Anandabazar Patrika first appeared on March 13, 1922 — the day of Holi, as an evening daily, printed in red ink. It was a four-pager, priced at two paise and had a first-day circulation of a thousand copies. The newspaper’s red ink led to the contemporary English daily, The Englishman terming it a ‘danger signal’. With its unshakeable patriotic stance, it soon became very popular.
Unbiased views, constructive criticism, indomitable courage and an uncompromising attitude were just a few aspects, which went on to make Anandabazar Patrika the ‘voice of Bengal’. Its popularity reached new heights when, in 1954, the Press Commission report declared Anandabazar Patrika to be the largest circulated newspaper in the country, published from one location.
The No.1 Bengali daily is published from various locations today. Spawning a veritable legion of journalists, Anandabazar Patrika boasts of dedicated readers, worldwide. It is the only Bengali daily to cross 1.2 million in circulation.
Over the years, Anandabazar Patrika has achieved many milestones along the way — it was the first in the east and one of the first in the country to use offset printing. Anandabazar Patrika’s landmark coverage on, among others, Rabindranath Tagore’s death, Netaji’s miraculous escape from detention, Mahatma Gandhi’s death and the Nandaghunti expedition (a project patronised by the ABP Group itself) is legendary.
Other firsts for the daily include mechanising a non-Roman language to create the Bengali-Hindi typewriter. Driven by its commitment to preserve the highest standards in Bengali language and culture, Anandabazar Patrika devised a way to use the complete set of Bengali characters in the word processing software, a decade before Unicode, a more advanced method of computer writing, was introduced. It also published, along with Desh, the first large-scale readership survey in 1963, nine years before the first National Readership Survey (NRS) syndicated research was commissioned. In 2006, Anandabazar Patrika became the only Bengali daily to be declared a Consumer Superbrand in the second edition of Consumer Superbrands India.
Anandabazar Patrika has two editions — Calcutta and Mumbai. In addition, it has seven district splits within West Bengal, on six days of the week — Uttar Banga (North Bengal), Bardhaman, Bankura-Birbhum-Puruliya, Nadia-Murshidabad, Medinipur, Dakshin Banga (South Bengal) and Kolkata (Calcutta). It also has city splits in the form of four weekly tabloids for Calcutta and its neighbouring areas — Uttar Kolkata (North Calcutta), Dakshin Kolkata (South Calcutta), Purbo Kolkata (Salt Lake) and Howrah. There is also an internet edition of Anandabazar Patrika and anandautsav.com, the puja website. In addition to its city split — Kolkata, it offers supplements like Patrika on Saturdays, Rabibashoriyo on Sundays, Prastuti on alternate Mondays and Kajer Bazar on Tuesdays.
Total readership: 72,95,000 (National Readership Survey 2006) .Readership in Calcutta: 30,61,000 (National Readership Survey 2006) .Total circulation (Calcutta and Mumbai editions): 12,77,801 (Audit Bureau of Circulations July — December ’08) .