July 28, 2010
Oriya is an official language of the state of Orissa, India. The region has been known at different stages of history as Kalinga, Udra, Utkala, or Koshala. The language is also spoken by minority populations of the neighboring states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. The earliest written texts in the language are about thousand years old. Orissa was a vast empire in the ancient and medieval times, which extended from the Ganges in the north to the Godavari in the south. During the British rule, however, Orissa lost its political identity and formed parts of the Bengal and Madras Presidencies. The present state of Orissa was formed in 1936.
Oriya is classified as a member of the Indo-Aryan language super family; it is a descendent of Odri Prakrit and Ardha Magadhi. This form of Prakrit was in turn derived from Sanskrit via the transitional Bibhasas. Modern Oriya vocabulary is estimated to be composed of 70% Sanskrit, 2% Hindustani/Persian/Arabic with the remaining 28% of mainly "Adivasi" origin.
The history of Oriya has been mapped by historians along five main stages: Old Oriya (spanning the 10th century AD and 1300 AD), Early Middle Oriya (between 1300 AD and 1500 AD), Middle Oriya (between 1500 AD and 1700 AD), Late Middle Oriya (between 1700 AD and 1850 AD) and Modern Oriya (spanning from 1850 AD till the present day). Further subdivisons of this timeline, as below, can be considered a more accurate representation however.
HISTORY OF ORIYA JOURNALISM
In the glorious chapters of the history of journalism in India, Orissa with her history of over one hundred years of journalism occupies a place of pride and honour.In India an Englishman William Bolts in Calcutta made the first attempt for the publication of newspapers in 1776. But he could not succeed due to official restrictions and obstructions. James Agustus Hicky another Englishman started the 'Bengal Gazette' in 1780. In India an Englishman William Bolts in Calcutta made the first attempt for the publication of newspapers in 1776. But he could not succeed due to official restrictions and obstructions. James Agustus Hicky another Englishman started the 'Bengal Gazette' in 1780.
Oriya journalism played an important role in moulding socio-political within of the province several and in awakening the people's consciousness in particular. In those days the spirit of social service and missionary zeal solely inspired the great men who had pioneered this noble profession in this part of the country. The whole Orissa heralded a new era of journalism with the introduction of a handwritten newspaper called 'Kujibar Patra' edited by Sadhu Sunder Das, a social reformer of that time in 1769. The same newspaper had irregular frequency (sometimes daily, weekly, and fortnightly) was being published from Kujibar Ashram near Chowdwar. Since the printing machine was not available in Orissa, it was written on coarse paper in Oriya language and distributed in different central places of bazaars, the missionary centres and mission homes of Cuttack town and to the rulers and disciples. This hand-written newspaper had such a great influence on the then missionary activities that the missionaries were translating the news items and sending to London and those were published and commented in London Baptist Missionary Reports and Journals. Rev. A. Sutton had a remarkable piece of translation from the 'Kujibar Patra' in 1927 which was sent to the Baptist Mission in London. It is believed that some copies of Kujibar Patra is at present available at India House Library in London.
In 1861 five years before the catastrophic famine of Orissa of 1866 the first Oriya Magazine of Orissa 'Bodha Dayini' was published from Balasore. The main object of this magazine was to spread the Oriya literature and to point out the administrative lapses. Then the most powerful and influential Oriya paper. 'The Utkal Deepika' made its appearance in early 1866 under the able editorship of late Gourisankar Ray with the patronizing helps of late Bichitrananda Das who was the Seristadar of then Revenue Commissioner, T.E. Ravenshaw. 'Utkal Deepika' played a significant role for the - 2005 amalgamation of outlying Oriya-speaking areas which remained scattered under different provincial administrations.
In 1869 late Bhagavati Charan Das started 'Utkal Subhakari' to propagate Brahmo faith. Another weekly paper 'Sambad Vahika' was published from Balasore in 1868. The Utkal Society of Cuttack published 'Utkal Hiteisini' in 1869. In the last three and half decades of the 19th century a number of newspapers were published in Oriya, prominent among them were 'Utkal Deepika' 'Utkal Patra' Utkal Hiteisini from Cuttack, Utkal Darpan and Sambada Vahika' from Balasore, Sambalpur Hiteisini (30th May, 1889) from Deogarh. The last named Oriya weekly continued for 34 years under the patronage of Sir Sudhal Deb, Raja of Bamra. In 1879 an Oriya fortnightly newspaper called "Mayurbhanj Pakshika Patrika" was published from Baripada being edited by Haraprasad Das with the financial help of Maharaja Krushna Chandra Bhanja Deo.
In April 1891 a literary magazine titled 'Utkal Prabha' was published from Baripada with the financial help of Maharaja Sri Ramachandra Bhanja Deo. In 1880 Dina Banerji edited a paper called Bideshi from Cuttack. After 1866 Famine some English journals were also started publishing in Orissa. In 1868 "Cuttack Standard", Argus' and an English Weekly 'Orissa Patriot' edited by Kalipada Banerji were published from Cuttack and another English weekly named 'Orissa Students' edited by Laxmi Narayan Dasgupta was published from Kendrapara during that period.
In the time of Swadeshi Movement another paper named 'Nava Sambad' also appeared from Balasore. Both 'Nava Sambad' of Balasore and 'Utkal Deepika' of Cuttack gave strong support to the 'Swadeshi' movement and in their writings of 30th August 1905 and 2nd September 1905 respectively those two papers expressed the views that the Swadeshi movement would give impetus to the production of "Swadeshi" goods in Orissa. Pandit Nilamani Vidyaratna a veteran journalist, social reformer and a political leader started an Oriya weekly paper 'Praja Bandhu' from Ganjam to espouse the cause of the Oriyas and the amalgamation movement. He also joined the 'Sambalpur Hiteisini' in the last decade of ninteenth century and gave a new fillip to the cause of amalgamation movement and development of Oriya literature with the help of the Raja of Bamra, the great lover of culture and literature. Pandit Vidyaratna had encouraged the great poet Gangadhar Meher and Radhanath Ray by publishing their literary works through the columns of the paper which he edited.
In 1905 Babu Khirod Ray Choudhury published an English newspaper named "Star of Utkal" from Cuttack. During this decade the enterprising Oriya journalists of Ganjam published a number of papers. An English weekly named "Ganjam News" was published from Parlakhemidi, the great seat of Oriya culture, literature and music to support the cause of Orissa. The other papers of Ganjam of that period were Oriya Weekly, "Oriya Hitavadini" from Berhampur, "Ganjam Guna Darpan" from Digapahandi and 'Utkal Vasi' from Ichhapur (now in Andhra Pradesh) which were published to fight for the formation of Orissa province based on language, culture and literature and also to advance the cause of freedom movement.
In 1913 a new phase of journalism began in Orissa under the leadership of Mr. Sashibhusan Rath. On 13th April, 1913 he published the weekly 'Asha' which soon held the public opinion of the district under its influence. Though, Mr. Rath started his weekly without any capital money, he was able to attract the support of the stalwarts of that period like Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Pandit Godavarish Mishra, the great freedom fighters and scholars, who later became editors of powerful newspapers. Pandit Gopabandhu, the founder of Orissa's influential Oriya newspaper, the Samaj published his first monthly magazine "Satyavadi" from Asha Press of Berhampur. During this period the publication of 'Asha' by Sashi Bhusan had kindled new hopes in the minds of the people of Orissa. 'Asha' soon attracted many leading writers and leaders of public opinion of that time and became the powerful vehicle of public opinion.
In 1917 another Oriya weekly paper 'Samaj Mitra' was published from Cuttack. During the same period late Gopal Chandra Praharaj edited "Satya Samachar", Utkal Gourab Madhu Sudan edited 'The Oriya' and Dibyaprasanna Roy Choudhury edited 'Navya Bharat' from Cuttack. Another weekly 'Swaraj' which became a daily in 1932 was also published in 1921-22 from Cuttack.
In 1928 Sashi Bhusan Rath took another bold step and started the Oriya Daily 'Dainik Asha' from Berhampur on the Oriya New Years Day (Mesha Sankranti). This was really a great day for the people of Orissa and for the press of Orissa. With the publication of Dainik Asha many public spirited youngmen got the opportunity to receive the practical training in daily newspaper work and journalism. After the publication of ''Dainik Asha' Sashi Bhusan also published an English weekly, 'The East Coast'. In 1930 an Oriya newspaper "Prabhat" was also published from Cuttack.
On 5th May, 1933 the first English daily of the Province 'The New Orissa' made its appearance from the Asha Press of Berhampur under the Editorship of Sashi Bhusan ably assisted by Mr. Sharma and Mr. K.N. Acharya who came from Madras. It may not be out of place to mention here that for the proper growth and development of Oriya journalism and development of language and literature, necessity for the invention of Oriya type-writer was greatly felt and a brother of Sashi Bhusan late Ranganath Mahapatra of Surada, Ganjam invented the first Oriya type-writer in early forties. The Oriya type-writers were manufactured in Germany and were put to use in some of the offices soon after the formation of the separate Orissa Province on 1st April,
During the time of Second World War in 1942, Daily Asha changed hands with its sister publication the English daily 'New Orissa' which was purchased by a businessman of Calcutta, Mr. M.L. Jajodia who later settled down at Cuttack. These two papers gave effective support to war efforts of the British Government and were also recipients of Government's aid. Both were closed down in 1951 marking the end of a great chapter of the pre-independence era journalism in Orissa. However, the "Dainik Asha" resumed publication from Berhampur being controlled by a "Trust" set up by late Brindavan Nayak in the Seventies.
"Samaj", the Oriya Daily of Cuttack now edited by Madam Manorama Mahapatra was founded by late Pandit Gopabandhu Das as a weekly in 1919 to support the cause of freedom struggle of the country. Pandit Das continued his relentless struggle against the British rulers through the columns of the paper and never yielded to any pressure and temptations of the British Government. In 1931 it was made daily by Pandit Nilakantha Das, Pt. Godavarish Mishra, Pt. Lingaraj Mishra and others. But Pandit Gopabandhu was not there to see this eventful beginning of the new life of "Samaj". During the world war Pandit Nilakantha started an Oriya daily called "Navarat" to support the Ministry and the war efforts of the government. He was also having a monthly magazine 'Nava Bharat'. This paper continued as long as it enjoyed official support and after the fall of the Ministry and the end of war it closed down. During this period another Oriya paper named 'Lok Mata' also came into existence, but it disappeared after a short period.
In the early pre-independence period two English weeklies, 'The Orissa First' edited by Mr. K.N. Acharya and 'Observer' by Mr. M.S. Mahanty, and an Oriya Weekly named Janata by Surendra Mohanty published from Cuttack had influenced public opinions in their own respective ways. Mr. K.N. Acharya's 'Orissa First ' commanded respect and prestige in official and enlightened circles of the State. Another Oriya monthly magazine which commanded great influence through out the State for its critical writings was 'Niakhunta'. This was first started in 1938 from Berhampur by late Godavarish Mahapatra and later shifted to Cuttack. 'Krusak', another Oriya weekly also started its publication in 1938 from Cuttack under editorship of Sarangdhar Das.
