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Dina Thanthi. -Aarthi Chandru. Beginning . Began in 1942 as a daily in Madurai, Tamil Nadu Started by S. B Adityan Adityan- a barrister & a staunch Congressman Lawyer trained in Britain who had practiced in Singapore

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dina thanthi

Dina Thanthi

-Aarthi Chandru

  • Began in 1942 as a daily in Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  • Started by S. B Adityan
  • Adityan- a barrister & a staunch Congressman
  • Lawyer trained in Britain who had practiced in Singapore
  • During his stay in Britain- admired the English tabloid, the Daily Mirror, for its ability to reach a mass audience

Aimed to bring out a Tamil NP that would make ordinary people want to read it

  • Wanted to introduce the commoner to regular reading
  • Launched Dina Thanthi
  • Deliberately aimed at lower class & semi-literate population
  • Paper indulged shamelessly in sensationalism
  • 4 pages dedicated to crime & cinema

Wrote in a casual, colloquial style & language used was extremely easy with no ‘high’ words

  • Did not require much effort to understand the language
  • Supplied the readers with what they liked & the in turn lapped it up
  • Paper’s circulation boomed
  • Brought out more editions, all over TN

Published from over 10 centers, Chennai being one

  • Meanwhile, the Dravidian parties (Dravida Kazhagam + Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) began to dominate the political scene in post Independence Madras State
  • Adityan resigned from Congress & joined the Dravidian movement

Tamil Journalism developed a lot during his times

  • He took the NP to the doorstep of the underprivileged & downtrodden, the rickshawallahs, the factory laborer
  • Aroused in semi literate workers the desire to read NPs
  • Inculcated the reading habit in the poorest sections
  • Over the years, the readership increased
  • Largest circulated daily today
dina thanthi the daily telegraph
Dina Thanthi- (The Daily Telegraph)
  • The path laid down by DT- followed by other Tamil dailies like:
  • Dominance of crimes & violence related stories
  • Sex & cinema
  • News on political warfare
  • ABC 2005- Circulation of 4,12,000 copies
evaluating dt
Evaluating DT
  • Observers of the Tamil press were both admiring and patronizing when they discussed DT
  • The admiration stemmed from the way in which Thanthi created a new class of newspaper readers long before such a development was contemplated in other regions of India
  • But the tactics that made this possible also provoked the ridicule.

Based in a regional town of TN, it used the public bus system to distribute the paper throughout the Tamil region

  • Until then, if a Tamil daily reached these areas, it had been printed in Madras at least 24 hours earlier.
  • Adityan brought a fresh paper to Tamil towns each morning-something most proprietors elsewhere in India began to do only 40 years later

Main point reason for the distinctive character of the DT

  • From the 1920s- the 'anti- brahminism’ tone through Tamil politics
  • Tamil Brahmins-roughly 3% of the Tamil population
  • The first Tamil daily, Swadesamitran, began as a weekly in 1882 & became the only Tamil daily from 1899-1917.

Owned and edited by Brahmins, it reflected the concerns of the established elite Brahmin

  • In 1934, Ram NathGoenka's Indian Express group started Dinamani which - seemed lively and sometimes even frivolous but though still edited by Brahmins (It later on went on to become the 2nd largest circulated daily & a very serious NP)

Adityan, on the other hand, was a non-brahmin

  • Also, a strong supporter of the DMK, a party founded on anti-brahmin rhetoric
  • Thanthi therefore had a political message for its potential audience
  • Anti Brahmanism was subtle undertone of the NP and the non Brahmins, the majority were its target audience

Thanthi also prided itself on its language

  • Did not use the earlier applied literary language but instead used colloquial Tamil, the Tamil spoken by the masses
  • Refrained from using chaste Tamil, most commonly spoken by the elite & sophisticated Tamil Brahmins
  • Took the credit for reforming Tamil prose and making it accessible to large numbers

Emphasized local news

  • Especially crime, the courts & Panchayats
  • Used photographs as extensively as technology allowed
  • Brought the big banner headline to Tamil journalism
  • Used to take a broadsheet page to tell a single story, mostly in headlines that its newly literate readers could digest

Crime, film stars & politics provoked a fascination for the masses which Adityan understood & from which DT benefited

  • Most often that not, the Tamil film industry became entwined with Tamil politics
  • All this spelled success for Dina Thanthi
  • http://www.indianprinterpublisher.com/aug/publishing/2000/november-robi.htm
  • Journalism in India- R Parthasarathy