IIMC Observes Indian Newspaper Day in Dhenkanal of Odisha

“Indian media has lot to learn from country’s First English Newspaper”

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Dhenkanal: There was neither political support nor any digital technology. He had the zeal to unearth the wrongdoings of the then administration and civic issues. On 29 January 1780 Irishman James Augustus Hickey published the first Indian newspaper from Calcutta and every year this day is observed as Indian Newspaper Day.

Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) Dhenkanal observed Indian Newspaper Day 2020 with lectures, screening of audio and video features on the history and importance of the occasion on Wednesday that is January 29, 2020.

Speaking on the history of India’s first newspaper, assistant professor of IIMC, Sambit Pal said “Hickey’s Bengal Gazette was a sensation at the end of the 17th century in India. That was the time when British tortured Indian revolutionaries and unfortunately, there was no media to cover those inhuman activities by Britishers. Hickey had directly taken on the then Governor General Warren Hastings, unveiled the scams of the administration, highlighted the civic issues. It was the first newspaper and it did investigative stories from Calcutta.”  He also talked about how Warren Hastings stopped the printing of the newspaper in just two years by jailing Hickey, seizing the printer and typewriter.

“Warren Hastings sent him to prison for one year. Despite his imprisonment the Bengal Gazette continued to be published before it had to be permanently closed down on 30 March 1782,” he added.

Speaking on the importance of newspapers another faculty member Dr. Jyoti Prakash Mohapatra said, “As compared to 20th century newspapers, Hickey’s Bengal Gazette was smaller in size and it had only two sheets with three columns on each page and very limited circulation.” The impact of news published in his newspaper was high and no scope for fake news but we are lacking the same in today’s newspapers, he added.

Budding journos marked this special day with two feature presentations in television and radio bulletin sessions on Hickey’s Bengal Gazette and Indian Newspaper Day.

Since its inception in 1993, IIMC Dhenkanal has been celebrating all the major historical days in the field of journalism to create awareness on the importance of good journalism. In this celebration all the students and members of the staff were present.

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