The pioneers in modem journalism in Indian land were Englishmen. Though most of them were critical to the company’s . policies yet their style and temperament was those of foreigners. It was in 19th century that indigenous journalism began. Ram Mohan Rai took initiative in this direction.
He took start with Sambha Kamodi, a weekly in Bengla language. Then he issued a Persian weekly, Mira’atul-Akhbar. His another attempt was Brahmnical magazine. Afterwards, there were many other magazines in local languages. Then we find a series of Persian papers for instance; Zubdatul Akhbar, Aaina-e-Sikandari, Mah Alam Mroz, Sultan-al-Akhbar, Siraj-al-Akhbar, ~ Ahasan-al- Akhbar, Gulshan-e-Nowbahar and Doorbeen etc. rdu lournalism Jam-e-Jahon Numa: It was issued in 1822 from
.A Calcutta. Unfortunately, due to unsuccessful circulation it was closed after a few months. It WaSmore a literary magazine than a newspaper and was a reflection of the social behaviour of the age. Dheli Urdu Akhbar: Though Jam-e-Jahan Nama was the first Urdu paper of India but the real and de-facto founder oC Urdu journalism was Maulvi Muhammad Baqir. He issued ‘Dheli Akbar’ in 1837.
Afterwards it became popular in the name of ‘Dheli Urdu Akbar.’ It was a weekly periodical in Urdu language. Its size was 20 x 30/4 and annual contribution was Rs. 20. It contained the news from all the comers of South Asia.
‘Hazoor Wala’ and ‘Sahib-e-Kalan’ were its two constant headings. Under first headings, the paper edited tho articles which were received by its correspondent from Red Fort. Under second heading, the activities of the government were reported.
The paper was used to criticize the both. It was closed in 1857 when Maulvi Baqir was shooted. However, Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Azad, his son, was its editor and owner during last four years. The paper gave a special coverage to educational and literary news.
Syed-al-Akhbar: It was owned by Syed Muhammad
Khan and edited by Maulvi Abdul Ghafoor. It was closed in 1850. Other Urdu papers were; Sadiq-al-Akhbar Karim-al- Akbar, Shimla Akhbar, Dary-e-Noor, Tilsmi-Lakhnow, Akhbar, Azam-al-Akhbar, Sadr-al-Akhbar, Qutab-al-Akhbar and Kohinoor etc. Koh-i-Noor: It was issued by Munshi Har Sikh Rai in 1850 from Lahore.
It was very popular paper and was most favourite of the government. It was patronized by the Government. Initially it was a weekly but soon it became a daily. Its first editor was Suraj Bhan. It was closed in 1904. Its size was 12 x 8. In-the beginning it consisted of six pages but afterwards its pages reached up to sixteen.
It was important paper in the way that it trained so many journalists. It advocated Urdu as educational media.
Journalism After 1851 .1857 and afterwards was a period of trial for Muslim cornmuriity. In the consequence Urdu journalism suffered most. Before 1857, there were 35 Urdu papers in circulation. After the war of independence, there were only 12 Urdu papers and only one was edited by a Muslim editor. All others were issued by non- Muslims.
Audh Akhbar: It was issued in 1858. After a few years it became daily newspaper and lasted for 90 years.
It was owned by a renown journalist Munshi Nawl Kishwar. It was neutral in its temperament. It believed in free press with some limitations. That is why its famous contemporary ‘Oudh Punch’ called it as ‘Bania Akhbar’.
However, it published the articles of Muslims as well as Hindu scholars. It was social reformer in its tone. It was very popu1ar and gave international news and advertisements as well.
Sir syed and lournallsm
Basically, Sir Syed was an educationist and social refonnist. He was. never a professional journalist.
Therefore, his media writing was goal-oriented and purposeful. He adopted the useful elements of western journalism and adapted them in a new situation. He established Scientific Society in 1864.
Purpose of the society was to spread modern education. After three years of its establishment. he ‘issued a paper known as Akhbar Scientific Society’ or ‘Aligarh Institute Gazette’.
Through this gazette, Sir Syed transmitted the elements of European culture. So this gazette was considered as a tool to lessen the gulf of hatred between the rulers and the Muslims. However, the gazette introduced a new standard where solemnity, accuracy of facts and decency was of utmost value. Missionary editorial column of the gazette was its significant characteristic.
The gazette was issued after 1857. This was a critical period for Indian Muslims. Therefore, most of the editorials were on educational topics and reflected typical thoughts and ideas of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. However, their tone was less fervent and more logical. Sir Syed wrote on the problems of other Muslim countries also.
Sir Syed was the first man who introduced editorial writings in Urdu journalism. So we can say that gazette was the first comprehensive Urdu newspaper. Goal-oriented journalism was motive behind its development.
Even the news of the gazette were not free from this impression. The editorials of the gazette rejuvenated the social life of Indian Muslims. They started thinking on new aspects of social, educational and political life.
Tehzib-al-Akhlaq; This magazine was issued by Sir Syed in 1870. It was solely aimed at social change. It was a missionary magazine. Social, cultural and religious articles were published in this magazine. It was a mean to popularize the so-called enlightened religious ideas of Sir Syed. No doubt, Sir Syed went astrayed in this field and was objected and criticized severely.
Among the critics of Tehaib-al-Akhlaq were; Audh Punch, Nooral- Afaq, Noor-al-Anwar, and Rafiq Hind. So, next thirty years were very hot in Urdu journalism. One useful aspect of this trend was development of Urdu language.
It was issued in 1877. Its editor was Munshi Sajjad Hussain. Among the column writers were; Akbar Allah Abadi, Hijr, Jawan Parshad, Ratan Nath Sarshar, Munshi Ahmed All and Mirza Achu Baig. Its style was humorist and sarcastic.
Its motto was written on first page as ‘life iB pleasure.’ It was the first Urdu paper who used cartoon for satire and humour.
It criticized unedifying modernity and other social and-political problems. It expressed its views fearlessly.
Audh Punch was imitated by many other journalists.
Its ~le prevailed on the journalism of the last quarter of 19th century. It was the taste of the age and many serious journalists waB constrained to add such type of appendices with their “editions. So,
affected the trend of the journalism. Fortunately this trend was short lived and was changed with the beginning of new century.