The Post-Independence Era
In the Post-Independence Era journalism in Orissa assumed new attitude and direction. It has attracted many ambitious youngmen who accepted journalism as avenue for employment. Dr. H.K. Mahatab's "Prajatantra" offered this opportunity to employment seekers in journalism and also to the young aspirants for building political careers. Dr. Mahatab's 'Prajatantra' which first started publication as a weekly from Balasore on 2.10.1923. Its re-appearance on the 8th August, 1947 as an Oriya Daily with renewed vigour and strength under the fostering care of Dr.Mahatab who was the first premier of the State on the eve of the transfer of power and also became Chief Minister after independence. As a matter of fact. "Prajatantra" was the training centre for many journalists who occupied important positions one politics and in public life. Another sister paper of the Prajatantra, English Daily, "The Eastern Times" was also published on the 1st of April 1948. The 'Amrit Bazar Patrika' of Calcutta published an edition from Cuttack from the Tulasipur residence of Mr. Biju Patnaik. But it also discontinued its publication after two years.
'Matrubhumi' which was started as a weekly in 1947 was made a Daily by its founder Editor Mr. Balakrushna Kar in 1951 on the eve of First General Election in 1952 with the financial help received from Maharaja of Balangir Patna, late R.N. Singh Deo. In 1956 an Oriya Daily called 'Ganatantra' owing its political allegiance to the opposition Ganatantra Parishad" of the ex-Garhjat rulers of Orissa was published by the Gana Prakasani Trust Board. This paper continued for about five years. In 1960 another important Oriya Daily "Kalinga" was published by Mr. Biju Patnaim, the then Congress leader of Orissa. It was controlled through a trust. This paper went out of existence after 1967 General Elections during the time of "Swatantra-Jana Congress" Coalition Ministry. On 1st April 1966 another Oriya Daily "The Janasakti" made its appearance and continued for about four years. This paper owed its existence to Mr. Biren Mitra, ex-Chief Minister of Orissa. During its short span of existence it had been able to gain popular support and good will of the people. After the Fourth General Election another Oriya daily the "Swarajya" owing its full allegiance to the Swatantra Party was published from Bhubaneswar under the working editorship of Mr. Rama Prasad Sinha, a well-known freedom fighter, writer and a veteran journalist. This paper was controlled by the ex-Maharaja of Balangir Patna, late R.N. Singh Deo as the Chairman of a new Trust Board.
On 24th November 1974 a new Oriya Daily "Dharitri" was added to the family of the Daily Newspapers of Orissa published ownership of under the Madam Nandini Satapathy a former Chief Minister of Orissa and members of her family. Mr. Tathagata Satapathy is its editor now. This was first published by Smt. Chandrika Mahapatra on behalf of "Samajwadi Society. A new English Daily the "News of the World" was also published from Cuttack by an enterprising press worker in 1976 under his managing editorship.
If the first hand-written newspaper is believed to be published in Orissa, it can be ascribed that the state of Orissa heralded the cult of journalism. The actual growth of Oriya newspapers, however, can be attributed to strong political affiliations of the respective editors concerned. Due to some reasons or other, politicians took the shelter of newspapers and started one such media under their patronage and control apparently for a say on bureaucracy and the government. As per the estimate nearly eight prominent Oriya newspapers have been started or promoted by politicians, especially in the rank of Chief Ministers. These are working as their mouthpiece for the own propaganda of the concerned political party.
But the post-liberalisation era is the best period for the development of press in Orissa, as many English press and Electronic media started their venture in Orissa. In this period English newspaper like The New Indian Express, The Times Of India, The Statesman, ThePioneer, The Telegarph, The Hindustan Times, and The Asian Age has open their publication from Orissa. These national newspapers are played a very important role for the positive image of our state in the national and international map. Another notable development in Orissa’s press in this time is the launching of ETV Oriya. It not only transformed the socio-cultural make over of the state but also change the culture of media in Orissa.
EMINENT ORIYA LANGUAGE
Sasi Bhusan Rath
Mr. Sashibhusan Rath had taken his birth at Surada in the district of Ganjam in 1885. His father was Lambodar Mahapatra, who was a well established citizen of the locality. Sashibhusan Rath had encouraged the Oriya race through his publication "ASHA" and "NEW ORISSA" news paper. He had planted a new life in the dormant soul of Oriya people and he had fulfilled the dream of Orissa as separate province. He had dedicated his every thing for the interest of the Oriya people. His role in the formation of Orissa as a separate province is really unforgettable.
The surname of Mr.Sashibhusan had become Rath from Mahapatra, as he was adopted to his uncle Mr.Digambar Ratha. From the very beginning of his child hood, he was in the attempt of eradication of superstition, anti social activities like animal sacrifice before the goddesses etc. He had passed his matriculation in 1902 from Madras University at Parlakhemundi.Subsequently, he spent his life for some time as a businessman and he was appointed as a Manager in "Utkal Tanary" established by Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das. Then he was appointed as a Manager of" Young & Co" medicine company in Calcutta. In Calcutta he had organised an "Oriya Association". He was almost mad for the upliftment of the Oriya people and introduction of Oriya Language in Govt.machinary. He was trying hard for the unification of the Oriya speaking areas. He was the lover of Oriya literature. He had published the weekly newspaper "ASHA" in 13th April'1913 and won the hearts of the entire Oriya people. Due to his popularity he became the Vice-Chairman of Berhampur Muncipality in 1914 and he under taken many development works in to his hands. He had mobilised the people regarding the activities of Utkal Sammiloni and formation of Orissa as a separate provinces through " ASHA ". In 1918 he had established an Oriya School at Berhampur, which functioned under the management of Berhampur Muncipalty. Apart from "ASHA " Sashibhusan Babu had published two more monthly magazines of literature i.e, " Satyabadi " and "Pradeepa". In 1920, he was elected to Madras Assembly Council and put forth many proposals before the Govt. for overal development of Ganjam district. In 1921, he was also elected as a member of Managing Committee of Khallikote College, Berhampur. During his tenure the Khallikote College was improved a lot. In 1924, Sashi Babu had organised " Dandasi Caste Association" (Pana race) and fulfilled their claims putting pressure on Govt. Mr. Sashi babu is the ablest man of Orissa and pride of Orissa. He had profound knowledge and high souled patriotism. He is no more, but he will be remembered always by the Oriya for his past deeds.
After his English education he went to Bombay and worked in a tannery. Soon after he set up his own tannery named as “Rath & Co at Karvedlli Road. In 1907 he joined in Utkal tannery of Madhu Sudhan Das for sometime.Then he started a pharmaceutical business at Calcutta. In 1912 he involved in politics at Calcutta when Bhiar and parts of Orissa separated from Bengal Provenance .He felt that there is need of separate Orissa provinence through Oriya language. So he returned to Orissa, Berhampur and started a Newspaper “Asha”on April 13 1913 according to his daughter’s name Asalata. It was a grand success for him during 1913 &.1914 .Asha was made daily in April 13 1928 and named as “Dainaik Asha”. On 5th May 1933 he published first English daily Newspaper “New Orissa” which helped to built up a atmosphere to form a Orissa as a separate provinence. After formation of separate Oriya provinence Sasi Bhusan Rath gave up the editorship on 18th April 1936.
Active Participation in Politics
During 1918 Sasi Bhusan involved in politics. He was member in Berhampur Muncipality and was a vice Chairman .He was elected twice as a member of Madras provinicial council in 1920 and 1925. He became the president of Ganjam congress committee and participated actively in Satyagrah movement which was done by Gandhiji. His main aim was in politics for the Oriya speaking people for formation of separate Oriya provinence. So he took as an active member in Utkal Samilani and took active part in Simmon Commission. He died on 18th May 1943.
Gopabandhu Dash (1877–1928) known as Utkalamani (Gem of Orissa) was a defining social worker who excelled in the field of politics as well as literature.
Born on 9 October 1877 to Swarnamayee Devi and Shree Daitari Dash in Suando Village, near Puri, Orissa, Gopabandhu was a legend in the Indian culture. He served his people even at the cost of his family. At the age of twelve, he married Apti, but continued his education. After completion of primary education, he joined Puri Zilla School in 1893, where he met his teacher Mukhtiar Ramachandra Dash, who was not only a genius but also a nationalist. It was at this school and with this teacher that Gopabandhu learned many nationalistic values. The inadequate response of authorities for the victims of cholera prompted him to start a voluntary corps Puri Seva Samiti. This movement later led to establishment of a separate hospital for cholera patients at Puri, and made Gopabandhu's name in society.
Literary Excellence and Social Movements
As a student Gopabandhu's literary fervor was excellent. During those days the Oriya literary world was divided between the ancient, The Indradhanu and the modernists, The Bijuli. Gopabandhu realized that a nation as well as its literature live by their tradition. He believed that a national superstructure of the present can endure only if it is based upon the solid foundations of the national heritage. His satirical poem in The Indradhanu led to an ugly incident and punishment meted out by the Inspector of schools. Gopabandhu refused to apologize for such writing in lieu of punishment.
He attended Ravenshaw College, Cuttack despite his father's recent death. During this period, he started Kartavya Bodhini Samiti (Duty Awakening Society) to encourage his friends to do their duty as citizens and take on social, economic and political problems. He was leading a team to aid flood victims, when he heard of his son's serious illness but remained to serve the locals rather than return home to his son. His social services as a young man prevented this brilliant student from completing his undergraduate degree, although he later earned his BL, LLB with distinction at Calcutta University.
In Kolkata, he started a labor union and set up night schools for Oriya laborers and cooks. He came in contact with the Vande Mataram group which infused him with the Swadeshi spirit. His new mission was to reform society through improving the educational system. His wife died when he was only twenty-eight, and his three sons had already died. He left his daughters with his elder brother, and gave his brother his share of the family property in the village to support them.
After coming back from Kolkata, he worked as a government lawyer in Mayurbhanj court. Law did not interest him, so he gave up his practice and worked for the welfare of the people. He believed that only education can improve and develop society so in August 1909, he established a school in Satyabadi Bana Vidyalay, near Puri. The objective of the institution was to spread idealism, patriotism, nationalism and intellectual pursuits among its students in a Gurukul environment. This experiment was opposed by orthodox Brahmins, who did not wish their children consorting with children of other castes, but the school remained. Gopabandhu Dash was instrumental in developing the education and society of Orissa. In 1921 this school was renamed National School. Several other individuals started similar institutions. His initiative in inviting public saw a remarkable transformation in Ravenshaw College, which was under financial crisis. Because of his affection for Indian culture, he established a Sanskrit college at the holy city of Puri.
