Papers in paradise as Amar Ujala climbs in Himalayas

Nov 08, 2022 at 05:19 pm by admin

The website calls Shoghi “a tiny piece of paradise”… and as Amar Ujala climbs back after the pandemic, the Himalayan hill-station is playing a part in the rebuilding of the Hindi daily.

With its 21 print editions regaining some of their pre-pandemic circulation Amar Ujala is reported to have recovered to about 2.3 million copies, albeit perhaps a million behind pre-lockdown figures.

And to ensure readers in India’s Himachal Pradesh receive the paper on a more timely basis, a new printing plant has been commissioned.

According to Indian Printer & Publisher’s Aayush Pandey, daily distribution “fell off a cliff”, with readers switching to digital platforms and print advertising also declining sharply. An extra problem has been not only increases in newsprint prices – more than doubling to US$1000 a ton before falling back to about US$830 – but lack of supply aggravated by shortage of containers and shipping.

Pandey quotes Amar Ujala‘s Pradeep Unni that brand recognition and readership that “the only thing that kept us going” was a commitment to its readers, while advertising and promotions “fell big time”.

In Himachal Pradesh, readers are being rewarded with earlier copies than had been possible with the afternoon deliveries from the Panchkula plant, 104 km away.

Commissioned at the beginning of October, the new plant in Shoghi – equipped with a six-tower TPH Orient 36 press – is just 15 km from Shimla (pictured)… and it’s downhill, at that.

Sections: Print business


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