Lokmat claims that as per IRS 2003-04 R1, it has carved a slot for itself in the top 10 dailies. It, in fact, states that it is at number 7 slot - ahead of Mathrubhumi.
Lokmat appears in two avtaars, Lokmat and Dainik Lokmat. Dainik Lokmat has Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Greater Mumbai and Solapur editions, while Lokmat has Akola, Nagpur, Jalgaon, Nashik and Pune editions.
Jwalant Swaroop stresses, "It is the same paper. We started using the name Dainik Lokmat in some of the cities as we wanted to block that name as well. We need to look at the cumulative readership of both the papers." He also states that he has spoken to IRS regarding the same, and MRUC would be bringing out a corrigendum.
He adds, "It is not that these are recent publications - these are about 30 to 35 years old. And never before has such a thing happened. Readership of both always comes as one."
Why did Lokmat group feel the need to launch the same paper under two different names? Explains he, "It was at that point in time done to block the use of Dainik Lokmat by any other publication. We registered the name with RNI, and once you register it - you have to publish it as well - hence the existence of two names."
But is it the same newspaper? Or the editorial for the two papers is different? States Swaroop, "It is the same paper - there are different editions, some are titled Lokmat and some others are called Dainik Lokmat. Only difference is in the nomenclature - a few editions have Dainik added to it."
Now to look at the IRS figures - Lokmat has a readership of 3613 thousand, while readership of Dainik Lokmat is 3856 thousand. Put together it comes up to 7469 thousand. The readership has grown by 619 thousand as compared to previous IRS, where it stood at 6850 thousand.
The combined readership of the two, as per the recent round of IRS, is indeed larger than Mathrubhumi which has a readership of 7421 thousand. The list of Top 10 dailies, after this correction - would now read as follows:
A look at the top 10 dailies (All India - urban + rural) now:
1. Dainik Jagran leads with 15722 thousand readership
2. Dainik Bhaskar (excluding Nagpur edition) - 13614 thousand
3. Malayala Manorama - 9064 thousand
4. Daily Thanthi - 8871 thousand
5. Amar Ujala - 8597 thousand
6.Eenadu - 8145 thousand
7.Lokmat - 7469 thousand (Inclusive of Lokmat & Dainik Lokmat)
8. Mathrubhumi - 7421 thousand
9. Hindustan - 7387 thousand
10. Times of India - 7235 thousand
And Rajasthan Patrika moves to 11th slot with a readership of 5990 thousand