The Rise of Indian Digital Media

New digital publications are trying to fill the gaps left by print media — but it’s not as easy as it seems.

Nilesh Christopher

October 30, 2019

The Rise of Indian Digital Media
The digital and print media standoff. (Abhilash Baddha)

On October 9, over a hundred employees of the Daily News Analysis (DNA) newspaper, owned by Zee, received an email summoning an urgent staff meeting at 11:00 am. It was well past midnight when the email had arrived, but it put an end to the prolonged rumors. The morning print edition on that day would be DNA’s last. The 14-year-run English newspaper that once boasted ~600,000 readers in Mumbai alone was shutting down its Mumbai and Ahmedabad editions to “go digital.” 

This is the latest in a series of layoffs that have hit Indian newsrooms. In June, Firstpost Print, a weekly English newspaper owned by Network 18, shuttered after running for less than a year. News broadcaster NDTV laid off over 100 people in July. The ABP Group, which publishes The Telegraph, one of the largest circulated English dailies in Eastern India, laid off close to 300 across the group’s print publication in February. The country’s largest vernacular media group, Dainik Bhaskar Group, laid off close to 40 people after the closure of one of its English dailies DP Post in January.    

In a country with over 100,000 newspapers and periodicals — among the highest in the world — for the first time, print is struggling.