The Pioneer : India's second oldest media house

The Pioneer is a medium-sized English language newspaper and is India’s second oldest media house. It is published from Delhi, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Kochi, Bhopal, Chandigarh and Dehradun. The current editor of the newspaper is Chandan Mitra.

The Pioneer was founded in Allahabad in 1865 by George Allen, an Englishman who had had great success in the tea business in north-east India in the previous decade. It was brought out three times a week from 1865 to 1869 and daily thereafter. In 1866, a supplement, the Pioneer Mail, consisting of “48 quarto-size pages,” mostly of advertisements, was added to the publication. In 1872, Alfred Sinnett became the editor of the newspaper. Although he was later to be known for his interest in theosophy, he oversaw the transformation of the newspaper to one of exercising great influence in British India. In 1874, the weekly Pioneer Mail became the Pioneer Mail and India Weekly News and began to also feature short stories and travel writings.

The Pioneer became noted for its politically conservative outlook, and, for example, denounced Lord Irwin (Viceroy of India 1926-31) as a ‘Bolshevik’ in response to the latter’s moderate approach to the Indian nationalist movement. Author Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), in his early 20s, worked at the newspaper office in Allahabad as an assistant editor from November 1887 to March 1889.

In July 1933, The Pioneer was sold to a syndicate and moved from Allahabad to Lucknow, at which time also, the Pioneer Mail and India Weekly News ceased publication. The newspaper remained a primarily Lucknow-based paper until the 1990s, when it was purchased by the Thapar Group, under L.M. Thapar. It subsequently expanded to being published from multiple locations in India, including Delhi.

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