Pundit Gopabandhu Das arrived at his first job as a teacher in Nilagiri but afterward he left the assignment to become a lawyer. Graduating in law from Calcutta University, he set up his practice at his home district of Puri. Later he moved to the High court in Cuttack. During this period he was also appointed as a Government lawyer in Mayurbhanj court. After had a consummate legal practice Pundit Gopabandhu Das decided to quit the profession for social work and mass education. He strongly believed that education had a huge role to play for the upliftment of the society. In his mission to work for a better society and welfare of the common masses he established a school at a place called Satyabadi in 1909. This effort of Pundit Gopabandhu Das played a key role to improve the education and social welfare of Orissa. Hugely motivated by the positive response he received from the people of Orissa the school was converted into a high school the following year. The school secured affiliation from the Calcutta University and for the first time matriculation exam was held in the year of 1914. The school further secured an affiliation from Patna University in 1917. Due to soaring success the school was converted to a National school in the year 1921. Unfortunately the school was closed in 1927. Though the school was restarted a few years after it failed to emulate its hoary past
pandit Gopabandhu Das was a member of Utkal Samilani from 1903 to 1921 for which he was elected President in the year of 1919. Pundit Gopabandhu Das was truly versatile personality. He was an eminent writer and poet. Some of his poems like "Ma Ra Kabita ", "Dharmapada", "Bandi Ra Atma Katha" are testimony of his evident skills of a great poet. Pundit Gopabandhu Das had a miserable family life. He lost both of his parents in his childhood days. Pundit Gopabandhu Das who completed his education as an orphan went on to lose his wife son and younger brother when he was a young man. Even after so many personal setbacks we have to salute the spirit of this great man to work with complete dedication to ensure that poor people of Orissa lead a better life. He was certainly shining gem for state of Orissa and a great son of the state.
Gopabandhu's political exposure began with Utkala Sammilani in 1903, but he persuaded others to merge this with the National Congress to make the Oriya movement a part of the Indian National Movement. Thus he became the founder president of Congress in Orissa. He was imprisoned several times for participating in the freedom movement. He quit Congress, disillusioned by the infighting among the leaders in their search for power and returned to serving the people directly. Then he became the national vice president of Lok Sevak Mandal till his death.
He was an active sentinel of Oriya Movement, freedom fighter and a great social reformer. As an educationist he was responsible for establishment of Satyabadi School at Satyabadi in the Puri District. Imbued with patriotic fervour the students of Satyabadi School were known as indefatigable fighters against British Imperialism. Gopabandhu regarded politics as an instrument of service to the people. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, Gopabandhu was one of the Noblest Sons of Orissa. His spirit of service and sacrifice finds an apt echo in his following lines. “Let my body mingle in the dust of my motherland and let my countrymen walk across it; and let my flesh and bones fill in the potholes of my country's self-independence
Influence on Gandhiji
Gopabandhu's simple living style often influenced others and made the people come closer to him. He used to wear a dhoti only. Once after completion of a state level meeting of Congress workers Gandhiji & Gopabandhu were sitting together for lunch along with other workers. Special arrangements were made for both of them to sit on a table as per congress tradition. But Gopabandhu opted to sit with others on the ground. When different items were served, Gandhiji wanted special items made only for him to be shared with Gopabandhu also. But in return Gopabandhu replied, he can take only those items that are prepared for all. He then advised Gandhiji to take steps to make Congress a party of upper & middle class people to a party of mass including the poor. After which Gandhiji started wearing dhoti so as to come closer to the poor. Gopanabdhu's heart was always eager to listen to the poor. One day after visiting a flood hit area he was taking food along with others, when a poor hungry man was crying out side the house for food. All were tired. So were joking among each other to avoid pain. It was he who could listen the cry amidst so much disturbances. He hurriedly went to the poor man, called him inside and shared his food.
Contribution to Journalism
He was instrumental in making Oriya journalism suitable for the common man. He published a monthly magazine called Satyabadi in 1914. Later on 4 October 1919, the auspicious day of Vijayadsahami he started the weekly newspaper The Samaj, which became the most popular daily news paper of Orissa. He served as editor “Samaj” continuously until his death. Later he donated The Samaja to Lok Sevak Mandal after his death. Handed over to the Lok Sevak Mandal, New Delhi through the will of Pandit Gopabandhu Das, the Samaja is today managed by Servants of the People Society. About 80 percent of the net profit of The Samaja is spent for the welfare activities of the people of Orissa by way of extending stipend to students in need, aiding patients and victims of natural calamities and through miscellaneous charities and donations. A large sum goes to the Gopabandhu Institute of Medical Science and Research at Athgarh, Oriss
Gopabandhu was a nationalistic warrior by heart. He wrote many poems & novels encouraging the younger generation to serve for national integration. He once said, “Pachha ghuncha nahin veerara jatake, na mare se kebe parana atanke”, meaning a yodha never flees, nor fears death. While in Hazaribagh Jail from 1922-1924, he wrote a heart touching novel called “Bandira Atmakatha” (The Biography of a Prisoner) expressing his love for people of Orissa. There he has written “Misu mora deha e desha matire, desabasi chali jaantu pethire
desara swarajya pathe jete gada, misu tahin padi mora mansa hada
” (“Let my body mingle in the dust of my motherland and let my countrymen walk across it; and let my flesh and bones fill in the potholes of my country's self-independence) whose meaning is, let my body merge in the soil of the nation and help my country men walk on me, let each hole in the path of development of the nation be filled with my flesh & bone.
Gopabandhu fell ill while attending a fund raiser ceremony in Lahore for the flood victims of Orissa, of which he never recovered. He died of prolonged illness on 17 June 1928. But his sacrifice still ignites many hearts to dedicate their soul & body for the nation.
Nilakantha Das (1884-1969) was a politician, freedom fighter, social reformer and revolutionary leader of Orissa. He was also a writer, editor and orator of great repute. Born in Puri, Nilakantha Das secured Masters in Philosophy from the Calcutta University. He refused a lucrative job under the British government and instead chose a humble job of a school headmaster. He inspired the youth to fight against the social evils. His oratory skill was seen in the powerful speeches he delivered when he served as a parliamentarian in the Central Legislative Assembly and Orissa Legislative Assembly.
Nilakantha Das’s major contribution to Oriya literature were the poetry works titled ‘Konarke' and ‘Mayadevi'. He is also known for his translations, noted among them are the ‘Dasa Naik’ and ‘Pranayini’, which are adaptations of the poems of Lord Tennyson. He received the Sahitya Academy Award for his autobiography titled ‘Atma Jivani’. His literary work, ‘Oriya Sahityar Kramaparinam’, is considered a landmark in Oriya literary criticism. He is also known for his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.
Secured M.A. Degree in Philosophy from Calcutta University. Spurned an offer of a lucrative job by the British Govt. and preferred to serve as the Mead Master of Satyabadi High School. Endowed with a profound erudition he became a legendary figure in his life time. A powerful speaker, his speaches in Central Legislative Assembly and Orissa Legislative Assembly have left an indelible impression on Legislative history. He was a rare amalgam of a Writer, Editor, Speaker and Author. Author of an excellent commentary of Geeta. His epics are considered as Master piece of Oriya Language. A distinguished freedom fighter and a revolutionary, he inspired the youth to fight against untouchability and other social evils. Led the movement for amalgamation of outlying Oriya tracts and was a symbol of Oriya culture.
Kabibar Radhanath Ray
Radhanath Ray (1848–1908) is the principal architect of the era of initial modernity in Oriya poetry during the later part of nineteenth century and is honoured in Oriya literature with the title “Kabibara”. In his early life, he composed in both Bengali and Oriya languages, but later he shifted his writings in Oriya only.He was born on 28 September 1848, at Kedarpur village in Balasore district. In the gradual development of Oriya literature Radhanath Ray occupies an important position. His creations have enriched Oriya literature and it can be undoubtedly told that through his unique literacy creations Oriya poetry in the nineteenth century has got new life, asset & appeal.
Role in Language Movement
At Radhanath’s time period, in Orissa, the Oriya Language Movement, which was active. Though the medieval Oriya literature was richer in comparison tothat of Bengali literature,but some of Bengali educationalist wanted to abolish Oriya language as the medium of teaching from schools. As Bengal was gripped by British Colonialism much before to orissa, the Bengalis had privilege to motivate the Anglicist scholars to prove Oriya as a branch of Bengali language.John Beams first tried to prove that Oriya is more ancient language than Bengali and it had a richer literature which Bengali had not. In the Orissa division, there were only seven Oriya schoolteachers; Bengalis formed the majority of teachers,even in remote areas. Consequently, Bengali books were prescribed textbooks for Oriya children. At that time, Radhanath was one of prime figure with Fakir Mohan Senapati, who fought against the expansionism of Bengali educationalist to eradicate Oriya language from Orissa.He was the Inspector of Orissa Schools Association and along with Fakir Mohan Senapati and Bhakta Kabi Madhusudan Rao, he tried to promote text book writings
Radhanath Ray’s first major work was ‘Kabitabali’, a collection of poems in Bengali written at the age of 18. It featured in most of the major newspapers and journals in Kolkatta during that time. His other Bengali poem was ‘Lekhabali.’ He later switched over to Oriya language and wrote famous Kavyas like Kedar Gouri, Nandikeshwari, Chilika, Mahajatra – Jajatikeshari, Tulasistabaka, Urbashi, Darabara, Dasaratha Biyoga, Savitri Charita & Mahendra Giri. Besides he has written more than fifteen essays. Apart from his original works, he is also known for his translations and adaptations from the Latin literature. They include ‘Usha', 'Chandrabhaga' and 'Parbati.' .
Father of Modernism
He believed in Keat’s words that ‘A thing of beauty is a joy for ever. He is a panegyrist of nature. He enriched Oriya poetry by introducing into it new forms, new topics, a new approach and greater freedom. Among the many new things which he brought into Oriya poetry, there were blank-verse, pictorial, musical but direct and unambiguous language following Scott and Wordsworth, satire in the manner of Dryden and Pope, denunciation of despots, tyrants and oppressors, concern with social problems, a spirit of protest against conventional morality, a disbelief in the power of gods and goddesses, and patriotic sentiments, which last brought him trouble from his employers. He was viewed as a national poet of the first order in Orissa.
Though Radhanath contributed a lot to Oriya Literature, but he was not accepted by the contemporary conservative readers of his time. Sooner, he was dragged into a controversy. Sudhala Dev, the then king of Bamanda awarded the poet as a title Kabibar and it made some of the critiques and poets jealous. Some critiques wrote that Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja is more powerful than Radhanath and these silly arguments turned into a serious topic of controversy like modernity versus tradition. Two of the literary journals “The Indradhanu” and The Bijali” engaged in this controversy and later all the intellectuals entangled in this discussion. However, this literary controversy ended with a letter of Radhanath.
Harekrushna Mahatab (November 21, 1899 - January 2, 1987) was a leader of the Indian National Congress, a notable figure in the Indian independence movement and the Chief Minister of Orissa from 1946-50 and again from 1956-61. He was popularly known by the sobriquet Utkal Keshari.
Harekrushna Mahtab was born at Agarpada village in Bhadrak district of Orissa. He was born to Krushna Charan Das and Tohapha Debi. After passing his matriculation examination from Bhadrak High School, he joined Ravenshaw College, Cuttack but left his studies in 1921 to join the independence movement.
