About Print and Electronic Media, Online Newspapers, Journalism Schools, Communication Research and journalists.
Saturday, 18 June 2016
Living Legends: Mumbai Samachar
Following from Prof Mrinal Chatterjee, courtesy the Hoot
The Mumbai Samachar
Asia's oldest continuously published newspaper, the Mumbai Samachar, a Gujarati language daily, celebrated 193 years of its event-filled existence on 1 July 2015. First published as the weekly Bombay Samachar in 1822, it comprised three small quarto sheets, 10 inches by 8 inches, and a half sheet supplement, in all containing 14 pages of printed matter.
It was published as a weekly till 1832, a bi-weekly till 1855 and a daily since then. It continued to grow and became one of western India's premier newspapers, read by a large segment of Gujarati-speaking people both in India and abroad.
It was founded by Fardoonji Murazban, a Parsi scholar and priest. Fardoonji was a pioneer not only of journalism in western India but of all Gujarati printed literature. He founded the first native press in 1812 and in 1814 brought out a Gujarati Calendar, six years before the first Bengali Calendar was printed and published in Calcutta.
Mumbai owes much to the Parsi community, including its print industry and newspapers. Although the first printing press was imported into Bombay as early as 1670 by the Parsi businessman Bhimjee Parikh, it was more than a hundred years before the first newspaper was printed. The first newspapers in Bombay were owned and printed by Parsis. The first English newspaper in Bombay was printed by Rustomji Keshaspathi in 1777.
I worked as a professional journalist for over three decades. I began as a sub-editor with Pune’s daily Sakaal (1969-70) and worked with United News of India (1971-87), The Indian Post (1987-90) and The Observer of Business and Politics (1991-2000). I shifted to academics in 2001 as Professor and Head, Department of Communication and Journalism (DoCJ), University of Pune. My doctoral thesis and later UGC-funded study was on web editions of Indian Newspapers. After retirement in 2007, I was at the Mudra Institute of Communications Research, Ahmedabad, for a year. Here we studied viewers of Aastha channel’s live telecast of Swami Ramdev Baba, Use of Internet for Loksabha elections, and features of mobile handsets. I have been associated also with University of Mumbai, University of Calcutta, North Maharashtra University, and Indira Gandhi National Open University. I became Adjunct Faculty and Research Co-coordinator at FLAME School of Communication, Pune, in December 2009. I am an adjunct faculty also at DoCJ, University of Mumbai. Here I am Principal Investigator of UGC-funded Major Research Project on Language of English Newspapers of India.