The Times of India

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The Times of India
The times of india.svg
The Times of India cover 03-22-10.jpg
20 August 2013 front page of the Kolkata edition of The Times of India
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) The Times Group
Publisher Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
Editor-in-chiefJaideep Bose
Founded3 November 1838;180 years ago (1838-11-03)
LanguageEnglish
Headquarters Mumbai
Circulation 3,198,449 daily [1] (as of Jul–Dec 2017)
Sister newspapers The Economic Times
Navbharat Times
Maharashtra Times
Ei Samay
Mumbai Mirror
OCLC number 23379369
Website timesofindia.com

The Times of India (TOI) is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world [2] [3] [4] [5] according to Audit Bureau of Circulations (India). [1] [6] It is the oldest English-language newspaper in India still in circulation, albeit under different names since its first edition published in 1838. [7] It is also the second-oldest Indian newspaper still in circulation after the Bombay Samachar .

The Times Group mass media conglomerate in India

Bennett Coleman and Company Limited, commonly known as The Times Group, is India’s largest media conglomerate, according to Financial Times as of March 2015. The Audit Bureau of Circulations reported in May 2014 that the Times of India had the largest circulation of any English-language newspaper in the world, with 3,321,702 average qualifying sales. The company remains a family-owned business as the descendants of Sahu Jain own a majority stake in The Times Group. The Times Group has over 11,000 employees and revenue exceeding $1.5 billion.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of India is a non-profit circulation-auditing organisation. It certifies and audits the circulations of major publications, including newspapers and magazines in India.

The Bombay Samachar, now Mumbai Samachar, is the oldest continuously published newspaper in India. Established in 1822 by Fardunjee Marzban, it is published in Gujarati and English.

Contents

Near the beginning of the 20th century, Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, called The Times of India "the leading paper in Asia". [8] [9] In 1991, the BBC ranked The Times of India among the world's six best newspapers. [10] [11]

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

It is owned and published by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (B.C.C.L.), which is owned by the Sahu Jain family. In the Brand Trust Report 2012, The Times of India was ranked 88th among India's most-trusted brands. In 2017, however, the newspaper was ranked 355th. [12]

The Brand Trust Report, India Study is an annual study by N. Chandramouli based on a primary research conducted across Indian cities based on a proprietary 61-attribute "Trust Matrix". The research studies trust attitudes and preferences of brand influencers and also lists the most trusted brands in India. The research report is available in hardcover.

History

Times of India Buildings, ca. 1898 TimesOf Buildings.jpg
Times of India Buildings, ca. 1898

Beginnings

The Times of India issued its first edition on 3 November 1838 as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce. [13] [14] The paper published Wednesdays and Saturdays under the direction of Raobahadur Narayan Dinanath Velkar, a Maharashtrian Reformist, and contained news from Britain and the world, as well as the Indian Subcontinent. J.E. Brennan was its first editor. [15] [16] In 1850, it began to publish daily editions.

In 1860, editor Robert Knight (1825–1892) bought the Indian shareholders' interests, merged with rival Bombay Standard, and started India's first news agency. It wired Times dispatches to papers across the country and became the Indian agent for Reuters news service. In 1861, he changed the name from the Bombay Times and Standard to The Times of India. Knight fought for a press free of prior restraint or intimidation, frequently resisting the attempts by governments, business interests, and cultural spokesmen and led the paper to national prominence. [17] [18] In the 19th century, this newspaper company employed more than 800 people and had a sizeable circulation in India and Europe.

Robert Knight was an English editor, journalist and newspaper proprietor. He was considered an acid critic of British imperialism and was an editor of Times of India and founder of The Statesman, two of the most prominent newspapers in India.

Reuters International news organization owned by Thomson Reuters

Reuters is an international news organization. It is a division of Thomson Reuters and has nearly 200 locations around the world. Until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division. Reuters transmits news in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. It was established in 1851.

Bennett and Coleman ownership

Subsequently, The Times of India saw its ownership change several times until 1892 when an English journalist named Thomas Jewell Bennett along with Frank Morris Coleman (who later drowned in the 1915 sinking of the SS Persia) acquired the newspaper through their new joint stock company, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

SS <i>Persia</i> (1900) ship

SS Persia was a P&O passenger liner, built in 1900 by Caird & Company, Inverclyde, Greenock, Scotland. It was torpedoed and sunk without warning on 30 December 1915, by German U-boat U-38.

