Dec 28, 2008

Early Bombay Newspapers

Bombay Herald was the first English newspaper in Bombay. It was started in 1789. Bombay Courier was started in the following year 1790. In 1791, the name of Bombay Herald was changed to Bombay Gazette. Bombay Courier was published on Saturdays and Gazette on Wednesdays.

Bombay Courier continued to exist for fifty-six years, after which it was merged with Bombay Telegraph. Bombay Gazette stopped its operation in 1842.

Both these papers contained almost entirely parts from English papers and occasional law reports. The first native newspaper in Bombay was Bombay Samachar in 1822. This paper was started as a weekly. It became a bi-weekly in 1833 and daily in 1860. Mumbai Karkman was started in 1830.

In 1822, the Government prohibited officers in East India Company from writing any personal matters related to their posts. In 1826, they were prevented from having any relationship with the editors, proprietors, or contributors with any newspaper. Inland postal delivery charges were also exorbitant. Post office controlled by the British government was charging half a Rupee for any inland delivery regardless of the distance. Inspite of this, the press in Bombay continued to grow powerful and influential.