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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Why I Quit The Media

A mega sellout! Journalism outspaced, it was time to put my pen down.

Why I Quit The Media
Illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
Why I Quit The Media
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

India’s Historysheet

  • Bengal Gazette was the first Indian newspaper. It was printed by James Augustus Hickey on January 29, 1780, at Serampore near Calcutta.
  • Bombay Herald was the first newspaper to appear from Bombay in 1789
  • Samachar Darpan in Bengali was the first newspaper in an Indian language. Its first issue rolled out on May 23, 1818.
  • Oodunt Marthand was the first Hindi newspaper that appeared in 1826
  • Bombay Samachar was the first Gujarati paper. Printed on July 1, 1822, it is still in existence.

***

The Indian media formally abdicated from duty that morning in the early 1990s when the Times of India (TOI) threw aside any remaining pretences and put up for sale its own 150-year-old masthead. Readers were greeted with their trusted newspaper proclaiming “Let The Times of India Wait”—an advertiser had been lured to pay for the additional words, with a pointer to the page where the actual advertisement was placed. The Times of India had just done some straight talking: forget the news, the journalism, the matters of public interest; go directly to the ads because that’s the real purpose of your newspaper. More deliberately, it said, everything that the toi name embodies—credibility, integrity, impartiality—is available for a price.

Samir Jain knew his times if not his Times. He took over his father’s company in 1982, and spent the 1980s remaking Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCLl) into a ferociously aggressive and innovative marketing company. He had sensed the zeitgeist, and was perfectly poised when the liberalisation reform in 1991 unleashed a new Indian...

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