Dalmiya ownership

Sir Stanley Reed edited The Times of India from 1907 until 1924 and received correspondence from the major figures of India such as Mahatma Gandhi. In all he lived in India for fifty years. He was respected in the United Kingdom as an expert on Indian current affairs. He christened Jaipur as "the Pink City of India".

Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd was sold to sugar magnate Ramkrishna Dalmia of the then-famous industrial family, the Dalmiyas, for Rs 20 million in 1946, as India was becoming independent and the British owners were leaving. [19] In 1955 the Vivian Bose Commission of Inquiry found that Ramkrishna Dalmia, in 1947, had engineered the acquisition of the media giant Bennett Coleman & Co. by transferring money from a bank and an insurance company of which he was the Chairman. In the court case that followed, Ramkrishna Dalmia was sentenced to two years in Tihar Jail after having been convicted of embezzlement and fraud. [5]

But for most of the jail term he managed to spend in hospital. Upon his release, his son-in-law, Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain, to whom he had entrusted the running of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. rebuffed his efforts to resume command of the company. [5]

Jain family (Shanti Prasad Jain)

In the early 1960s, Shanti Prasad Jain was imprisoned on charges of selling newsprint on the black market. [20] [21] And based on the Vivian Bose Commission's earlier report which found wrongdoings of the Dalmia – Jain group, that included specific charges against Shanti Prasad Jain, the Government of India filed a petition to restrain and remove the management of Bennett, Coleman and Company. Based on the pleading, Justice directed the Government to assume control of the newspaper which resulted in replacing half of the directors and appointing a Bombay (now Mumbai) High Court judge as the Chairman. [22]

Under the Government of India

The Times of India on a 1988 stamp The Times of India 1988 stamp of India.jpg
The Times of India on a 1988 stamp
The Times of India on a 2013 stamp The Times of India 2013 stamp of India.jpg
The Times of India on a 2013 stamp

Following the Vivian Bose Commission report indicating serious wrongdoings of the Dalmia–Jain group, on 28 August 1969, the Bombay High Court, under Justice J. L. Nain, passed an interim order to disband the existing board of Bennett Coleman and to constitute a new board under the Government. The bench ruled that "Under these circumstances, the best thing would be to pass such orders on the assumption that the allegations made by the petitioners that the affairs of the company were being conducted in a manner prejudicial to public interest and to the interests of the Company are correct". [23] Following that order, Shanti Prasad Jain ceased to be a director and the company ran with new directors on board, appointed by the Government of India, with the exception of a lone stenographer of the Jains. Curiously, the court appointed D K Kunte as Chairman of the Board. Kunte had no prior business experience and was also an opposition member of the Lok Sabha.

Back to the Jain family

In 1976, during the Emergency in India, the Government transferred ownership of the newspaper back to Ashok Kumar Jain (Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain's son, Ramkrishna Dalmia's grandson and the father of Samir Jain and Vineet Jain). [24] The Jains too often landed themselves in various money laundering scams and Ashok Kumar Jain had to flee the country when the Enforcement Directorate pursued his case strongly in 1998 for alleged violations of illegal transfer of funds (to the tune of US$1.25 million) to an overseas account in Switzerland. [25] [26] [27] [28]

During the Emergency

On 26 June 1975, the day after India declared a state of emergency, the Bombay edition of The Times of India carried an entry in its obituary column that read "D.E.M. O'Cracy, beloved husband of T.Ruth, father of L.I.Bertie, brother of Faith, Hope and Justice expired on 25 June". [29] The move was a critique of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's 21-month state of emergency, which is now widely known as "the Emergency" and seen by many as a roundly authoritarian era of Indian government. [30] [31]

The Times in the 21st century

In late 2006, Times Group acquired Vijayanand Printers Limited (VPL). VPL previously published two Kannada newspapers, Vijay Karnataka and Usha Kiran, and an English daily, Vijay Times. Vijay Karnataka was the leader in the Kannada newspaper segment then. [32]

The paper launched a Chennai edition, 12 April 2008. [33] It launched a Kolhapur edition, February 2013.