In 1922, he was imprisoned and charged of sedition. He was the Chairman of Balasore District Board from 1924-28. He became the member of Bihar and Orissa Council in 1924. He joined the Salt Satyagraha movement and was imprisoned again in 1930. He was elected as the General Officer Commanding of Congress Sevadal for the AICC session at Puri in 1932 and he was arrested when the party was banned. He participated in the movement against untouchability in 1934 and opened his ancestral temple to all for the first time in Orissa. Later, he started Gandhi Karma Mandir at Agarpada. He was the President of Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee from 1930-1931 and again in 1937. He was nominated to the Congress Working Committee by Subhas Chandra Bose in 1938 and continued till 1946 and again from 1946-50. He was the President of State Peoples' Enquiry Committee in 1938 and recommended cancellation of Sanada of the rulers and merger of the erstwhile princely states with Orissa Province. He participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942 and was imprisoned from 1942-45.
Harekrushna Mahatab was the Chief Minister of Orissa from April 23, 1946 to May 12, 1950. He was the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry from 1950-52. He became the secretary general of the Congress Parliamentary Party in 1952. He was the Governor of Bombay from 1955-56. After resigning from Governorship in 1956, he again became the Chief Minister of Orissa from 1956 to 1960. During his tenures as the Chief Minister, he played significant role in the merger and integration of former princely states, shifting of the capital from Cuttack to Bhubaneshwar and the sanction and construction of the multi-purpose Hirakud Dam Project. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962 and became the vice-president of the Indian National Congress in 1966. In 1966, he resigned from the Congress and led the Orissa Jana Congress. He was elected to the Orissa Legislative Assembly in 1967, 1971 and 1974. He was imprisoned in 1976 for protesting against the emergency. He was the governor of Bombay state from 2 March 1955 to 14 October 1956 .
He was the founder of the Prajatantra Prachar Samiti and started the weekly magazine Prajatantra in 1923 at Balasore, which later became the Daily Prajatantra. He was the chief editor of a monthly journal Jhankar since its inception. He received the Sahitya Academy award in 1983 for the third volume of his well-known work, Gan Majlis.
Awards and honors
He was the President of Orissa Sahitya Academy and Sangit Natak Academy for a couple of terms. He received an honorary Doctorate degree from Andhra University, an honorary D.Litt. from Utkal University and an honorary Doctorate of Law from Sagar University.
Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra
Father of modern journalism in Orissa Prof. Chintamani Mohapatra was born on 5th August1930 at Bhawanipatana , Khalahandi district. His father Late Pandit Kashinath Mohapatra was a land lord of Tiljori in Khalahandi district and his mother Ratanamani Devi was a house wife.
Mr. Mohapatra passed his matriculation from Brajmohan high school at Bhawanipatana in 1946 and completed his I.A from Khalikote college , Berhampur in 1948.He completed his B.A(Hons) from Ravenshaw college , Cuttack in 1952 and M.A in Economics from Lucknow University UP on 1952. He also passed Russian language in 1951.
He got training at Free Press Journal ,Bombay in1953 and worked for 8 months there.He worked as Sub Editor, News Editor and as acting Editor an English Daily “Eastern times” Published by Prajatantra Prachar Samiti at Cuttack from 1954 to 1967. He Edited a monthly magazine “Bibarani”in Oriya from 1967 to 1971 and also became the editor of Newspaper “Swarajya” the organ of Swantra Party at Bhubaneswar from 1968 to 1971. From 1971 to 1974 he worked as Editor in United States Informatin Service at Calcutta. He also took in charge of American Reporter (Oriya).Then he came to Orissa And worked as reader and Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass communication at Berhampur University from 1974 to 1984.In 1985 he became a Professor and HOD of the JMC Department at Berhampur University till 1990.He was the member of UPSC since 1984. He had been to Andhra University for one year (1990- 1991)as UGC visiting professor .He became press Advisior to Governor Aruchanal Pradesh for one year (1991-1992). And worked as visiting Professor at Indian institute of Mass Communication Dhenkal Orissa from 1994 to 2002.
He was the president of Institute of Mass Media Studies (IMS) 1994-2002, Chairman of journalism Board of Studies at Vanibihar and Chairman of Manav Adhyayan Kendra . He was the president of Theosophical Lodge and Executive member of Theosophical Federation.
He was the member of the Common Wealth Association for Education in Journalism in Canada, Asian Mass communication Research and Information Centre Singapore, Indian journalism Education Association Vanarasi, and Indian Council for Communication Training and Research ,Banglore. He was the president of Orissa Theosophical Federation, president of Orissa Theosophical Order of Service ,National Lecture in Thesophy and lecturer extensively in the state Orissa and outside, president of Hi-Con Trust.
He was awarded as an Eminent Journalist by Utkal Pathak Sansad on 21.3.99 and awarded as Eminent Journalist by Utkal Sahitya Samaj on 2.8.2002. He was felicitated by Public Relation Society of India Bhubaneswar Chapter outstanding contributions in the field of Public Relations/ Mass communication on 28.02.1993 by his Excellency the Governor of Orissa.
Prof. Mohapatra translated many books in Oriya. He translated “The Beginning of Sixth Root Race” by Charles Webster Leadbeater In Oriya the book entitled as “Shashtha Mula Jatira Eke Sundra Pruthibi”, “At the feet of the Master” by Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater in Oriya the book is titled as “Sri Guru Charane”, “ A Tale of Two Cities”by Charles Dickens in Oriya entitled “Duiti Nagareera Kahani” published by Natinal Book trust, “The Seven Priniciple of Man” by H.P. Blavatsky in oriya the book as named “Manushyara Sapata Shareera”, “Life After Death” by Charles Webster in Oriya the book named as “Mrutyu Pare Jiban “
He wrote many books such as Journalism in Orissa , War Reporting, Novel in Oriya entitled “Adhikar”, Amruta bani in Oiya, Saswata Muruchana (Poems in Oriya), “Brahama bidiya Parichya in Oriya, God Men Superman and Faries and Helena p. Blavastkynar advut Khani.
GROWTH OF ORIYA JOURNALISM
Human communication is as old as humanity itself. It is not certain when human beings started to follow a particular device or system of exchanging messages. But it is normally understood that the oldest form of human communication is non-verbal. With the rapidgrowth of Science and Technology, several forms of communication system began to develop. One of the most remarkable results of the industrial revolution was the emergence of mass communication and the twentieth century can be appropriately considered as the real age of development of news media. According to Vilanilam (1993; p.176) "mass communication is just an embryo in the womb of contemporary human history". The concept of mass media is a social phenomenon. Its effects on the society are tremendous since it is directly related to the people. Mass media as an instrument of social power do have important consequences for individuals, for the institutions and for the society and culture. A study of mass media, especially print media, i.e. newspaper in a given area primarily determines the status, growth and puts effects on the people. This paper is a similar study undertaken in the state of Orissa. The study covers the existing newspapers published in the state of Orissa and discusses history, growth, and development of news in Orissa.
Early History of Hand-Written Newspapers
The whole Orissa heralded a new era of journalism with the introduction of a handwritten newspaper called 'Kujibar Patra' edited by Sadhu Sunder Das, a social reformer of that time in 1769. The same newspaper had irregular frequency (sometimes daily, weekly, and fortnightly) was being published from Kujibar Ashram near Chowdwar. Since the printing machine was not available in Orissa, it was written on coarse paper in Oriya language and distributed in different central places of bazaars, the missionary centres and mission homes of Cuttack town and to the rulers and disciples. The news items of the newspaper were based on the then political,socio-religious, cultural, and educational matters, and administrative affairs of government.The paper became so prominent in its news coverage that during 1800 A.D it was translated into Hindi and Marhatta languages. This hand-written newspaper had such a great influence on the then missionary activities that the missionaries were translating the news items and sending to London and those were published and commented in London Baptist Missionary Reports and Journals. Rev.
Sutton had a remarkable piece of translation from the 'Kujibar Patra' in 1927 which was sent to the Baptist Mission in London. In that Growth and Development of Press in Orissa Dr. R.K.Mahapatra piece of translation, he had categorically mentioned the news published about the corruption and inhuman activities done at Puri, irreligious activities of the Government, etc. It is believed that some copies of Kujibar Patra is at present available at India House Library in London.
Early Printed Newspapers
The impact of western culture made a tremendous change in the social lives of Oriya people. When the people of Orissa were dreaming for the development of an intellectual environment, the press, as an instrument of the spread of knowledge and wisdom, came to the soil of Orissa as a blessing. The Christian Missionaries, in their attempt to propagate the Christian religion also established a press in Cuttack known as 'The Cuttack Mission Press' in 1837. The great famine of 1866 had a disastrous effect on the state. The precarious condition of the people knew no bounds and the British Government totally failed to control the situation. To overcome the said unbearable situation, the plight of the people was greatly affected by historic famine that the state had ever seen in its history. The need of a newspaper as the vital carrier of information was then felt essential at all quarters. A wellknown Oriya youngman, Gouri Shankar Ray started to publish 'Utkal Dipika', the first newspaper of its kind in Oriya language in 1866 which continued to provide its message till 1934 with many ups and downs.
The Oriya literature and language met its formative period during the second half of the nineteenth century. This period witnessed a critical situation not only by occurrence of drought but also by a cultural threat. The very existence of Oriya language, therefore, was a problem to many owing to non-existence of a separate independent state. Thus the adjoining States had an adverse influence on the unified language for Orissa, especially the Bengal province which had a severe impact on the culture of Orissa. Due to total indifference of the British Government and the strong influence of Bengali language, efforts were made to abolish Oriya language and substitute it by the Bengali language as the medium of instruction in the schools of Orissa (Samal; 1989; p. 111). This had led to a strong agitation. T.E. Ravenshaw, the then Commissioner of Orissa prevented the British authorities to commit such a grave mistake and recommended the use of Oriya language as a medium of instruction.
Three literary Celebrities namely, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Radhanath Roy and Madhu Sudan Rao were the pioneers in giving Oriya literature its modern shape. They revealed in their writings the profound influence of western ideas on their thought (Mansingh; 1962; p.185). Fakir Mohan Senapati, who has been regarded as the father of modern Oriya literature, started a newspaper called 'Sambad Bahika' in 1868 at Balasore. During that period one king Baikunthanath Dey also established a press and started a newspaper named 'Utkal Darpan'. They both became pioneers in the development Oriya language and literature through the publication of their respective newspapers. Taking into account the effectiveness of the print media and the increasing awareness of the people about their language and reading habits, the trend of establishing more printing presses was not only became very popular but also imminent. During that period the presses like Mayurbhanja Press (1879), Bamanda Press (1885), Jagannath Ballav Press (1887) and Utkal Darpana Press (1902) were established in different towns of Orissa (Tripathy,
1990 Those printing presses were primarily engaged in publishing newspapers and magazines with different frequency. Some of the newspapers published during that period were :
Table - 1 : Some of the Earlier Newspapers Published from Orissa
Sl. Title Language Frequency Year of Place of
No. publication publication.
