Digital and alternate media is slowly displacing the legacy Indian print media

Top Indian web news sites based on FeedSpot

100
Dolly Jha Nielsen
From Dolly Jha's presentation at INMA South Asia Summit on 11 August 2022 Graphic Nielsen

The top six Indian news websites on the FeedSpot list of 4 August 2022 belong to the legacy media including leading newspaper, magazine, and television groups. From number 7 to number 50, the legacy media occupies 25 places. This means that in the top 50 Indian news media websites the legacy media occupies 31 places and digital news media occupies 19 places in terms of the web.

The reason for our listicle of the FeedSpot top 50 Indian news websites is first of all to emphasize the importance of gathering data, something that the legacy news media in the country is loathe to do. Secondly one cannot ignore that the legacy news media’s domination of the news ecosystem may be waning. Many other questions on paywalls and monetization can only be answered by research and ironically this is being left to outside organizations who seem blithely unaware of some of the compelling dynamics of Indian media and readership migrating to alternate media.

Caution 

This is a list based on FeedSpot rankings and it is unclear whether it is based on traffic, the rate of uploads, social media connections, or other data, or merely websites that have uploaded their own data (which seems likely!) It is also apparent that this list does not include many Indian news websites that are likely to be in the top 50. (We have edited it for legibility and to partially remove some of the hyperbole.)

However, the top 50 FeedSpot list does include several business news sites such as Business Standard, Mint, and Financial Express. Surprisingly, it does not include The Economic Times. Nor does it include many news websites from the same legacy print media such as Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Dinamalar, Dina Thanthi, and The Hindustan Times. Significant websites of the Jagran and Dainik Bhaskar Group are also not listed.

In the FeedSpot listing of Indian news media from 51 to 100, the legacy print media occupies only 19 spots. Although this may not be an accurate reflection of it being undermined by the alternative non-print web publishers, it may indicate the growing rootedness and popularity of alternative sources of news.

Further, the FeedSpot list does not include many well-known alternate Indian news websites in the top 100. At a quick glance Cobrapost, News Laundry, The Federal, Alt News, Fact Check, Factly, inshorts, newsbits, jantakareporter, and kafila are not listed at all. The Quint is listed at 138, News Dharma at 154, and Indian Spectator at 156. 

The short and long video channels

The current article also does not account for the hundreds of YouTube channels of Indian origin that have become a primary source of news and authoritative commentary sought by the news-hungry Indian population and further amplified by social media channels. At a recent demonstration at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against the arrest of social activist Teesta Setalvad, the demonstrators were outnumbered by half as many (about 50) young and old video journalists and the police (about 100). 

It is an undeniable fact that Indians love to speak, blog, write and publish. They are keen news media publishers and consumers as witnessed by the thousands of print periodicals registered by the Registrar of Newspapers of India. While the healthy dailies have suffered financially over the past decade, and particularly since FY 2019-20, (even predating the Covid-19 pandemic and its lockdowns), many smaller publishers have been forced to retreat from dailies to weeklies and also close down operations. The input costs have risen and the advertising has come back stronger for digital than for print in which the larger dailies dominate. 

The legacy news media will continue to decline in print as it continues to feed Google and Facebook and is unable to get its head around subscription and monetization or to invest in the talent it requires, not to speak of differentiating its product. Print media continues to be dazzled and frozen in its outlook by the still bright sparks of print display advertising from the major consumer brands who relish its impact and trust while investing heavily in digital. It is also besotted by the central and state governments and public sector advertising that serves both grandiose political posturing and subsidy for a compromised ‘godhi’ media. As Juan Senor remarked in his INMA South Asia Summit presentation on 11 August 2022, “The South Asian news media works for advertisers and not for readers.”

The other Achilles heal of legacy Indian news media is its family ownership structure. One should expect the family-owned legacy media groups to undergo some generational challenges. At the same time, a period of splits, acquisitions, and mergers may lead to the unlocking of the value of these organizations – instead of mere consolidation. 

While there is nothing inherently wrong with family-owned middle-sized corporations, the transition to structured professional operations is often overlapping with the digital transformation. Print is well-known for publishers taking an interest in the art of mechanical mass reproduction, but it is challenging for all but the youngest, most enthusiastic, and tech-savvy, to dabble in SEO, social media metrics, analytics, personalization, third-party cookies, cookie-less, database slicing and dicing, and Web 3.0. Let alone invest in a data scientist, many leading Indian dailies do not even have a science correspondent.

The list

Here then are the top 50 Indian news media websites as suggested by FeedSpot on 4 August 2022. The new digital news media websites are listed with their titles in bold red type. Print publication titles are given in italics.