TOIFA Awards

Introduced in 2013 [34] and awarded for the second time in 2016, [35] "The Times of India Film Awards" or the "TOIFA" is an award for the work in Film Industry decided by a global public vote on the nomination categories. [36]

Editions and publications

TOI's first office is opposite the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai where it was founded. Times of India Building.jpg
TOI's first office is opposite the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai where it was founded.

The Times of India is published by the media group Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. The company, along with its other group of companies, known as The Times Group, also publishes Ahmedabad Mirror; Bangalore Mirror ; Bangalore Times, Delhi Times ; The Economic Times ; ET Panache (Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru on Monday to Friday, and as Times of India ET Panache in Pune and Chennai, every Saturday) Ei Samay , (a Bengali daily); the Maharashtra Times , (a Marathi-language daily broadsheet); Mumbai Mirror ; the Navbharat Times , (a Hindi-language daily broadsheet); and Pune Mirror.

The Times of India has its markets in major cities such as Mumbai, [37] Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Calicut, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Guwahati, Hubli, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mysore, Nagpur, Nashik, Panaji, Patna, Puducherry, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Surat, Trichy, Trivandrum, Varanasi, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.[ citation needed ]

Times Group Network

Controversies

The Times of India has been criticized for being the first to institutionalize the practice of paid news in India, where politicians, businessmen, corporations and celebrities can pay the newspaper and its journalists would carry the desired news for the payer. [5] [41] [42] The newspaper offers prominence with which the paid news is placed and the page on which it is displayed based on the amount of the payment. According to this practice, a payment plan assures a news feature and ensures positive coverage to the payer. [5] In 2005, The Times of India began the practice of "private treaties", also called as "brand capital", where new companies, individuals or movies seeking mass coverage and public relations, major brands and organizations were offered sustained positive coverage and plugs in its news columns in exchange for shares or other forms of financial obligations to Bennett, Coleman & Company, Ltd. (B.C.C.L.) – the owners of The Times of India. [5] [41] The B.C.C.L., with its "private treaties" program, acquired stakes in 350 companies and generated 15% of its revenues by 2012, according to a critical article in The New Yorker . The "paid news" and "private treaties" practice started by The Times of India has since been adopted by The Hindustan Times group, the India Today group, the Outlook group, and other major media groups in India including Indian television channels. [5] [43]

The "paid news" and "private treaties" blur the lines between content and advertising, with the favorable coverage written by the staff reporters on the payroll of The Times of India. [5] The newspaper has defended its practice in 2012 by stating that it includes a note of disclosure to the reader – though in a small font – that its contents are "advertorial, entertainment promotional feature", that they are doing this to generate revenues just like "all newspapers in the world do advertorials" according to The Times of India owners. [5] [41] According to Maya Ranganathan, this overlap in the function of a journalist to also act as a marketing and advertisement revenue seeker for the newspaper raises conflict of interest questions, a problem that has morphed into ever-larger scale in India and recognized by India's SEBI authority in July 2009. [41]

Under an ad sales initiative called Medianet, if a large company or Bollywood studio sponsored a news-worthy event, the event would be covered by the Times of India but the name of the company or studio that sponsored it will not be mentioned in the paper unless they paid the Times of India for advertising. In 2010, a report by a subcommittee of India's Press Council found that Medianet's paid news strategy had spread to a large number of newspapers and more than five hundred television channels. [5] [44]

Critics state that the company’s paid news and private treaties skew its coverage and shield its newspaper advertisers from scrutiny. The Hoot, a media criticism website, has pointed out that when an elevator in a 19 storey luxury apartment complex in Bangalore crashed killing two workers and injuring seven, all the English language and Kannada language newspapers with the exception of the Times of India called out the name of the construction company, Sobha Developers, which was a private-treaty partner. An article titled "reaping gold through bt cotton," which first appeared in the Nagpur edition of the Times of India in 2008, reappeared unchanged in 2011, this time with a small print alert that the article was a "marketing feature". In both cases, the article was factually incorrect and made false claims about the success of Monsanto's genetically modified cotton. According to a critical article published in the Indian magazine The Caravan, when the Honda Motors plant in Gurgaon experienced an eight-month-long conflict between management and non-unionized workers over wages and work conditions in 2005, the Times of India covered the concerns of Honda and the harm done to India’s investment climate and largely ignored the issues raised by workers. [5]

