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Asia’s oldest surviving newspaper turns 198

Written by The Optimist

 

The Mumbai Samachar is one the leading regional newspapers of India with a circulation of 150,000 and is read by a large section of Gujarati-speaking people.

At an age and time when newspapers are losing out to Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media platforms and closing shop, here is one that is ready to celebrate 198 years of publishing on July 1. It is Asia’s oldest newspaper — the Mumbai Samachar, a Gujarati daily founded by Fardunjee Marzban and currently owned by the Cama family.

 

 

To mark the occasion, the newspaper will host a charity show and a cultural event in Mumbai, besides a series of activities across the city, including starting free Gujarati classes across Mumbai in a bid to promote the Gujarati language. It will also use the occasion to revamp the publication by introducing 20 new writers. As part of its anniversary celebrations, it will also distribute oxygen masks to traffic constables in Mumbai, one of the most polluted cities in the world.

 

 

“Established in 1822, the Mumbai Samachar followed Bengali newspaper Samachar Darpan, launched four years earlier, to become the second language newspaper to ever have been published in India. Named the Moombina Samachar, it was a weekly for the first 10 years, then a bi-weekly and, since 1855, a daily in its current format,” Nilesh Dave, Editor, told the media while tracing the newspaper’s history.

 

 

“It’s a matter of immense pride for all of us at the Mumbai Samachar to reach this milestone. There are very few publications across the world that have managed to survive for 200 years and continue to stay relevant. What’s also notable is that, unlike other publications that have moved away from their mandate, we continue to maintain the policy established by our founders. While most newspapers have opted for having only one advertiser on the front page, we follow our traditional practice of having numerous small advertisements. Our editorial policy has remained unchanged, too. We consciously avoid sensationalizing news and maintain sobriety and independence of views, objectively reporting events in a fair and honest manner,” Dave added.

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