01. The Utkal Dipika Oriya W 1866 Cuttack
02. The Sambad Bahika -do- W 1868 Balasore
03. The Utkal Hitaisini -do- W 1869 Cuttack
04. The Utkal Darpan -do- M 1873 Balasore
05. The Utkal Putra -do- F 1873 Cuttack
06. The Sikhyak -do- M 1873 Balasore
07. The Swadeshi -do- W 1877 Berhampur
08. The Oriya -do- W 1879 Cuttack
09. The Mayurbhanj Oriya & M 1879 Baripada English
10. The Purusottam Oriya M 1887 Puri
11. The Sambalpur -do- W 1889 Bamanda Hitaisini
12. The Ganjam News -do- W 1896 Parlakhemundi
13.The Ganjam Oriya -do- W 1899 Berhampur Hitabadini
14. The Star of Utkal -do- W 1909 Cuttack
15. The Asha -do- W 1914 Berhampur
16.The Samaj -do- W 1919 Satyabadi (later from Cuttack)
W = Weekly; F = Fortnightly; M = Monthly
As described earlier, the missionaries were instrumental in setting up the presses in Orissa. They had also taken attempt to publish newspapers first. The following newspapers appeared to have been published by them.
1. Gyanaruna - 1849
2. Prabodh Chandrika - 1856
3. Arunodaya – 1861
Reverend Lassey was editing the newspaper 'Gyanaruna'. The editors of the remaining papers were, however, not known. The above mentioned newspapers were considered to be the missionaries' mouthpiece for propagation of their respective religion. As a result, they failed to cover the news in real sense and lost their popularity and subsequently ceased their publications. A new era in the journalism history of Orissa started with the publication of two newspapers, namely, 'The Asha' and 'The Samaj'. 'The Asha', published and edited by Sashibhusan Rath made its first appearance in April 1914 from Berhampur and became very popular as a newspaper for which the publisher took the attempt to make it a daily newspaper in 1928. On 4th October 1919, 'The Samaj' resumed its first publication from Satyabadi with the sincere efforts of the then well known freedom fighter late Pandit Gopabandhu Das.
The publication of 'The Samaj', the popular Oriya daily heralded a new age in the history of Orissa's newspaper and Oriya journalism to a considerable height. The Samaj became extremely popular due to its contents and coverage being suited to the information needs of the people, particularly the rural mass. During that time, the freedom movement was very much on the card. This newspaper became the mouth piece of freedom movement. Taking into account its popularity, the publication of the said newspaper was shifted to Cuttack in 1927 and was convented into a daily newspaper and since then, it has almost become as a household commodity in each and every Oriya family of the state. The publication of another Oriya newspaper 'The Prajatantra' in 1932 established and edited by Late Harekrushna Mahatab had tremendously influenced the literary and social lives of Oriya people. A new phase in Oriya journalism started with the publication of the said newspaper. After a long closure, it was again reappeared as a daily newspaper in 1947 and still continuing as a major circulated Oriya daily. The subsequent publications of several other newspapers from different places of Orissa as depicted in Table 6 have enriched the language, literature and journalism in Orissa to a remarkable height in comparison to other contemporary states.
TABLE - 2 : Newspapers Published From Orissa ( In alphabetical order)
Sl Title of the Perio- Year of Editor(s) Publisher(s) Place of
No. Newspaper(s) dicity origin Publication
01. The Agnisikha D 1968 A.R.Panda D.P.Nayak Sambalpur
02. The Aji Kagaja W 1984 Dillip Mohapatra - Angul
03. The Aji Kali D 1985 B. Mohanty - Balasore
04. The Ajira Khabara F 1983 S. N. Tripathy Nowrangpur
05. The Aneka Suchana D 1991 N.N. Panda Bhubaneswar
06. The Anupama Bharat D 1996 Sarat Mishra R.K. Panda Berhampur
07. The Bartaman Samachar D 1994 R.C. Nayak R.C. Nayak Bhubaneswar
08. The Bisesha Khabara W 1984 M.K. Swain M.K. Swain Bhadrak
09. The Bisesha Sambad W 1996 B.C. Choudhury B.C. Choudhury Bhubaneswar
10. The Capital Poster W 1988 S. Sahu S. Sahu Bhubaneswar
11. The Chanchalyakar F 1991 S. Banerjee S. Banerjee Cuttack
12. The Cinema Gujab W 1987 R. Mohanty A.K. Mohanty Bhubaneswar
13. The Dainik Asha D 1914 P.K. Panda Berhampur
14. The Dahana D 1982 Narayan Das Narayan Das Athagarh
15. The Dakara D 1984 A.K. Panda A.K. Panda Sambalpur
16. The Dharitri D 1974 Tathagata Satpathy Tathagata Satpathy Bhubaneswar
17. The Dinalipi D 1981 Satya Mohapatra Satya Mohapatra Bhubaneswar
18. The Durabarta M 1994 K.M. Rao S.K. Sahu Bhubaneswar
19. The Dhwani Pratidhwani D 1991 Sairidhi Sahu Sairidhi Sahu Balasore
20. The Eastern Times (E) W 1981 B. Mahatab B. Mahatab Cuttack
21. The Friday W 1987 R. Mohanty A.K. Mohanty Bhubaneswar
22. The Ganabarta D 1994 A Bishi A. Bishi
23. The Ganabhasa D 1991 C.R. Sahu R.K. Das Balasore
24. The Hirakhanda D 1981 Dr.H.K.Mahatab/ Dr. H.K. Mahatab Sambalpur
25. The Indian Express(E) D 1997 Shekhar Gupta K. Ranganathan Bhubaneswar
26. Info-Ad W 1997 Manas R. Samal Manas R. Samal Bhubaneswar
27. The Isha W 1983 A.K. Das A.P. Das Kendrapara
28. The Iswar D 1996 Manjulata Nayak Rourkela
29. the Janamata W 1992 A. Rout Bhubaneswar
30. The Janamukha D 1988 B.K. Panigrahi M.R. Pattnaik Sambalpur
31. The Janaraba W 1972 D. Chauhan Bhubaneswar
32. The Janasakti D 1966 L. Mishra L. Mishra Bhubaneswar
33. The Janata D 1940 Godabarish Mishra Cuttack
34. The Jibanmrutyu W 1992 Sudhir K. Panda Surendra K. Panda Bhubaneswar
35. The Kalahandi Sambad W 1987 S. Nayak S. Nayak Bhawanipatna
36. The Kalinga Ashok F 1992 Santosh Banerjee Cuttack
37. The Kalinga Bharati(H) D 1992 H.K. Mishra Rourkela
38. The Kalinga Darbar W 1993 P.P. Pani Mrs. D. Rout Dhenkanal
39. The Kalinga Mail E 1987 Trupti Mohanty Trupti Mohanty Bhubaneswar
40. The Kantha Dhwani W 1993 Anjana Behera Anjana Behera Bhubaneswar
41. The Kharpar W 1981 K.P. Mishra Jagatsinghpur
42. The Kholabichara W 1991 D.R. Mohanty D.R. Mohanty Bhubaneswar
43. The Kholadwar D 1990 Niranjan Mohanty Niranjan Mohanty Bhubaneswar
44. The Kosala Khabar M 1978 P.R. Dubey
45. The Kosala Sambad W 1992 A.K. Das A.K. Das Bolangir
46. The Light F 1981 B.K. Panigrahi B.K. Panigrahi Balasore
47. The Lokakatha F 1991 D.K. Pattnaik D.K. Pattnaik Rajgangpur
48. The Lokamata W 1935 Nilakantha Das
49. The Manthan F 1995 Sarat Rout Sarat Rout Bhubaneswar
50. The Matrubhasa D 1989 C.S. Mohapatra Pravakar Mishra Cuttack
51. The Matrubhumi D 1951 B.K. Kar B.K. Kar Cuttack
52. The Mukta Mandap D 1990 Ashok Mishra Alekh Mishra Puri
53. The Nabeen W 1957 Rabi Rath B.P. Brahma Berhampur
54. The Nari Kalyan F 1993 Rina Garnaik Bhubaneswar
55. The Nayabati D 1978 M. Rath M. Rath Athagarh
56. The New Orissa D 1933 Berhampur
57. The Nijukti Khabar W 1992 Sudhir Panda Surendra Panda Bhubaneswar
58. The Nijukti Suchana W 19.. Prakash Das Prakash Das Rairakhol
59. The Nitya Nutan F 1991 P.K. Mishra P.K. Mishra Bhubaneswar
60. The Nirbhar W 1994 G.S. Dwibedi G.S. Dwibedi Rourkela
61. The Nutanbrata D 1988 Binapani Das Binapani Das Balasore
62. The Observer (E) W 1936 M.S. Mohanty Cuttack
63. The Orissa Times(E) D 1965 R.P. Sastri S. Sastri Bhubaneswar
64. The Paryabekhyak D 1990 Rabi Das Rabi Das Bhubaneswar
65. The Pragatibadi D 1973 P. Bal P. Bal Bhubaneswar
66. The Prajatantra D 1923 B. Mahatab B. Mahatab Cuttack
67. The Purbanchal Sambad W 1991 P. Nayak Bhubaneswar
68. The Rakta Chabuk W 1991 G.B. Panda G.B. Panda Dhenkanal
69. The Rastradeep W 1963 J. Mishra S. N. Singh Cuttack
70. The Rastradoot W 1982 - - Balasore
71. The Report D 1997 L.P. Das A.K. Sahu Balasore
72. The Rourkela Reporter W 1978 R.D. Das R.D. Das Rourkela
73. The Sakala F 1997 M.R. Mallick M.R. Mallick Bhadrak
74. The Sakhigopal W 1997 S.C. Mishra - Puri
75. The Samachar Darpan W 1997 A. C. Mishra - Rourkela
76. The Samaj D 1919 R.N. Rath - Cuttack
77. The Samalak W 19.. - P. Das Sambalpur
78. The Samaya D 1996 S. Hota Ranjib Biswal Bhubaneswar
79. The Sambad D 1984 S.R. Pattnaik S.R. Pattnaik Bhubaneswar
80. The Sambad Bahika D 1968 P. Rout Smt. P. Rout Cuttack
81. The Sambad Kesari D 1989 S. K. Pradhan S.K. Pradhan Bhubaneswar
82. The Sambalsri W 1991 Saudamini Pati Saudamini Pati Sambalpur
83. The Samyabadi W 1968 Sivaji Pattnaik Sivaji Pattnaik Bhubaneswar
84. The Sudarshan W 1989 B.C. Routray B.C. Routray Bhubaneswar
85. The Sun Times (E) D 1988 S.R. Pattnaik S.R. Pattnaik Bhubaneswar
86. The Surya Kiran W 1994 B.B. Mangaraj L. Mishra Bhubaneswar
87. The Swadhikar D 1988 A.K. Pati A.K. Pati Kendrapara
88. The Swarajya D 1991 Sangita K. Devi Rathunath Behera Bhubaneswar
89. The Taruna W 1949 P.C. Mishra P.C. Mishra Berhampur
90. The Trisakti D 1986 R.K. Mishra - Bhubaneswar
91. The Utkalika D 1997 K.M. Rao K.M. Rao Bhubaneswar
92. The Utkal Lipi F 1994 Dillip Mohapatra Pramila Mohapatra Bhubaneswar
93. The Utkal Mail D 1987 B.K. Routray - Rourkela
94. The Utkal Samaj D 1994 Prafulla Chandra Prafulla Chandra Puri
D - Daily, W - Weekly, F - Fortnightly, M - Monthly.
