Only two out of the top five Bengali dailies have witnessed marginal growth, according to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2009 R2 data for Average Issue Readership (AIR). Interestingly, the top three dailies are the ones that have seen a drop in AIR, whereas the fourth and fifth ranked newspapers – Ganashakti and Aajkaal – have grown by 3.97 per cent and 0.16 per cent, respectively.
Ananda Bazar Patrika continues to lead among Bengali dailies, however, its readership has fallen marginally at 1.15 per cent to 6,474,000 in R2 from 6,549,000 in 2009 R1. Bartaman, too, sees a marginal decline from 2,467,000 in 2009 R1 to 2,451,000 in R2. Sangbad Pratidin has dropped 7.14 per cent to reach 1,119,000 in the latest round from 1,205,000 in 2009 R1.
Ganashakti, on the other hand, grew to 970,000 in R2 from 933,000 AIR in 2009 R1, while Aajkaal grew to 640,000 in R2 from 639000 in R1.
The decline story continues for Bengali magazine as well, with four of the five magazines having de-grown, as compared to the previous round. Anandamela, which is placed fourth, is the only magazine in the top five to have witnessed growth in AIR at 428,000 in R2 from 410,000 in 2009 R1, a growth of 4.39 per cent.
Leading the Bengali magazines is Karmakshetra, which has witnessed the biggest drop in AIR of 12.60 per cent among the top five Bengali magazines, from 778,000 in 2009 R1 to 680,000 in R2.
Sananda and Saptahik Bartaman, ranked No 2 and No 3, respectively, have also de-grown in double digits. While Sananda has seen a drop of 10.54 per cent to register an AIR of 509,000 in R2 from 569,000 in R1, Saptahik Bartaman recorded an AIR of 481,000 in R2 from 540,000 in R1, a decline of 10.93 per cent.