1. The Times of India
The Times of India is India’s most-read English newspaper and the world’s largest-selling English newspaper. The Times of India’s website ranks among the world’s most-visited news sites.Timesofindia.indiatimes.com

2. NDTV News
NDTV.com provides the latest news from India and the world. Headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage, and exclusive breaking news from India. ndtv.com (1.5 million views daily)

3. India Today
Latest news from India and around the world. The latest news on Bollywood, politics, business, cricket, technology, and travel. indiatoday.in

4. The Indian Express
The latest news from India, all exclusive current headlines, and India news live, including hot topics, the latest breaking news on business, sports, world, and entertainment with exclusive Opinions and editorials. indianexpress.com 

5. The Hindu
Latest news, analysis, comment, and in-depth coverage of politics, business, sport, environment, cinema, and arts from ‘India’s national newspaper.’ thehindu.com

6. News18 India
CNN News18 breaking news, latest news from India and the world including current news headlines on politics, cricket, business, and entertainment.

7. Firstpost
Firstpost covers the latest Indian news, top today’s breaking news on business, India, the world, politics, entertainment, and sports. firstpost.com

8. Business Standard
Business Standard India, the latest news on the economy, companies, markets, politics, and technology from ‘India’s leading business daily.’ Also listed on Financial News websites. business-standard.com

9. DNA
dnaindia.com delivers news and information on the latest top stories, sport, entertainment, business, technology, Mumbai, India, and world. dnaindia.com

10. Deccan Chronicle
The latest news, views, analyses, and images from India and the world. deccanchronicle.com (30,300 views daily) 

11. Bangalore Mirror

Latest and breaking news headlines about Bangalore includes current affairs, entertainment, sports, videos, and photos from Bangalore city. bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com 

12. India.com
India.com brings breaking news, and live news updates from across India and the world. Latest news, explainers, cricket, sports, entertainment, business, Bollywood, education, top viral, technology, celebs, lifestyle, health, travel. india.com

13. Banega Swasth India
Clean India Mission, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan News, photos, and videos. swachhindia.ndtv.com

14. Rediff
Rediff.com India was incorporated in January 1996, with a mission to provide world-class online consumer service offerings. Headquartered in Mumbai, Rediff.com delivers news and information, enterprise eMail services, and an online shopping marketplace. 

15. Oneindia
Oneindia is a large online portal that brings the breaking and latest current news headlines from India on politics, sports, and current affairs in India and around the world. oneindia.com

16. 
ABP News
ABP Network creates ‘content across broadcast, television, and digital while preserving a century-old legacy with unflinching determination to deliver the truth of time. Our purpose is to create an informed and open society. We believe that an informed and open society is an empowered society and that it is our moral obligation to deliver impartial information for the greater good of the nation.’ news.abplive.com

17. Frontline
The Indian fortnightly magazine provides ‘in-depth analysis and cover stories on political news, economic news, current social issues, latest news on arts and culture. frontline.thehindu.com

18. Mint
Mint is one of India’s premium business news publications. livemint.com

19. The Financial Express
Business news headlines, financial news India stock market news, live stocks, and economic news. Also in Business News Websites financialexpress.com

20. Jagran English
From the Hindi daily newspaper group, the latest breaking news from India and the world about politics, entertainment, movie review, sports, and business. Jagran New Media creates and publishes online news and information content that informs, educates, and helps users to take better life decisions. english.jagran.com

21. Amar Ujala

Breaking and latest breaking news in Hindi covering breaking samachar in Hindi, election news, crime news, education news, and more. amarujala.com

22. ThePrint
A digital platform for the latest news and reports, analyses, and opinion on politics, policy, governance, economy, education, defense, and culture. ThePrint.in is a news, analysis, opinion, and knowledge venture, launched in August 2017. theprint.in

23. The New Indian Express
Latest India updates online, breaking news, and news from southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha. The current news, views, and updates include trending topics, and the latest on sports, business, and lifestyle. newindianexpress.com

24. India TV
Hindi News Channel. Breaking news, headlines from India and the world. Photos, live news coverage, and the latest news from politics, and Bollywood. indiatvnews.com

25. OpIndia
Journalism is free from journalists’ bias and incompetence. Latest India news and live opinions on politics, sports, entertainment, and more. Breaking India news in English. Bringing the “right” side of India.’ Opinion articles, analysis of issues, news reports, and ‘fact-check articles.’ opindia.com

26. Patrika
Hindi news portal for the latest news from India, the world, business, politics, sports, and entertainment. patrika.com

