was proposing changes in the Act so that de-registration process may be initiated for a publication which does not file returns for three consecutive years.
He said 23,394 publications filled their annual statements online for the annual report of 2014-15.
The report said that top three states having the largest number of publications were Uttar Pradesh (16,130), Maharashtra (14,394) and Delhi (12,177).
In terms of language, Hindi had the largest number of publications at 42,493 followed by English at 13,661 and Marathi at 7,818.
Total circulation of dailies, bi- and tri-weeklies and periodicals was claimed at 51,05,21,445 per publishing day – Hindi publications claimed a circulation of 25,77,61,985, and English publications 6,26,62,670.
These were followed by Urdu (4,12,73,949), Telugu (2,72,01,064), Marathi (2,39,25,462) and Gujarati (2,37,42,849).
The top three largest-circulated periodicals were – Sunday Times of India, English/weekly (Delhi) 8,85,201 and Sunday Times of India, English/weekly (Mumbai) 8,65,049; Vanitha, Malyalam/ fortnightly (Kottayam) 7,31,750 and Sunday Mumbai Mirror, English/weekly (Mumbai) 7,17,374.
The report said Punjab Kesari (Jalandhar edition) is the largest circulated Hindi daily with 7,42,190 copies on each publishing day followed by Navbharat Times (Delhi Edition) at 6,69,948.
Hindi had largest number of publications (42,493) followed by English (13,661).