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Bengali: 'Professional, Somewhat Conservative' and Calcuttan

Robin Jeffrey
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 32, No. 4 (Jan. 25-31, 1997), pp. 141-144
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4405008
Page Count: 4
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Bengali: 'Professional, Somewhat Conservative' and Calcuttan
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Abstract

In spite of technological possibilities and the apparently increasing wealth and political influence of rural West Bengal, newspaper proprietors have not followed the road taken by their counterparts in much of the rest of India: not one major newspaper has even a printing centre outside Calcutta resulting in a lack of penetration of the newspapers into the countryside. [Spreading across India after the end of the 'emergency' in 1977, technological change in the form of the personal computer and offset press revolutionised the newspaper industry. The circulation of daily newspapers in all languages trebled between 1976 and 1992 - from 9.3 million to 28.1 million and the dailies-per-thousand people ratio doubled - from 15 daily newspaper per 1,000 people to 32 per 1,000. Regular reading of something called 'news' both indicates and causes change. Expansion of competing newspapers clearly signals the vitality and growth of capitalism: newspapers have owners and owners must have advertisers. The changes of the past 20 years are obvious yet largely unstudied. The essays in this series on the press in the major Indian languages are part of a larger project to map, analyse and try to understand the transformation of the Indian language newspaper industry.]

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