The history of English newspapers in India dates back to the year 1780 when Hicky’s Bengal Gazette was launched by James Augustus Hicky.
These were soon followed by other English newspapers including India Gazette, Calcutta Gazette, Madras Courier and Bombay Herald, all started by British officers and merchants of the East India Company.
The first fully Indian-owned English newspaper was the Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce, launched on November 3, 1838, by Rao Bahadur Narayan Dinanath Velkar, who published it thrice weekly.
This newspaper met immense popularity and soon began publishing daily.
In 1860 Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce was bought over by its British editor, Robert Knight.
This publication grew from strength to strength changed hands over the last 180 years to survive and flourish as India’s most respected newspaper, The Times of India.
List of Top 7 Best English Newspapers in India.
1. The Times of India
As mentioned earlier in this article, The Times of India remains India’s most popular English language newspaper.
It is published by the Mumbai-based media company, Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL), which is now part of the larger Times Group.
The Times of India is published from over 36 locations across India.
According to available information, some three million copies of The Times of India are sold daily making it one of the largest circulated Newspapers in India.
2. Hindustan Times
Popularly referred to as HT, Hindustan Times is the Leading Indian newspaper in the English language.
The newspaper history is linked with the independence campaign of India. It was published in 1924 by Sunder Singh Lyallpuri to support India’s freedom movement against British colonials.
Sunder Singh was also the founder of India’s Akali movement. The journey of the newspaper started from New Delhi before spreading its operations to different parts of India like Ranchi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Mumbai, and Chandigarh.
It is being owned by HT media and has been circulating more than one million copies daily. The newspaper has other publications to it like the Nandan, Mint, and Kadambani
3. Indian Express
As per the Indian Readership Survey, Indian Express is the third most popular English daily in India. It was founded in the year 1999 by Ramnath Goenka and is currently published by Mumbai-based Indian Express Group. Indian Express has operations across 10 locations in India, namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Lucknow, Tirupati, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad. Although Indian Express rankings and publications have significantly reduced over the past few years, it continues to be the advertisers’ top choice since it has operations in all the major cities.
4. The Statesman
The Statesman, a broadsheet English daily with headquarters in Kolkata is one of the OLDEST surviving newspapers in India.
It was first published in 1875. The Statesman is also a member of the prestigious Asian News Network (ANN), a grouping of reputed newspapers across Asia.
The Statesman is a newspaper for serious readers, who prefer news presented in concise, no-frills language.
Currently, The Statesman also publishes simultaneously from New Delhi, Bhuvaneshwar, and Siliguri.
Though The Statesman has a reported circulation of about 200,000 daily copies, it remains as one of the most venerated newspapers of India, and its news is widely quoted by foreign media.
5. The Telegraph
Despite being relatively new in the print industry, The Telegraph is the fifth most widely read newspaper in India. Owned by the Kolkata-based media group, Ananda Bazaar Patrika, it has a circulation of about half a million copies daily. In just 35 years of its launch, The Telegraph successfully has five editions – Kolkata, Guwahati, Jharkhand, North Bengal, and South Bengal. The Jharkhand edition is circulated in Bhubaneshwar and Odisha as well. It is estimated that The Telegraph would emerge as one of India’s top three newspapers because of its unique and unbiased content. It is a mandatory newspaper in nearly all households and offices in Kolkata, and hence, attracts a lot of advertisers. The Telegraph has other supplements for varied purposes like housing, property, business, recruitment. However, the most preferred is the T2 which reports entertainment, lifestyle stories and often gets high advertisement demands.
6. The Hindu
Headquartered in Chennai, The Hindu had started off as a weekly newspaper in 1878 but eventually became a topmost Indian daily. The Hindu newspaper is a part of the Hindu Group, owned by a family-held company named Kasturi & Sons Ltd. It is the second most popular English newspaper after TOI with a circulation of about 1.2 million copies every day. Advertisers always have an advantage when placing ads in The Hindu because it has a massive reach. Although its base is most strong in Southern India, it is also published in other cities – Allahabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Lucknow, Patna, to name a few.
7. Deccan Chronicle
Deccan Chronicle also traces its roots to the pre-independence era. It was first published in 1938 from Hyderabad, now the capital of Telangana state of India.
The claimed daily readership of the Deccan Chronicle is about 1.2 million.
Though Deccan Chronicle remains widely popular in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it has spread its reach to other states of India’s south including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.
Deccan Chronicle maintains news bureaus in every major city and state capital in India.
It is considered as the pioneer of English language journalism in the Deccan areas of India, which included parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka during colonial times and during the reign of erstwhile Nizam rulers.