New Delhi: The number of print media publications in India grew 5.13% in the year ended 31 March 2016, the government said on Thursday.
A total of 5,423 new publications were registered during the year, taking the total count of registered publications to 110,851 from 105,443 in the previous year, according to a report, ‘Press in India 2015-16,’ prepared by the Registrar of Newspapers of India (RNI) and unveiled by M. Venkaiah Naidu, minister of information and broadcasting (I&B)
Out of the total print media publications, 16,136 were newspapers, while 94,715 were registered as periodicals. “Indian print industry continued its growth story at a steady rate of 5.13% over the previous year,” Naidu said. In the year 2014-15, the number of print media publications had increased 5.8% to 105,443.
Driven by the “phenomenal growth in the print media sector”, Naidu said, the ministry has had to mandate changes in print media policy/guidelines. In June, the I&B ministry had introduced a new print media policy under which the government said it would check the circulation figures of newspapers and periodicals and get them verified with the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) or Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) if their circulation exceeds 45,000 copies per publishing day, before releasing government ads to them.
“The need to update policies keeping in mind the changing dynamics in the print media sector, has resulted in evolving a robust mechanism for RNI to maintain an updated list of publications in the country. This mechanism also facilitated weeding out illegal publications that may prove to be an irritant to law enforcement agencies,” Naidu added.
During the year, Hindi language publications claimed the highest circulation with 314.5 million copies per publishing day, followed by English and Urdu publications. However, Naidu said that the focus from now on will be on regional newspapers. “Regional-language newspapers are easier to understand. We will ensure that regional newspapers claim highest circulation in the coming years,” he said.
According to the report, ABP Pvt. Ltd’s Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika claimed the top spot as the largest circulated daily in Kolkata with 1.15 million copies per publishing day, followed by HT Media Ltd’s English daily Hindustan Times with 992,239 copies in Delhi. HT Media is also the publisher of Mint.
Among multi-edition dailies, Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, published by Dainik Bhaskar Group, claimed the top spot circulation-wise, followed by Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd’s English daily The Times of India.