Assamese publications are facing some tough times. The language seems to be the paving way for other languages like English and Hindi. However, that is another story. Amongst Assamese dailies, Asomiya Pratidin, while retaining the leadership position, has lost share in the AIR (Average Issue Readership) pie of reported dailies, down to 66.4 per cent from a strong 78.5 per cent, as according to IRS 2011 Q1 figures. The daily has lost 78,000 average issue readers over an AIR of 12.3 lakh in IRS 2010 Q1.
Overall, Any Assamese daily has lost 12.7 per cent average issue readers, recording an AIR of 19.17 lakh, as against an AIR of 21.96 lakh in 2010 Q1. This is after Ajir Asom makes a debut in the survey with an AIR of 78,000. Add to that an increase of 6,000 average issue readers for Dainik Janambhumi – the only Assamese daily to have recorded a growth – which has recorded an AIR of 1.99 lakh. The daily overthrows Amar Asom to take the No 4 position in the ranking table for Assamese dailies. The latter has recorded an AIR of 1.92 lakh, a loss of 21.31 per cent.
The biggest loss, however is being borne by Dainik Agradoot, which has lost 1.2 lakh average issue readers in the latest survey, as compared to the corresponding period last year, a loss of 36.36 per cent over an AIR of 3.3 lakh in 2010 Q1. It remains the No 3 read Assamese daily, behind Asomiya Khabar. The latter recorded an AIR of 3.47 lakh, a loss of 21.67 per cent.
In percentage terms, maximum loss has come to Dainik Assam, which bears a loss of 43.67 per cent in the current survey, as compared to the corresponding period last year, when it had reported an AIR of 1.58 lakh.
Amongst weeklies, Sadin, the only publication reported, has lost 46,000 average issue readers, a loss of 14.6 per cent over an AIR of 3.15 lakh in 2010 Q1. Prantik, the only fortnightly being reported, and while making its debut in the survey has an AIR of 81,000.
Monthlies, too, have been badly, losing 1.83 lakh average issue readers over the year. Bismoi, the leader, recorded an AIR of 3.14 lakh (-16.93 per cent). Priyo Sakhi with an AIR of 1.99 lakh, even though is bearing a loss of 17.08 per cent has overthrown Nandini to take the No 2 position amongst Assamese monthlies. The latter has an AIR of 1.9 lakh (-27.20 per cent), down from 2.61 lakh in 2010 Q1.