Everybody loves a good newspaper readership survey because everybody gets to be No.1

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The 2013 Indian Readership Survey left almost every newspaper publisher dissatisfied, and 18 groups joined hands to point fingers at the “shocking anomalies, which defy logic and commonsense“.

But as everyone knows, polling agencies in India are great followers of Groucho Marx‘s axiom: “Those are my principles and if you don’t like them, well, I have others”.

So, the 2017 IRS, which showed that Indian newspapers—beating TV and the internet, beating Google and Facebook, beating sleep and other distractions—had added, repeat added 11 crore new readers, has resulted in paroxysms of joy.

Every newspaper is now officially No.1—and they are all telling us so.

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So, The Telegraph is the “No.1 English daily in Calcutta”.

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So, Hindustan Times is “undisputedly and unambiguously the #1 English daily” in the combined geographical territory of Delhi-NCR (national capital region) and Mumbai.

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So, The Hindu is “#1 in South India” but not including Karnataka and Telengana.

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So, The Tribune is No.1 in the “northern region comprising the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and the Union territory of Chandigarh”.

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So, The Economic Times is No.1 among business papers.

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And so, India Today is “India’s most read magazine”, its editorial director claiming “the combined readership of India Today English and Hindi editions puts it ahead of India’s No.1 English newspaper.”

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What a pity IRS 2017 was released so close to the Jaipur Literary Festival.