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Special: IRS 2009 R1: Jagran, Bhaskar, Amar Ujala retain their top three slots

By Prajjal Saha , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | May 08, 2009
Only four out of top 10 dailies have recorded growth in readership

Dainik Jagran has retained the No.1 slot among all publications, with a total readership of 5.45 crore, as per the first round of IRS 2009. However, the Hindi daily has been recording a marginal decline in total readership for the last two rounds of IRS.

In the first round of IRS 2008, Dainik Jagran had recorded a total readership of 5.66 crore, which was an increase of 29.5 lakh readers compared to the previous round. However, in the last two rounds of IRS, Jagran's total readership has declined - first by around 9 lakh readers and again now in the current round by around 11.6 lakh readers. Despite, this negative growth, the total readership of Dainik Jagran in the current round is at par with that of IRS 2007, R2 - having lost and gained around 30 lakh readers in between.

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Dainik Bhaskar, the No.2 publication of the country, has also recorded a marginal decline in readership in the current round of IRS. Although it has lost 2.8 lakh readers, the newspaper won't get affected much as it had added around 33 lakh readers in the previous two rounds of IRS. So effectively, its current total readership of 3.35 crore is higher than IRS 2008 R1 readership figure of 3.19 crores.

At No.3, Amar Ujala's readership also recorded a decline as per IRS 2009, R1. In the same period last year, Amar Ujala had recorded a growth of 14 lakh readers. However, in the last round of IRS (R2, 2008), it lost around 2 lakh readers, when its total readership came down from 2.96 crore to 2.94 crore. Even in this round, the total readership of this Hindi daily has declined by 7 lakh readers taking its total readership to 2.87 crore readers - which is even less that what it used to be in IRS 2007, R2.

At No.4, Hindustan has been showing a continuous growth for the last three rounds of IRS. In the previous two round of IRS, it had added more than 31 lakh readers taking its total readership from 2.35 crore in IRS 2007, R2 to 2.66 crore in IRS 2008, R2. And now with the current increase of 1.36 lakh readers, its total readership has reached 2.67 crore.

At No.5, Lokmat has moved up by a position, pushing Daily Thanthi to No.6. This is because it has gained 7.19 lakh readers in comparison to the previous round of IRS taking its total readership to 2.06 crore. In fact with this increase in readership, Lokmat is back to its original position of No.5 besides its readership is at almost at par with what it used to be IRS 2008 R1.

Daily Thanthi is at No.6 with a total readership of 2.04 crore losing 1.19 lakh readers. Even in the previous round of IRS, the Tamil daily had recorded a negligible loss of 17,000 readers and prior to that it lost around 2.87 lakh readers. In fact, its total readership in the last three rounds have declined from 2.08 crore to 2.04 crore.

At No.7, Dinakaran has also recorded a loss of 1.92 lakh readers in the current round which is second time in a row. In round 1 of IRS 2008, which is almost a year ago, the tamil daily had recorded a total readership of 1.7 crore, which declined to 1.68 crore in round 2 of IRS 2008.

Ananda Bazar Patrika is at No.8 with a total readership of 1.55 crore - almost at par with its readership in IRS 2008, R1 (1,55,69,000). In the previous round of IRS, the Bengali daily had lost 1.76 lakh readers, but in the current round it has compensated that by adding around 1.21 lakh readers.

Rajasthan Patrika is at No.9 with a total readership of 1.4 crore readers has seen an increase of 52,000 readers. In the previous round it had lost around 3.42 lakh readers. Rajasthan Patrika has also moved up by one position by pushing Eenadu to No.10.

At No.10, Eenadu has recorded a total readership of 1.39 crore having lost around 4.2 lakh readers. Its readership has declined for the second time. In fact the readership of the Telugu daily is even lower than what it used to be in IRS 2007, R2 (1.42 crore.) In round 1 of IRS 2008, it gained around 5.02 lakh readers, but in the subsequent two rounds of IRS it lost around 7 lakh readers in the last two rounds.