27. The Tribune
The Tribune brings breaking news and the latest news headlines from India and around the world. The largest selling English daily in North India publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. tribuneindia.com

28. Deccan Herald
The latest news headlines from India and around the world. Breaking news, today’s live news on sports, business, fitness, entertainment, opinions from leading columnists. deccanherald.com

29. Business Line
BusinessLine India website for business and financial news, BSE and NSE quotes, stock recommendations, market analysis, research, politics, gadgets, and auto. thehindubusinessline.com

30. Free Press Journal
Latest news from India, politics, cricket, Bollywood, television, opinion, analysis, and features on food, travel, and health. freepressjournal.in (6,000 views daily)

31. The Siasat Daily
Siasat.com provides the latest news from Hyderabad, Telangana, India, Gulf, and around the world. Get breaking news alerts from South India. Claims to be India’s largest circulated Urdu daily. siasat.com

32. Webdunia Hindi
Webdunia is a BBC platinum partner. Webdunia claims it started as the world’s first Hindi portal and is now available in 8 major Indian languages. hindi.webdunia.com

33. Scroll.in
Scroll is an independent news venture started by an award-winning team of journalists. It offers ‘a newsfeed bringing into sharp focus the most important political and cultural stories that are shaping contemporary India.’ scroll.in

34. Telangana Today
Telangana Today an English daily brings the latest and authentic news about Telangana and a variety of subjects like business, information technology, sports, and the world and national news. telanganatoday.com

35. Live Law
Claims to be the world’s number one legal news website in terms of traffic covering Indian courts, lawyers, law firms, law schools, and legal developments in India. Began in 2013 with the mission of making legal reporting more accurate, transparent, and accessible to the common man. livelaw.in

36. The Wire
The latest news, top headlines, opinions, and analysis from India and the world including current news headlines on elections, politics, economy, business, science, and culture. An independent publication carrying authoritative opinion and reportage. thewire.in

37. Informal Newz
The latest news and top-breaking headlines on politics and current affairs. Aggregated from sources all over the world. informalnewz.com

38. Tentaran there’s more to life
A digital news magazine focused on providing bite-sized, crisp, and to-the-point infotainment news, covering various verticals for audiences of diverse interests, ages, and genres up-to-date with interesting infotainment content curated products and services that lead to sharing their burden of day-to-day life and work. tentaran.com

39. Onmanorama
Latest news updates from Onmanorama. Breaking news from Kerala, India, and the world. Lifestyle, entertainment, and sports news from English Manorama. onmanorama.com

40. The News Minute
The News Minute is an independent digital platform covering south India’s latest news from the five states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. Current events, news, weather, and insights on political and social issues from South India. thenewsminute.com

41. The Statesman
The Statesman provides breaking news, current headlines, live news, latest news on business, sports, the world, and entertainment with exclusive opinions and editorials. One of India’s oldest English newspapers, founded in 1875. thestatesman.com

42. The Sentinel Assam
The latest breaking news, live in Assam, Guwahati news. The Sentinel is the largest media group focused on news publishing and the only English daily published simultaneously in all the Northeastern Indian states. sentinalassam.com

43. The Better India
Claims to be the world’s largest positive and solutions-based content-driven impact platform for stories of change, inspiration, hope, resilience, and more. Stories of change, inspiration, courage, resilience, hope, kindness, compassion, innovation, initiative, sustainability, progress, social good, small businesses, renewable energy, green technologies, and more. Also in Good News Websites thebetterindia.com

44. Social Samosa
Social Samosa Indian Social Media blog covering social media news, insights, how-tos, case studies, app reviews, interviews, jobs, and events. Facebook and Twitter tips. socialsamosa.com

45. Dkoding
Dkoding claims it is on a crusade to bring out the ‘The other side of the story’ in a world drowning with fury and frenzy. It provides deeper insights and perspectives on burning issues through a narrative that is fresh, fearless, and fiery.’ Also in World News Websites. dkoding.in

46. The Week
Journalism with a human touch, the latest news from India, the world, entertainment, science, health, and technology. theweek.in

47. The Pioneer
One of the oldest newspapers in the country. Claims to offer views rather than news, generating diverse opinions, encouraging analysis, making sense of the noise, and fostering independent thought and implementable solutions for the great Indian conundrum. dailypioneer.com

48. Since independence
Since independence provides the latest news headlines and breaking news on politics, business, sports, technology, health, entertainment, and lifestyle. sinceindependence.com 

49. The Assam Tribune
Latest breaking news from Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, live news from the northeast, and the latest ePaper daily. assamtribune.com

50. Orissa Post
A leading English language newspaper from Orissa. orissapost.com

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here