The Times of India
|Let the Truth Prevail|
The Times of India, also known by its abbreviation TOI, is an Indian
Near the beginning of the 20th century,
It is owned and published by
TOI issued its first edition on 3 November 1838 as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.
In 1860, editor Robert Knight (1825–1892) bought the Indian shareholders' interests, merged with rival Bombay Standard, and started India's first news agency. It wired Times dispatches to papers across the country and became the Indian agent for Reuters news service. In 1861, he changed the name from the Bombay Times and Standard to The Times of India. Knight fought for a press free of prior restraint or intimidation, frequently resisting the attempts by governments, business interests and cultural spokesmen, and led the paper to national prominence. In the 19th century, this newspaper company employed more than 800 people and had a sizeable circulation in India and Europe.
Bennett and Coleman ownership
Subsequently, TOI saw its ownership change several times until 1892 when an English journalist named Thomas Jewell Bennett, along with Frank Morris Coleman (who later drowned in the 1915 sinking of the SS Persia), acquired the newspaper through their new joint stock company, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
Sir Stanley Reed edited TOI from 1907 until 1924 and received correspondence from major figures of India such as Mahatma Gandhi. In all he lived in India for fifty years. He was respected in the United Kingdom as an expert on Indian current affairs.
Most of the jail term he managed to spend in hospital. Upon his release, his son-in-law, Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain, to whom he had entrusted the running of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., rebuffed his efforts to resume command of the company.
Jain family (Shanti Prasad Jain)
In the early 1960s, Shanti Prasad Jain was imprisoned on charges of selling newsprint on the black market. And based on the Vivian Bose Commission's earlier report which found wrongdoings of the Dalmia – Jain group, that included specific charges against Shanti Prasad Jain, the Government of India filed a petition to restrain and remove the management of Bennett, Coleman and Company. Based on the pleading, the Justice directed the Government to assume control of the newspaper which resulted in replacing half of the directors and appointing a Bombay High Court judge as the chairman.
Under the Government of India
Following the Vivian Bose Commission report indicating serious wrongdoings of the Dalmia–Jain group, on 28 August 1969, the Bombay High Court, under Justice J. L. Nain, passed an interim order to disband the existing board of Bennett, Coleman & Co and to constitute a new board under the Government. The bench ruled that "Under these circumstances, the best thing would be to pass such orders on the assumption that the allegations made by the petitioners that the affairs of the company were being conducted in a manner prejudicial to public interest and to the interests of the Company are correct". Following that order, Shanti Prasad Jain ceased to be a director and the company ran with new directors on board, appointed by the Government of India, with the exception of a lone stenographer of the Jains. The court appointed D K Kunte as chairman of the board. Kunte had no prior business experience and was also an opposition member of the Lok Sabha.
Back to the Jain family
In 1976, during the
During the Emergency
On 26 June 1975, the day after India declared
The Bombay Times is a free supplement of The Times of India, in the
The Times of India - and thereby the Bombay Times - are market leaders in terms of
The Times in the 21st century
In late 2006, Times Group acquired Vijayanand Printers Limited (VPL). VPL previously published two Kannada newspapers, Vijay Karnataka and Usha Kiran, and an English daily, Vijay Times. Vijay Karnataka was the leader in the Kannada newspaper segment then.
The paper launched a Chennai edition, 12 April 2008. It launched a Kolhapur edition, February 2013.
Introduced in 2013 and awarded for the second time in 2016, "The Times of India Film Awards" or the "TOIFA" is an award for the work in Film Industry decided by a global public vote on the nomination categories.
Editions and publications
TOI is published by the
TOI has its editions in major cities such as
Times Group Network
- Speaking Tree: A spiritual network intended to allow spiritual seekers to link spiritual seekers with established practitioners.
- Healthmeup: A health, diet, and fitness website.
- Cricbuzz: In November 2014, Times Internet acquired Cricbuzz, a website focused on cricket news.
Criticism and controversies
This article or section appears to be slanted towards recent events. (December 2019)
TOI has been criticised for being the first to institutionalise the practice of paid news in India, where politicians, businessmen, corporations and celebrities can pay the newspaper and its journalists would carry the desired news for the payer.
The "paid news" and "private treaties" blur the lines between content and advertising, with the favourable coverage written by the staff reporters on the payroll of TOI. The newspaper has defended its practice in 2012 by stating that it includes a note of disclosure to the reader – though in a small font – that its contents are "advertorial, entertainment promotional feature", that they are doing this to generate revenues just like "all newspapers in the world do advertorials" according to TOI owners. According to Maya Ranganathan, this overlap in the function of a journalist to also act as a marketing and advertisement revenue seeker for the newspaper raises conflict of interest questions, a problem that has morphed into ever-larger scale in India and recognised by India's SEBI authority in July 2009.
