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Press

A worthy press
The Kannada speaking people were scattered under five administrative units before an unified Karnataka state emerged in 1956. The Kannada press then operating from different areas but their goal was to achieve "Free India and unified Karnataka State". It was the German missionaries of the Basel mission who devised Kannada types for the first time an
d started printing in Kannada. It was they who started the first Kannada news paper "Mangalore Samachar" with Moegling as Editor in 1843. Of course they did not indulge in political commentary then, but only reported events.

Around 1870, in old Mysore a weekly Karnataka Prakasika started. Later a daily Suryodaya Prakasika began, but before long became a weekly. They started voicing criticism of Government policies. Later the Deshabhimani, a weekly, came in to conflict with the Government and had to stop due to their press being seized, in 1894. Another weekly Mysore Star faced many legal hurdles and stopped in 1906. Around 1885 it was a dedicated journalist M. Venkatakrishniah who started a series of newspapers where he set forth democratic ideals in an unequivocal manner and laid firm foundations of progressive journalists in Kannada. He was affectionately called the Tatiah (Grant old man) of journalism. People adored him and powers feared him. He ran papers both in Kannada and English they included Hitabodhini, Vedanta, Chintamani, Sampadabhyudaya, Sadhwi, Mysore Patriot, Mysore Herald, etc. He is indeed the pioneer of progressive and dynamic journalist in Kannada. On of his disciples Gopal Iyengar started the Mysore Standard and when he incurred the wrath of the Government of his press was confiscated and he was deported from the state under the Newspapers Regulations Act in 1908.

D.V. Gundappa a literary stalwart around 1907 started "Sumate", later in 1913 he started "Karnataka" ran it for 14 years. He wielded a powerful pen and was critical of the Government but always added on constructive suggestions too. He built up tremendous influence by his frank and balanced approach to social and political problems and was respected greatly by people to the end of his life.

 

Valiant Editors

Around 1929 the battle for establishment of responsible Government hotted up the intrepid editor of 'Veerakesari' Sri Seetaram Sast by with Navjeevana editor Aswathnarayana Rao were sent to jail on sedition charges and the papers were banned. Another valiant fighter for the same cause started
Viswakarnataka which gathered tremendous support and great popularity . Both Sastry and Sharma wrote flambuoyant prose and thundered across their columns and roused the people to join the freedom struggle. Along with there was "Tainadu" edited by P.R. Ramya though more moderate in style, yet established a stable tradition for a daily, it would keep people continuously informed and alert even when the other two editors where in jail or their papers had stopped by prohibitory orders. The battle was joined by another able fighter B.N.Gupta who started daily Janavani and weekly Prajamata. They also attend great popularity and influence and when Prajamata was banned in the state, Gupta published it from Hubli (then in Bombay province) which gave a tremendous boost to the struggle, the press waged for the freedom.

North Karnataka
Hitechhu, Rajahamsa, Chandrodaya were the earliest Kannada papers published from Bombay Karnatak. It is "Karnatak Patra" of Mudiveedakar Krishnarao who was a dedicated freedom fighter and an eminent literary figure, that became very popular. He could be compared to Tatiah of Mysore. His writings roused the people and the strong advocacy for unification of Karnataka had created a great following. Then came Kannada Kesari, Sachitra Bharata and also Karmaveera which marched forward despite the arrest of editor Diwaker and Hukkerikar. Karmaveera is still carrying on with the Samyuktha Karnataka group. Samyuktha Karnataka is still a leading daily both at Hubli and Bangalore. Long struggle it has waged for freedom and unification of Karnatak from 1937, is still remembered by people.

Mangalore

In Mangalore area which gave us the first printed paper there were many weeklies and monthlies (Kantheerava, Navayuga, Swatantra Bharata, Rastrabandhu, Antharanga, etc.). In 1941 the daily Navayuga was started. The main Issue they fought was for joining an enlarged Karnataka State.

Hyderabad Area
The districts of Raichur, Gulbarga and Bidar then under Hyderabad Karnataka were all served by a powerful weekly "Sadhana" which carried on a long struggle for the formation of Karnataka and its dream was fulfilled in 1956, when the new state emerged and later took the name Karnataka. The Coorg area also had two papers Kodagu and Kodagu Vrittanta and their wishes too were fulfill in 1956 when the enlarged Karnataka State emerged.

The Present State

With the advent of the enlarged state the Press too has enlarged to a very great extend, the readership has grown extensively and many more dailies and weeklies have started attracting the readers with the extensive coverage of many areas of economic, social and political aspects of society. The Deccan Herald Group of Papers which started after the advent of independence is a major one, established in Bangalore. They include two dailies Deccan Herald and Prajavani, a weekly Sudha and a monthly Mayura, and all of them are doing extremely well. There is the Samyuktha Karnataka Group with a weekly Karmaveera (operating both from Bangalore and Hubli) with the halo of having fought the freedom battle from pre-independance days. There is another group running from Manipal consisting of Udayavani, daily tied up with weekly Taranga and monthly Thushara. Again we have the Express Group with Indian Express, Kannada Prabha, their twin dailies. They have built up great influence and readership in a short time after they opened their Bangalore unit. The Hindu of Madras had been a paper which had formidable readership in Karnataka for a long time, but established their new Bangalore branch.The old lady of "Bori Bunder" - The Times of India though opened its editions in Bangalore recently, has gained enomous readership and has been responsible for many innovative ideas. Another national daily AsianAge very recently opened their unit in Bangalore and has surprisingly gathered enormous support. These are the major news papers and journals apart form many more weeklies who are tabloid in form but do a lot of investigative stories and some of them have attained formidable readership.

Responsible Press

All the leading news papers have established their credibility firmly and they are all free and frank in their expressions. There is extensive reporting of political issues, party feuds, and an effort to keep the reader well informed. Even the efforts at investigative reporting and unearthing of scandals and scams are done in a responsible manner. We can sum up saying that we have a free, fair and responsible press.

   
 


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