Table - 3 :Growth of Newspaper Publication in Orissa by Language
Sl. Language Total % Cumulative%
1. Oriya 87 92.56 92.56
2. English 6 6.38 98.94
3. Hindi 1 1.06 100.00
Total 94 100.00
Table - 4 : Growth of Newspaper Publication in
Orissa by Frequency
Sl. Frequency Actual % Cumulative %
1. Daily 47 50.00 50.00
2. Weekly 31 32.98 82.98
3. Fortnightly 12 12.77 95.75
4. Monthly 4 4.25 100.00
Total 94 100.00
The above tables clearly depict that, while there are only 6 newspapers in English language and only 1 in Hindi, there is a very good number i.e. 87 newspapers in Oriya. The circulation of daily newspapers is quite encouraging. The daily newspapers are 47, while weeklies and fortnightly are 31 and 12 respectively that constitute the whole spectrum of newspaper publication in the state.
In respect of growth of newspapers, while there were only few newspapers published from Orissa in the pre-independence era, the strength of such newspapers in the state witnessed a spectacular increase after India attained its independence. However, if one analyses the decade-wise growth of such newspaper publications, the trend of such publication is still increasing as evidenced from the fact that in 1997 alone, four newspapers have been enlisted. The real and spectacular growth is seen in the decade 1984- 1994 during which, 45 (51.13%) titles emerged. Even if, the rate of growth during 1994-1997, i.e. a short span of only three years is also quite encouraging, as 15 (17.4%) newspapers in the said spell of three years have been enlisted. Another interesting trend of newspaper publication is the 'Place of Publication'. The publication of newspapers is done in almost every part of the state including the remote towns. While the state capital, Bhubaneswar, is heavily concentrated with the publication of 34 (38.63%) newspapers, the remote towns like Rajgangpur, Nowrangpur, Athagarh, Bolangir and Bhawanipatna have started getting their local newspapers. Cuttack, the cultural capital of Orissa, remains at second position of newspaper publication scenario having 13 (14.77%) newspapers of different frequencies at its credit followed by Balasore, Sambalpur and Berhampur with 6, 5 and 4 newspapers respectively. Besides these newspapers as depicted in the above table, there are a number of other small and medium newspapers published from Orissa. While some newspapers have already their publications mostly owing to their poor financial base and quality, few of them still could retain their continuity in publication amidst much struggle which include : 'Janabhasa' and Kalinga Mail from Bhubaneswar; 'Rastradoot' and 'Ajikali' from Balasore; 'Agnisikha' and 'Dakara' from Sambalpur; 'Yugbarta' from Rourkela; 'Kurukshetra' and 'Matrubhasa' from Cuttack, etc.
In addition to the foregoing newspapers, some of the prominent magazines that contained news, features and literary articles have also dominated the publication scenario considerably. These magazines are either attached to the publishers of various newspapers or other publishers apparently because of their sound press infrastructure. Another significant contribution to the field of Oriya journalism is the addition of weekly issues of various magazines usually happended to a daily newspaper. These magazines contain investigative articles on burning problems of the state alongwith feature articles, small write-ups on science and technology, film, music, general knowledge and other entertainment notes. These magazines are so popular that the readers used to wait eagerly for the weekend to find the magazine in their hand. Although, the Eastern Media Ltd., Bhubaneswar started the trend of weeklymagazines for its daily newspaper .
'The Sambad', it was followed by other dailies who started such feature as a permanent attribute to their respective newspapers to attract more readers and to gain revenue. However, the development of newspaper as a mass media in Orissa could not be improved both in terms of quality and quantity to an extent expected. It is due to certain factors which can be attributed to poverty, illiteracy, rural-based society and absence of reading habits and less political awareness among the people in the state. Orissa was the least urban state in India in which only 6 per cent of its total population used to live in towns and cities as per 1961 Census.
The literacy rate during the period was estimated at 22 percent. These two inter-related aspects appear to be very much critical in understanding the slow, yet spectacular change in the penetration of newspapers since the 1980s. This sort of changes is witnessed with the immediate rise of daily circulation of newspapers. The proportion of Oriya newspaper readers according to an estimate went from roughly 7 per 1000 to 22 per 1000. By 1992, Oriya circulation newspaper had gone from being the lowest of 12 major languages to being eighth ahead of Telgu, Kannada and Panjabi (PII, 1993, 37). The growth of Oriya
daily newspapers thus has been lucidly reflected in Table -4 circulations are those of the Registrar for Newspapers of India (RNI), which fluctuate considerably. The trend of newspaper publishing and journalistic activities is quite in rise since 1980s.
Four newspapers have been covered under Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) till 1995 and the audited circulations of Oriya dailies reached 4,22,000 in 1996 (ABC; 1996, Such a sudden rise in circulation and mushrooming of small Oriya newspapers can be possible for one or all of the followingreasons, such as :
1) Steady increase of literacy percentage and rapid urbanisation;
2) Adoption of advanced printing technology that makes the newspapers better in format, coverage and readability;
3) Advertiser made it easy for a good source of income so that the publication of a newspaper becomes easier.
With the changing profile of Orissa's position as a developing state in India, there is a good sign of the improvement of Oriya newspaper industry. Although the arrival of television and its wide use has been much talked about, it will not replace the newspapers. Because the demand for newspaper is a continuous one and its rate of growth is increasing day-by-day. With the spread of literacy and increasing information needs of the public, the Oriya newspapers will remain as the most widely accepted medium of mass communication for the state of Orissa.
Orissa has a great tradition and cultural heritage in learning and literature. If the first hand-written newspaper is believed to be published in Orissa, it can be ascribed that the state of Orissa heralded the cult of journalism The actual growth of Oriya newspapers, however, can be attributed to strong political affiliations of the respective editors concerned. Due to some reasons or other, politicians took the shelter of newspapers and started one such media under their patronage and control apparently for a say on bureaucracy and the government.
As per the estimate of Jeffrey (1997; p.513), eight prominent Oriya newspapers have been started or promoted by politicians, especially in the rank of ChiefMinisters. It is obvious for two reasons that
1) the source of advertisement from the State Government can be easily guaranteed by the politicians; and
2) the newspaper can work as a mouthpiece for the propaganda of the concerned politician or the political party. 'Those who donot offend the right persons sell much of their space', a journalist wrote in 1982. A source for the politician-publishers is not one who whispers news-leaks but one who caught up cash' (Sinha; 1982; p.3). Such a politician-publisher nexus, to some extent, seem to be a blessing for the newspaper
3) industry in Orissa quite for a long time.
Population in Orissa and Daily Newspapers in Oriya, 1961-91
1961 1971 1981 1991
Population (millions) 17.6 22.0 26.4 31.7
No literate (millions) 3.8 5.7 9.0 12.9
Literacy (per cent of
total population) 22 26 34 41
Urbanisation per cent 6 8 12 13
Oriya daily circulations
('000) 60 90 178 697
Oriya dailies per '000
people in Orissa 3 4 7 22
The literacy figures are based on total population numbers used in the Press and AdvertisersYear Book for the relevant years. Oriya daily in India. The missionary activities paved the way for the journalistic activation for the development of their mission. As a result, the presence of printing press could be realized on the soil of Orissa and that gave the impetus for the printing of newspapers. The early newspapers were started by some eminent persons for the cause of freedom movement. But the later stages witnessed the mushrooming of newspapers of different frequencies. It has been found that the publication of newspapers is more or less attached to politicians and they use it for their political goal. Still, a few number of newspapers in Orissa have actually impressed the people and those are widely circulated among the people of the soil. Most of the newspapers do not reach the readers, as they are meant for some other purpose. However, Orissa has witnessed a very soundgrowth of newspapers.
Oriya Press: Then and Now
The history of the press of any state or nation inevitably reflects the socio cultural conditions of the era. The media is both a mirror of society as well as is influenced by it. The history of journalism in Orissa is little over a century or put more precisely, just 138 years old. Oriya journalism played an important role in molding socio-political conditions within the province and in awakening the people's consciousness. In those days the great men who initiated the development of the press had been solely inspired by the spirit of social service and missionary zeal.
The first Oriya Magazine of 'Bodha Dayini' was published from Balasore in 1861. The main object of this magazine was to promote Oriya literature and to draw attention to the lapses in government policy. The first Oriya paper, 'The Utkal Deepika' made its appearance in 1866 under the editorship of late Gouri Sankar Ray with the help of late Bichitrananda. The Utkal Deepika carried on a vigorous campaign for bringing all the Oriya-speaking areas under one administration, development of Oriya language and literature and protection of Oriya interests. In 1869 late Bhagavati Charan Das started 'Utkal Subhakari' to propagate Brahmo faith. In the last three and half decades of the 19th century a number of newspapers were published in Oriya. Prominent among them were 'Utkal Deepika','Utkal Patra', Utkal Hiteisini from Cuttack, Utkal Darpan and Sambada Vahika' from Balasore, Sambalpur Hiteisini (30th May, 1889) from Deogarh. The publication of these papers during the last part of the 19th century indicated the desire and the determination of the people of Orissa to uphold the right of freedom of expression and the freedom of the press with a view to ultimately fighting for the freedom of the country from the British rule.
In 1905 Babu Khirod Ray Choudhury published an English newspaper named "Star of Utkal" from Cuttack. The paper was highly critical of the then Bengal Government's Food Policy and held the Government responsible for the large scale starvation deaths of 1907-1908 in the districts of Cuttack, Puri and Balasore. In 1913 a new phase of journalism began in Orissa under the adventurous leadership of the great Journalist, late Mr. Sashibhusan Rath. On 13th April, 1913 he published the weekly 'Asha' which soon held the public opinion of the district under its influence During this period the publication of 'Asha' by Sashi Bhusan had kindled new hopes in the minds of the people of Orissa and particularly the people of Ganja who were zealously agitating for the formation of a separate Orissa province and development of Oriya language and literature. 'Asha' soon attracted many leading writers and leaders of public opinion of that time and became the powerful vehicle of public opinion
Utkal Gourab Madhu Sudan edited 'The Oriya' and Dibyaprasanna Roy Choudhury edited 'Navya Bharat' from Cuttack. Another weekly 'Swaraj' which became a daily in 1932 was also published in 1921-22 from Cuttack. In 1928 Sashi Bhusan Rath took another bold step and started the Oriya Daily 'Dainik Asha' from Berhampur on the Oriya New Years Day (Mesha Sankranti). With the publication of Dainik Asha many public-spirited young men got the opportunity to receive the practical training in daily newspaper work . Late Pandit Gopabandhu Das founded Samaj as weekly in 1919 to support the cause of freedom struggle of the country, the Oriya Daily of Cuttack now edited by Manorama Mahapatra. Pandit Das continued his relentless struggle against the British rulers through the columns of the paper and never yielded to any pressure of the British Government.