Vineet Jain, Managing Director of B.C.C.L., has insisted that a wall does exist between sales and the newsroom, and that the paper does not give favorable coverage to the company’s business partners. "Our editors don’t know who we have," Jain said, although he later acknowledged that all private-treaty clients are listed on the company’s Web site. [5] Ravindra Dhariwal, the CEO of B.C.C.L. has defended private treaties in a 2010 interview with the magazine Outlook and claims that the partners in the private treaties sign contracts where they agree to clauses that they will not receive any favorable editorial coverage.

Anti-competitive Behavior

There have been claims that The Times of India would strike deals with advertisers only if they removed their advertisements from other competitor newspapers. [5]

The Times of India is also embroiled in an active lawsuit against the Financial Times. In 1993, when the Financial Times was preparing to enter the Indian market, Samir Jain the Vice-Chairman of B.C.C.L. registered the term "Financial Times" as a trademark of his company and declared it his intellectual property in an attempt to stymie the Financial Times and prevent them from competing with the Economic Times which is owned by B.C.C.L. [5]

In 1994, when the Hindustan Times was the top-selling paper in New Delhi, the Times of India slashed their prices by a third, to one and a half rupees after having built up their ads sales force in preparation for the price drop to make up for the lost circulation revenue. By 1998, the Hindustan Times had dropped to second place in Delhi. The Times of India took a similar strategy in Bangalore where they dropped the price to one rupee despite protests from Siddharth Varadarajan, one of the editors of the newspaper at the time, who called the strategy "predatory pricing". [5]

Cobrapost Sting Operation

In 2018, Vineet Jain, Managing Director of B.C.C.L., and Sanjeev Shah, executive president of B.C.C.L., were caught on camera as part of an undercover sting operation by Cobrapost agreeing to promote Hindutva content through the group’s many media properties for a proposed spend of ₹500 crore, some of which the client said could only be paid with black money. [45] B.C.C.L. has responded to the sting claiming that the video that was released by Cobrapost was incomplete and doctored and that Vineet Jain was engaged in a counter-sting of his own to expose the undercover reporter during the filming of the video. [46]

Notable employees

Publisher

Related Research Articles

<i>The Economic Times</i>

The Economic Times is an English-language, Indian daily newspaper headquartered in Mumbai, India at The Times of India building. published by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.. The Economic Times began publication in 1961. As of 2012, it is the world's second-most widely read English-language business newspaper, after the Wall Street Journal, with a readership of over 800,000. It is published simultaneously from 12 cities: Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Chandigarh, and Pune. Its main content is based on the Indian economy, international finance, share prices, prices of commodities as well as other matters related to finance. The founding editor of the paper when it was launched in 1961 was P.S. Hariharan. The current editor of The Economic Times is Bodhisattva Ganguli.

<i>Filmfare</i> Indian magazine specialized in Bollywood

Filmfare is an English-language, tabloid-sized magazine about Hindi-language cinema, popularly known as Bollywood. Established in 1952, the magazine is published by Worldwide Media, a subsidiary of The Times Group, India's largest media services conglomerate. Filmfare is one of the most popular entertainment magazine in India. Since 1954, it gives popular film awards the annual Filmfare Awards, Filmfare Awards South and Filmfare Awards East.

Indu Jain belongs to the Sahu Jain family and is the current chairperson of India's largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., which owns the Times of India and other large newspapers.

Sahu Jain family is an industrial family of India. They own the Times Group and its parent company, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., the most widespread selling English newspaper in the world. The members of the extended family have interests in education, chemicals and finance.

Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain was an industrialist and philanthropist of India. He was the son-in-law of Ramkrishna Dalmia and former chairman of Bennett, Coleman. His family, Sahu Jains, owns the Times of India newspaper group.

Sahu Ramesh Chandra Jain Indian businessman

Sahu Ramesh Chandra Jain was a leading mediaperson, philanthropist, promoter of Indian literature and a prominent member of Jain religion. He is a descendant of the well known Sahu Jain family of Najibabad.

