03 August, 2021

Paper Tigers: Owners Vs Editors

The biography of a newspaper—or the genesis of journalistic habits

Paper Tigers: Owners Vs Editors
ANY newspaper that manages to survive for more than half a century can legitimately lay claim to our interest and even admiration. Survival beyond that point as in the case of The Hindustan Times' 75 years calls for a celebratory volume of which this book is an excellent example. Text, cartoons, photographs and front-page reproductions have been combined to tell the story—and a fascinating one it undoubtedly is—of the origins and development of the HT.

Yet the history of a major paper, at the level of the struggle for survival, is not unlike the history of other leading papers. There are the usual stories of paper deliveries by tonga, the spartan conditions in which the paper was edited and printed, the meagre circulation, the comically low salaries of those pioneering days, the highs and lows of financing, and the idiosyncrasies of larger-than-life editors. But what distinguishes the HT story is the paper's close association with the nationalist freedom movement. It was, as K.K. Birla says in the preface, a politically motivated crusade in which the Birla family and G.D....

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