In the Post-Independence Era journalism in Orissa assumed a new direction. From its missionary character of old times it has gained a new momentum for trade unionism. It has attracted many ambitious young men who accepted journalism as an avenue for employment. Dr. H.K. Mahatab's Prajatantra offered this opportunity to employment seekers in journalism. Dr. Mahatab's 'Prajatantra' which first started publication as a weekly from Balasore on 2.10.1923 and ceased publication on 28th December, 1930 in protest against the Press Ordinance of British government again made its re-appearance on the 8th August, 1947 as an Oriya Daily. The 'Prajatantra" played its role effectively during the crucial period of the integration of the Princely States of Orissa with the province under the guidance of Dr. Mahtab who was the Premier of Orissa. As a matter of fact, "Prajatantra" was the training centre for many journalists who occupied important positions in politics and in public life.
Another sister paper of the Prajatantra, English Daily, "The Eastern Times" was also published on the 1st of April 1948. The 'Amrit Bazar Patrika' of Calcutta published an edition from Cuttack from the Tulasipur residence of Mr. Biju Patnaik. But it also discontinued its publication after two years. 'Matrubhumi' which was started as weekly in 1947 was made a Daily by its founder Editor Mr. Balakrushna Kar in 1951. In 1960 Mr. Biju Patnaik published another important Oriya Daily ï¿½Kalingaï¿½, the then Congress leader of Orissa. This paper went out of existence after 1967 General Elections. On 1st April 1966 . Another Oriya Daily "The Janasakti" made its appearance and continued for about four years. This paper owed its existence to Mr. Biren Mitra, ex-Chief Minister of Orissa. During its short span of existence it had been able to gain popular support and good will of the people. On 24th November 1974 a new Oriya Daily "Dharitri" was added to the family of the Daily Newspapers of Orissa published ownership of under Nandini Satapathy a former Chief Minister of Orissa. Mr. Tathagata Satapathy is its editor now.
Currently, while there are only 6 newspapers in English language and only 1 in Hindi, there are 87 newspapers in Oriya. The circulation of daily newspapers is quite encouraging. The daily newspapers are 47, while weeklies and fortnightly are 31 and 12 respectively. This constitutes the whole spectrum of newspaper publication in the state. Another interesting trend in newspaper publication is the place of publication. The publication of newspapers is done in almost every part of the state including the remote towns. While the state capital, Bhubaneswar, is heavily concentrated with the publication of 34 (38.63%) newspapers, the remote towns like Rajgangpur, Nowrangpur, Athagarh, Bolangir and Bhawanipatna have started getting their local newspapers. Cuttack, the cultural capital of Orissa, remains at second position of newspaper publication scenario having 13 (14.77%) newspapers of different frequencies at its credit followed by Balasore, Sambalpur and Berhampur with 6, 5 and 4 newspapers respectively. Besides there are a number of other newspapers published from Orissa. While some newspapers have already ceased their publications mostly owing to their poor financial base and quality, few of them still could retain their continuity in publication amidst much struggle which include: 'Janabhasa' and Kalinga Mail from Bhubaneswar; 'Rastradoot' and 'Ajikali' from Balasore; 'Agnisikha' and 'Dakara' from Sambalpur; 'Yugbarta' from Rourkela; 'Kurukshetra' and 'Matrubhasa' from Cuttack, etc.
In addition to the foregoing newspapers, some of the prominent magazines that contained news, features and literary articles have also dominated the publication scenario considerably. These magazines are either attached to the publishers of various newspapers or other publishers apparently because of their sound press infrastructure. Another significant contribution to the field of Oriya journalism is the addition of weekly issues of various magazines usually appended to a daily newspaper. These magazines contain investigative articles on burning problems of the state along with features articles, small write-ups on science and technology, film, music, general knowledge and other entertainment notes.
Although, the Eastern Media Ltd., Bhubaneswar started the trend of weekly-magazines for its daily newspaper The Samba', it was followed by other dailies who started such features to attract more readers and to gain revenue. However, the development of newspaper as a mass media in Orissa could not be improved both in terms of quality and quantity to an extent expected. It is due to certain factors, which can be attributed to poverty, illiteracy, rural-based society and absence of reading habits and less political awareness among the people in the state. However, according to Soumya Pattnaik, Editor, Sambad, by adapting and catering to the needs of the readers, vernacular newspapers have every chance of strengthening their base.
Orissa was the least urban state in Indian which only 6 per cent of its total population used to live in towns and cities as per 1961Census. The literacy rate during the period way estimated at 22 percent. These two inter-related aspects appear to be very much critical in understanding the slow, yet spectacular change in the penetration of newspapers since the1980s. This sort of changes is witnessed with the immediate rise of daily circulation of newspapers. The proportion of Oriya newspaper readers according to an estimate went from roughly 7 per 1000 to 22 per 1000.By 1992, Oriya circulation newspaper had gone from being the lowest of 12 major languages to being eighth ahead of Telegu, Kannada and Punjabi.
Orissa has a great tradition and cultural heritage in learning and literature. If the first hand-written newspaper is believed to be published in Orissa, it can be ascribed that the state of Orissa heralded the cult of journalism. The actual growth of Oriya newspapers, however, can be attributed to strong political affiliations of the respective editors concerned. Due to some reasons or other, politicians took the shelter of newspapers and started one such media under their patronage and control apparently for a say on bureaucracy and the government. As per the estimate of Jeffrey (1997; p.513), eight prominent Oriya newspapers have been started or promoted by politicians, especially in the rank of Chief Ministers. It is obvious for two reasons that (1) the source of advertisement from the State Government can be easily guaranteed by the politicians; and (2) the newspaper can works a mouthpiece for the propaganda of the concerned politician or the political party.ï¿½ Those who do not offend the right persons sell much of their space', a journalist wrote in 1982.A source for the politician-publishers is not one who whispers news-leaks but one who caught up cash' (Sunhat; 1982; p.3). Such politician-publisher nexus, to some extent, seem to be a blessing for the newspaper industry in Orissa .
The trend of newspaper publishing and journalistic activities is quite in rise since1980s. Such a sudden rise in circulation and mushrooming of small Oriya newspapers cane possible for one or all of the following reasons, such as:
1. Steady increase of literacy percentage and rapid urbanization;
2. Adoption of advanced printing technology that makes the newspapers better in format, coverage and readability;
3. Advertising made it easy for a good source of income so that the publication of a newspaper becomes easier.
With the changing profile of Orissa's position as a developing state in India, there are signs of improvement of Oriya newspaper industry. Although the arrival of television and its wide use has been much talked about, it will not replace the newspapers. Because the demand for newspaper is a continuous one and its rate of growth is increasing day-by-day. With the spread of literacy and increasing information needs of the public, the Oriya newspapers will remain as the most widely accepted medium of mass communication for the state of Orissa.
ORIYA LANGUAGE PRESSENT : STATUS, PROBLEM &PROSPECTS
Present status of Media in Orissa Present status of media in Orissa can be summed up in one sentence, with apology to Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities): ‘It is the best of the times, it is the worst of the times’. Looking from the reach, access and use the mood of media in Orissa is buoyant. In fact, news media in Orissa never had it so good. Oriya Newspaper readership is growing at one of the fastest rate in India. Major newspapers of Orissa are on expansion spree. Almost all the major newspapers are publishing multiple and muti-location editions. New TV Channels are coming up. Existing ones like Doordarshan, E-TV (Oriya) and O-TV are beefing up their programmes. Net penetration, access and use are increasing. Number of web-based publications is also growing. Media houses are embracing state of the art technology. Convergence of technology is fuelling diversification in existing media houses. Technology, increasing literacy and readership, greater competition and aggressive marketing are transforming the media scene in Orissa from placid monochromatic frame to a hyperactive, techni colour one. It is best of the times.
But looking from other angles- financial status of the journalists, their safety and security, ethics, press freedom- the situation does not look rosy. Many believe it has deteriorated in comparison to say twenty years before. With media becoming more capital intensive and market oriented- the diverse voice is finding it increasingly difficult to survive. News is being commodified. Sensationalism is rampant. Serious issues are not finding its due space/time. With media ownership becoming increasingly monopolized, press freedom is in danger- from within. Journalists are more insecure now. They face double insecurity- insecurity arising from the intimidation of outside forces irked by his/her report and job insecurity. More and more journalists are hired on contract now. Scarcity of job forces many to accept the contract- on the owner’s term. Envelope journalism (money for news) is rampant. Corruption, many veteran journalists say, has reached new low. It is the worst of the times. History of Oriya Journalism:
Journalism as we know it in Orissa today has its genesis first in missionary activity and later in the reformist and national movement. The Mission Press in Cuttack, which was set up in 1837 to print the New Testament also brought out the first Oriya journals Gyanaruna (1849) and Prabodha Chandrika (1856).
The first Oriya newspaper to be printed was the weekly Utkal Dipika by Gouri Shankar Ray in 1865. Utkal Dipika owed its birth to the upsurge of nationalism during the late nineteenth century. It played a significant role in sociopolitical life of Orissa. A number of newspapers were published in Oriya in the last three and half decades of the 19th century, prominent among them were Utkal Dipika, Utkal Patra and Utkal Hiteisini from Cuttack; Utkal Darpan and Sambada Vahika from Balasore, Sambalpur Hiteisini from Deogarh, etc.
In the early part of twentieth century swadeshi movement in Bengal had gained momentum and it had great impact on Orissa’s political and social life. This period was also marked for the spread of journalism in different parts of Orissa and publication of more papers from Ganjam and Cuttack.
The first Oriya Daily Dainik Asha was published from Berhampur in 1928 by Sashibhusan Rath. It was a turning point in the history of Oriya journalism. It demonstrated the power of press in uniting people for a cause- in this case first unification of the outlying Oriya areas under one administration and then freedom movement. Pandit Gopabandhu Das founded Samaja as a weekly in 1919 to support the cause of freedom struggle of the country. It was made a daily in 1930. Samaja played an important role in freedom movement in Orissa. So did papers like Prajatantra.
Post independence Orissa saw expansion in the media both in number of newspapers and circulation. It also saw an attitudinal change. From being a mission- it slowly began to turn as a profession. It also became a stepping-stone for many to enter politics. Politics and literature has had a very close relation with Oriya journalism. Journalism as a separate, distinct profession with specialized set of skills began to gain ground very slowly after independence. It gained momentum only after 80s.
It was in 80s that a change swept through Oriya media. As Robin Jeffrey wrote1, “Until the 1980s, Oriya newspapers fell starkly into a particular category: they were put out by people of influence to demonstrate and bolster that influence.” Unlike the other states Orissa had a press managed by politicians, and not businessmen. Some newspapers were run at a loss because their proprietors valued the prestige and leverage within the tiny elite that dominated Orissa politics from the 1930s. Circulation, technology, advertising and profit were not the key considerations of owners; status, influence and ‘education’ were. But in the 1980s, this began to change. Between 1981 and 1991, daily circulations quadrupled and the proportion of Oriya newspaper readers went from roughly 7 per 1,000 to 22 per 1,000. By 1992, circulation of Oriya newspapers had moved from being the lowest of 12 major languages to being eighth, ahead of Telugu, Kannada, and Punjabi.
