History of Media and Journalism in the Sub-Continent

History of Media and Journalism in the Sub-Continent

Over the past two or three centuries we had seen innovations, inventions and developments all around the world and almost in all fields of life which we are experiencing currently. Journalism and media are also one of those fields which came into existence, progressed with the passage of time and then proved their worth and importance for any nation and its common man’s life. Both of these fields were not as exciting, couple of centuries ago, as they are now because at that time they possessed a different meaning and ideology. The history of journalism and media varies from one part of the world to the others and this essay is only focussed on such history in the subcontinent.

Beginning in the Subcontinent

In the sub-continent, journalism started with preliminary handwritten news sheets, prepared by government news-writers during the Muslim rule. They were written, dated, appeared at regular and frequent intervals. Such news sheets provided the rulers with information from all corners of the empire, regarding public occurrences, current-events, mischief in societies and hardships faced by the people. From this information, the rulers used to take decisions and plan initiatives to uphold good governance. In short, the early hand-written sheets proved effective social mobilization vehicle to hold peace and contentment in the empires.

The legendary Mughal emperors enhanced and strengthened it to the superior degree of excellence. News-writers or stringers were assigned in all the areas of the empire to collect news and assemble it in the paper for the court of King. Most prominent and honest individuals were designated for such posts, they earned good salaries and their appointment or abolition was solely, with the King himself. For this reason, they remained far from the influence of provincial governors and reported whenever necessary, the bitter facts of governors and other officials also. Since, it was possible that the stringers would work for bribes;...

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