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Daniyal Abbas Khan BS393421

History of Sub Continent Newspapers

It is important to remember that the history of the modern press is closely linked up with the invention of the printing press. It was in the 1780s in India that a weekly political and commercial paper open to all parties came into being, called the Bengal Gazette or Hickey Gazette founded by James Augustus Hickey. This weekly political came into being some eighty years after the first daily newspaper came out in England. Some features of this commercial paper were that its first issue appeared on January 29th and it was a two sheet paper about 12 inches by 8 inches with three columns printed on both sides. The second newspaper that came into being in the sub continent was the Indian Gazette or Calcutta Public Advertiser published in the 18th century, it was launched by Mr. P. Reed and Mr. B. Messink in 1780. The first Urdu newspaper was called Jam-iJahan Numa which came out in 1822. Qodunt Martund, a Hindi newspaper was launched in 1826 in Calcutta. Calcutta, Madras and Bombay remained the most important and largest press centres during the 19th century. The Muslim Press advanced and in December 1919 came out with The Zamindar which had a circulation of about 6145 in 1920. Owing to the non-cooperation movement in 1921, Abdul Kalam Azad came out with a newspaper called Paigham in Calcutta which was followed by Sabah a newspaper by Qazi Abdul Ghaffar from Delhi. It was during 1938 1947 that the Muslim Press picked up the pace and grew rapidly with Urdu Press having new traditions to add and follow. Once the Lahore Resolution was passed, Quaid-i-Azam founded Dawn newspaper in October 1942 from Delhi followed by Mashoor an Urdu daily which acted as an organ of the All India Muslim League. The first class English dailies included The Statesman, The Times of India, The Pioneer, The Hindu, The Bombay Chronicle and The Hindustan Times. In Karachi, the only newspapers that existed were The Daily Gazette, The Sindh Observer and The Karachi Gazette which were all Hindu owned. Peshawar offered Khyber Mail which was an English newspaper. During the pre partition days The Tribune and The Civil and Military Gazette were the most prominent English dailies.

The founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam said The role of newspapers in voicing and moulding public opinion cannot be over emphasized.