Sambad, a daily launched by Soumya Ranjan Pattnaik spearheaded the change. In fact many scholars2 believe that Oriya newspaper industry came of age with Sambad. The credit for introducing many firsts in Orissa media industry goes to
Sambad including introduction of photo type setting and offset printing. This was a turning point in newspaper industry in Orissa from technical as well as content and layout point of view. The nineties saw more expansion in the media scene with publication of more Oriya dailies and consolidation of the established ones. Several major Oriya dailies also started publishing from more centers in the state, a trend started by
Sambad with their first edition from Berhampur in 1990. Almost all major dailies started regularly printing in colour. All of them began to publish several supplements and pull out. Competition for readership began to hot up, which had definite influence on the look and content of newspapers, also on the marketing style and strategy.
Present Status of Oriya newspapers:
National Readership Survey (NRS) 2006 has encouraging figures for Oriya media. The total readership has crossed 1 crore. Three leading papers: Sambad, Samaja and Dharitri together have close to 55-lakh readerships. Sambad leads the readership with 20.39 lakh readership followed by Samaja (18.97 lakh) and Dharitri (14.45 lakh). All the three leading papers have increased their readership in comparison to last year. Here is comparative data: 2005 2006 Sambad 17.70 20.39, Samaja 17.43 18.97, Dharitri 12.00 14.45
(Source: NRS-2005/v-3.00, NRS- 2006/V-1.00. Readership in lakh)
Number of newspapers and periodicals has increased substantially. At the endof 1964 there were 70 papers published in Oriya language (four dailies,nine weeklies, 38 monthlies and 19 other periodicals). By 2004 there were as many as 42 dailies approved by the I &PR Department of Orissa. The list of newspapers, with its owner and editor’s name and place of publication has been placed at the One can see that in Orissa newspapers and periodicals are published from many places, even from small towns. Many mainstream newspapers have multiple and multi-location editions from several places of the state and also from outside the state where there is sizable Oriya population, and potential for substantial advertisement revenue. List of Oriya dailies publishing from several places has been given in .
Besides the mainstream newspapers, Orissa has a sizable but not necessarily financially and ethically healthy rural press. Rural press in Orissa is largely imitating the urban, mainstream media- in terms of content and presentation. Instead of focusing on the rural population in its content, which ought to andcould have been their strong point most of the rural press are poor copy of the urban press. Changes in the last decade Content and Presentation There is a noticeable change in the content and presentation in comparison to say a decade ago. Variety in content has increased many folds. There are stories, articles, features and analysis on subjects, which used to be thought as irrelevant to the readers or too specialized. Almost all newspapers now have a regular sports page (not there in pre-80 era) and a business page (unthinkable in pre-80 era). While this can be termed as a positive development, there has been another development, which many consider negative. That is the growth of what is now called ‘page-3 culture’-an unabashed celebration of personality cult, promotion of crash consumerism and trivia. To many media pundits it symbolizes gradual trivialization and tabloidisation of mainstream press leading to dumbing down the serious issues. Emphasis on ‘look’
The look and layout of newspapers and periodicals has changed, thanks to fierce competition necessitating shelf-presence and influence of visual medium. Oriya newspapers are more visual now. Large photographs, cartoons, illustrations, computer-generated info-graphics are increasingly being used. The emphasis is on reader-friendliness. Almost all newspapers are now putting emphasis on the layout and design. As a result newspapers have become less visually dense, easier to read, and more alive to the need for good design. Several newspapers have gone for change of look in recent years. The get up and layout of Dharitri got a face-lift in 2004 with a new masthead. Emphasis on use of language of the masses
The language use in newspapers has changed over the last two decades to a considerable degree. Newspapers and periodicals are now using more colloquial and crisper language. It is more down-to-earth and close-to-common man now. The highbrow attitude with use of classical language has gone. In television the change of language is remarkable. From Doordarshan’s emphasis on chaste classical Oriya to the O-TV’s use of a mixed language, heavily dotted with English words and expressions- it has come a long way. Ownership Pattern
According to Orissa Reference Annual 2004, there are 42 approved (by Department of I&PR) dailies publishing from Orissa. Out of the 42, Trust/Society owns five, and seven are owned by limited Companies. Rest 30 is individually owned. It is interesting to note that all the large newspapers are owned byTrust/Society and limited Companies.
Two interesting features of Oriya newspapers are ‘proliferation of owner- publisher-editor entity’ and politicians owning/controlling newspapers. Both have stood as stumbling blocks on the development of professionalism in Orissa.
Years after Jeffrey observed about the phenomena of politicians controlling newspapers in Orissa- the situation remains the same. Politicians still own and/or control most of the large newspapers and media establishments. An indicative list of newspaper and TV channels and politicians who control them now- directly or indirectly has been given at .
There is nothing wrong in a politician owning and/or editing a newspaper or controlling a news channel. This is not a unique feature either. Many politicians have owned and managed newspapers from pre-independence era. In fact almost all the leading politicians from Mahatma Gandhi to Jawaharlal Nehru were actively involved in newspapers. But what is unique in Orissa is the magnitude of it. As Srimoy Kar, writes,3“This is the reason why the Oriya media industry has failed to grow at a very basic level, though in terms of size, content, form and marketing it has undergone a sea change. Till this dichotomy is put to rest, the language daily will not be able to get rid of its branding and will fail to satisfy the palates of an increasingly literate and discerning readership. With more and more national dailies launching their editions in Orissa, the Oriya dailies will have a tough time maintaining their credibility. Ownership of newspapers must pass on to less partisan hands for the Oriya dailies to retain their readership.” Working condition for the Journalists
Journalists world over are underpaid. In India they are generally poorly paid. In Orissa they are hardly paid. This is one of the reasons, why journalism as a profession has not grown satisfactorily in Orissa. Journalism has been and to a large extent still seen as a mission/ passion/ vocation/ or a means to achieve political clout/ to be a fixer in the power circle/ to get social status. Somehow journalism as a means of honest earning of one’s livelihood- has largely eluded Orissa.
There are two reasons for this. One, Oriya media has never been flush with funds. Second, this mindset suits the media owners, who have devised several ways to underpay (or not pay at all) the journalists. The situation is particularly bad for print media. Journalists working in Orissa for English and other language publications are comparatively better placed interms of wages and perks. Of course there are exceptions and things are improving in comparison to say pre-80s era. But the general condition remains dismal. Consider this. A sub-editor/ reporter of a newspaper or TV channel is expected to be knowledgeable, computer-savvy, besides having good command over Oriya, he/she should be English language-friendly. And the starting per month salary or wage or remuneration (in whichever avatar one gets it) in the best of the Oriya newspapers or TV channels do not exceed Rs 4500/-, one third the amount a bank clerk or a Junior Lecturer would get at the entry level. In many cases they are paid less than half of the minimum wage fixed by the government to unskilled labourer. Few journalists- sub editors and reporters get their wages as fixed by Wage Boards. A vast majority of the journalist, especially journalists working in rural areas are not paid at all.
The employers can afford to do this because of several reasons. First, they get lot of people hankering to work for them as journalists without any payment; worse some are ready to pay to work as journalists. Their motive obviously is not pious. But it suits the employers, who do not suffer from ethical problems. Second, quality of manpower has not yet been regarded in high esteem. Mediocrity rules. Hence employers are not willing to pay more to get quality manpower. Since unemployment is rampant, and journalism has not yet acquired the status of a profession as say like medicine or law, where a particular kind of education is necessary to practice that particular profession- there is no dearth of supply of prospective employees. Third, technology has made it possible to publish newspapers from different places with less number of persons. The result: shrinking requirement of editorial staff. Emerging Trends Multi-edition Newspapers
Multi-edition newspapers are the current trend. Several Oriya newspapers have multiple editions from different parts of the state, some even from outside the state. The probable reasons behind this trend are:a) to disseminate news faster
To create a local fervor in the newspaper by publishing more local specific material
Procuring local advertisements
It has become easier and cheaper to publish newspapers from different locations
Fierce competition for circulation has forced many newspapers to go for
Multi media operation and Cross media ownership
In recent times convergence of media is the watchword. Media owners are gradually shifting towards multi media operation. Therefore cross media ownership is becoming a necessity for them. It provides operational and financial benefit to them. In Orissa the trend of multi-media operation and cross media ownership is catching up fast. Almost all major newspapers have their web edition. Few though have dedicated staff. Several newspapers have also ventured into television production. Like Dharitri started a TV programme on Doordarshan titled ‘Business Dharitri’. Sambad launched Sambad TV and ventured into cable distribution. Samaja TV is in the offing.
Samaja and Prajatantra have their Book publishing ventures. So does Eastern Media (publisher of Sambad), which also has its Films ventures. It has definite plans to set up FM radio stations in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela. In fact, it has already put advertisements to recruit for its radio stations in late September 2006. It is also trying to move into mobile sector.Becoming Tech-savvy Oriya Press was a late starter so far adopting communication technology isconcerned. It did not get hot metal typecasting until the mid-1970s, 40 years after it had been introduced for Bengali and by which time the technology wasobsolete.4 Thirty years later, Oriya media is taking to new communication technology at a lightening speed.
All daily newspapers are now printed in rotary offset. Large newspapers have modern printing press capable of printing up to 60,000 copies of broadsheet newspapers per hour. The pre-press work has also been technologically improved.Image setters are being used in several presses. All newspapers are using computers and net-savvy devises to get news from their reporters. FortunatelyOrissa has a strong telecom backbone and network, which is being utilized extensively.
Almost all major newspapers of Orissa have their websites, some have e-paper version. Emphasis on marketing As the competition has become fierce, media owners are pulling all stops and resorting to all gimmicks to market their ‘product’ and ‘produce’. From putting up large banners and hoardings on roadside, to putting advertisements on different media to offering freebies to sponsoring and organizing events to offering scholarships media owners are doing everything. They are also associating with events to further their corporate identity. For example Dharitri organizes Urja, a women’s’ meet. Some media houses are also into philanthropic works. Samaja has its relief activities. Samaja also offers scholarships to needy students. Sambad has also started offering scholarships. Cost cutting
The cover price of newspapers has not been increased much in the last decade. In fact Samaja reduced its cover price from Rs 1.50 to Rs 1.00 to increase its circulation. No Oriya newspaper covers even quarter of its production cost from the sale proceeds. The dependence on advertisement revenue is increasing. So is pressure to reduce production cost. In order to cut production cost, the dailynewspapers have reduced their size to save on paper cost. The other way of saving expenditure has been to cut on news gathering/processing expenses. Less people with lesser pay- this has become the watchword for the management of manynewspapers.
But the post-liberalisation era is the best period for the development of press in Orissa, as many English press and Electronic media started their venture in Orissa. In this period English newspaper like The New Indian Express, The Times Of India, The Statesman, ThePioneer, The Telegarph, The Hindustan Times, and The Asian Age has open their publication from Orissa. These national newspapers are played a very important role for the positive image of our state in the national and international map. Another notable development in Orissa’s press in this time is the launching of ETV Oriya. It not only transformed the socio-cultural make over of the state but also change the culture of media in Orissa. Though a late starter, (the first Oriya newspaper was published eight and a halfdecades later than the first newspaper of India) Oriya newspapers have caught up with other regional language newspapers- so far technology is concerned. But it is still lagging behind so far content is concerned. Oriya newspapers are still obsessed with politics. An elitist bias still persists. The language used in most.