Under an ad sales initiative called Medianet, if a large company or Bollywood studio sponsored a news-worthy event, the event would be covered by TOI but the name of the company or studio that sponsored it will not be mentioned in the paper unless they paid TOI for advertising. In 2010, a report by a subcommittee of India's Press Council found that Medianet's paid news strategy had spread to a large number of newspapers and more than five hundred television channels.
Critics state that the company's paid news and private treaties skew its coverage and shield its newspaper advertisers from scrutiny. The Hoot, a media criticism website, has pointed out that when a lift in a 19-storey luxury apartment complex in Bangalore crashed killing two workers and injuring seven, all the English language and Kannada language newspapers with the exception of TOI called out the name of the construction company, Sobha Developers, which was a private-treaty partner. An article titled "reaping gold through bt cotton," which first appeared in the Nagpur edition of TOI in 2008, reappeared unchanged in 2011, this time with a small print alert that the article was a "marketing feature". In both cases, the article was factually incorrect and made false claims about the success of Monsanto's genetically modified cotton. According to a critical article published in the Indian investigative news magazine The Caravan, when the Honda Motors plant in Gurgaon experienced an eight-month-long conflict between management and non-unionised workers over wages and work conditions in 2005, the Times of India covered the concerns of Honda and the harm done to India's investment climate and largely ignored the issues raised by workers.
Vineet Jain, managing director of B.C.C.L., has insisted that a wall does exist between sales and the newsroom, and that the paper does not give favorable coverage to the company's business partners. "Our editors don't know who we have," Jain said, although he later acknowledged that all private-treaty clients are listed on the company's Web site. Ravindra Dhariwal, the former CEO of B.C.C.L. had defended private treaties in a 2010 interview with the magazine Outlook and claims that the partners in the private treaties sign contracts where they agree to clauses that they will not receive any favourable editorial coverage.
There have been claims that TOI would strike deals with advertisers only if they removed their advertisements from other competitor newspapers.
TOI is also embroiled in an active lawsuit against the Financial Times. In 1993, when the Financial Times was preparing to enter the Indian market, Samir Jain, the vice-chairman of B.C.C.L., registered the term "Financial Times" as a trademark of his company and declared it his intellectual property in an attempt to stymie the Financial Times and prevent them from competing with The Economic Times, which is owned by B.C.C.L.
In 1994, when the Hindustan Times was the top-selling paper in New Delhi, TOI slashed their prices by a third, to one and a half rupees after having built up their ads sales force in preparation for the price drop to make up for the lost circulation revenue. By 1998, the Hindustan Times had dropped to second place in Delhi. TOI took a similar strategy in Bangalore where they dropped the price to one rupee despite protests from Siddharth Varadarajan, one of the editors of the newspaper at the time, who called the strategy "predatory pricing".
Cobrapost sting operation
In 2018, Vineet Jain, managing director of B.C.C.L., and Sanjeev Shah, executive president of B.C.C.L., were caught on camera as part of a sting operation by Cobrapost agreeing to promote right-wing content through the group's many media properties for a proposed spend of ₹500 crore, some of which the client said could only be paid with black money. B.C.C.L. has responded to the sting claiming that the video that was released by Cobrapost was "doctored" and "incomplete" and that the CEO Vineet Jain was engaged in a "reverse-sting" of his own to expose the undercover reporter during the filming of the video. The company is yet to release the video evidence.
- Sham Lal, Editor
- Girilal Jain, Editor and Scholar
- Samir Jain, Vice-chairman
- Vineet Jain, MD
- Jug Suraiya (associate editor, columnist, "Jugular Vein," cartoonist, Dubyaman II)
- Swaminathan Aiyar (columnist, "Swaminomics")
- R. K. Laxman (You Said It editorial cartoon, featuring the famous Common Man)
- M. J. Akbar, Columnist, "The Siege Within" and former Editorial Team
- Chetan Bhagat, Columnist, Sunday TOI
- Shashi Tharoor, Columnist of "Shashi on Sunday"
- V. D. Trivadi, Humorist
- Twinkle Khanna, Columnist of "Mrs. Funnybones"
- Swapan Dasgupta, Columnist, Sunday TOI
- Times LitFest, an annual literary festival in Delhi, organised by the Times in partnership with Rajnigandha
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- ^ "About TOI Film Awards 2016". TOI. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
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- ^ Pahwa, Nikhil (17 March 2011). "Indiatimes Launches Health Blog – HealthMeUp". Medianama. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
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- Merrill, John C.; Fisher, Harold A. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp. 330–333
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