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Press under British Rule

In 1550 first press was established by Portuguese. In 1780 James Augustus Hicky started the first newspaper weekly in India called Bengal Gazette .This paper attacked both Warren Hastings and Chief Justice E Impey.In 1785 Madras Courier Weekly was started. In 1790 Bombay Courier and in 1791 Bombay Gazette merged with Bombay Herald in 1792.

In 1818 Digdarshan was started as the first Bengali weekly by Marshman from Srirampore.On December 4th 1821 Raja Ram Mohan Roy started Samvad Kaumudi.In 1822 he published a weekly Mirat-ul-Akbar in Persian language. In 1837 Syed-ul-Akbhar a weekly in Urdu was published. In 1838 Dilli Akbhar was published. In 1840 Hindu Patriot was started by Harishchandra Mukherjee. In 1851 Gujarati fortnightly Rust Goftar was started by Dadabhai Naroji.In 1862 Indian Mirror was started .Initially the editor was Devendranath Tagore followed by Keshavchandra Sen and Narendranath Sen.On 28th September 1861 Bombay Times, Bombay Standard, Bombay Courier and The Telegraph merged together to form Times of India. Its editor was Robert Knight. It was established by Carey, Ward and marshman in 1818.Initially it was monthly but latter changed to weekly. In 1875 Statesman was started by Robert Knight. In 1890 Statesman and Friend of India merged to become Statesman. In 1865 Pioneer was started from Allahabad.On 20th September 1878, Hindu was started from Madras by G.Subramanium Aiyar as a weekly.later it was made triweekly in Oct 1883 when Kusturiangar became its editor. In 1889 it was made a daily.On 2nd January 1881 Kesari and Mahratta was started by Lokmanya Tilak and Kelkar.

Censor Act 1799 by Lord Wellesley
Every newspaper should print the names of printer, editor and proprietor. Before printing any material it should be submitted to the secretary of Censorship. This Act was abolished by Hastings.

Licensing regulation Act 1823 by John Adam
Every publisher should get a license from the government, defaulters would be fined Rs 400 and the press would be ceased by the government. Government has right to cancel the license. Charles Metcalf abolished the Act.

Vernacular Press Act IX 1878

Vernacular press criticized British rule. Therefore British Govt came down heavily on vernacular press. Magistrates were authorised to ask any publisher of newspaper to give assurance of not publishing anything threatening peace and security. Fixed amount to be paid for security guarantee. The magistrate’s decision was final in any dispute. This law was not applicable to English Press. It was repealed by Lord Ripon in 1882.

Newspaper Act 1908
Magistrate had the power to confiscate the assets of the press. Against this confiscation one can appeal to High Court in 15 days. Under this Act as many as 7 presses were forfeited.

Press Regulating Act 1942
Registration of journalists was made mandatory. Limitations were imposed on the messages regarding civil disturbances. Prohibition of news was imposed regarding acts of sabotage. Limitations on headlines and space given to news on disturbances. Limitations on headlines and space given to news on disturbances.Govt had the authority on arbitrary censorship.