Ramkrishna Dalmia, also known as Ram Krishan Dalmia and Ram Kishan Dalmia, was an Indian pioneering industrialist and founder of the Dalmia-Jain group or Dalmia Group and The Times Group.

Samir Jain is an Indian publisher and the current Vice-Chairman of India's largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.. Jain belongs to the Sahu Jain family which owns Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., the parent company of The Times of India and other large newspapers.

Sahu Shreyans Prasad Jain (1908–1992) was an Indian businessman, parliamentarian and a prominent member of the Jain community. He was the brother of notable businessman and philanthropist Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain. He was awarded Padma Bhushan for social work in 1988.

<i>Navshakti</i> Marathi newspaper based in Mumbai, India

Navshakti is a Marathi newspaper based in Mumbai, India. The newspaper has a circulation of 83,910 across the state of Maharashtra. This paper was started by S. Sadanand. P. R. Behere was its first editor.

Jaidayal Dalmia (1904–1993) was one of the leading industrialists and philanthropists of India. He was one of the co-founders of Dalmia Group and younger brother of Ramkrishna Dalmia

<i>Ei Samay Sangbadpatra</i>

Ei Samay Sangbadpatra is a Bengali-language broadsheet daily newspaper from The Times Group. It was launched as a motive to enter into a head to head competition with Anandabazar Patrika (and its recently launched sister publication, the tabloid. It is owned and published by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. which is owned by the Sahu Jain family.

Ashok Jain was an Indian industrialist and philanthropist, who was the Chairman of India's largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., parent company of The Times of India and other large newspapers.

Vineet Kumar Jain is the Managing director and Director of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (B.C.C.L.), commonly known as The Times Group, India's largest media group. He runs B.C.C.L along with his brother Samir Jain who is vice-chairman.

Paid news in India is the practice of cash payment or equivalent to journalists and media organizations by individuals and organizations so as to appear in their news articles and to "ensure sustained positive coverage". This practice started in the 1950s and has become a widespread organized activity in India through formal contracts and "private treaties". Pioneered by Bennett, Coleman & Company, Ltd. (B.C.C.L.) group through their The Times of India publication and widely adopted by groups such as The Hindustan Times, Outlook and others, the practice was brought to Western media attention in 2010. Paid news financially benefits the "individual journalists and specific media organizations" such as newspapers, magazines and television channels according to a 2010 investigative report of the Press Council of India. It is paid for by politicians, organizations, brands, movies and celebrities who seek to improve their public image, increase favorable coverage and suppress unfavorable information.

<i>Cobrapost</i>

Cobrapost is a non-profit Indian news website that was founded in 2005 by Aniruddha Bahal – the co-founder of Tehelka. It is particularly known for its undercover sting operations.

The Media in Gujarati language started with publication of Bombay Samachar in 1822. Initially the newspapers published business news and they were owned by Parsi people based in Bombay. Later Gujarati newspapers started published from other parts of Gujarat. Several periodicals devoted to social reforms were published in the second half of the 19th century. After arrival of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian independence movement peaked and it resulted in proliferation of Gujarati media. Following independence, the media was chiefly focused on political news. After bifurcation of Bombay state, the area of service changed. Later there was an increase in readership due to growth of literacy and the media houses expanded its readership by publishing more number of editions. Later these media houses ventured into digital media also. The radio and television media expanded after 1990.

The Dalmia Group refers to a grouping of Indian companies, which trace their origin to the businesses established by Ramkrishna Dalmia and Jaidayal Dalmia. The Dalmia brothers established a business conglomerate in eastern India, in the first half of the 20th century. In the 1930s, the group merged with the businesses of the Sahu Jain Family to form the Dalmia-Jain Group. In 1948, the two families decided to split the businesses; the Dalmia businesses were further divided between Ramkrishna and Jaidayal. Today, a number of companies and conglomerates trace their origin to the original Dalmia businesses; these include Dalmia Bros, which is now managed by Vishnu Hari Dalmia's sons, Sanjay Dalmia and Anurag Dalmia; Dalmia Bharat Group, which is managed by Gautam Dalmia and Puneet Dalmia; Orissa Cement; Renaissance Group; and their subsidiaries.

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  46. "Times Group Says Vineet Jain Was Conducting 'Reverse Sting' on Cobrapost". The Wire.

Further reading