Media in Kerala

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Printed Malayalam magnified by spectacles.

Media in Kerala, India are widely accessible and cater to a wide variety of audiences.

Written media[edit]

Dozens of newspapers are published in Kerala.[1] The principal languages of publication are Malayalam and English. The most widely circulating Malayalam-language newspapers include Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam, Kerala Kaumudi, Desabhimani, Deepika, Mangalam, Janayugam, Thejas, Varthamanam, Chandrika, Janmabhumi, Siraj Daily,Udaya keralam and Metro Vaartha.

Among list of Malayalam periodicals major Malayalam periodicals are Mathrubhumi weekly, Madhyamam weekly, India Today Malayalam, Dhanam (Business Magazine),Chithrabhumi, Balarama (Comics), Thejas, Kanyaka and Bhashaposhini.

The following table is according to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2010 Quarter 1.[2]

Rank Name of the daily Readership (in lakh)
1 Malayala Manorama 124
2 Mathrubhumi 90.94
3 Deshabhimani 33.06
4 Kerala Kaumudi 13.04
5 Madhyamam 11.45
6 Mangalam 7.14

The following table is according to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2012 Quarter 1.[3]

Rank Name of the magazine Average Issue Readership (in lakh)
1 Vanitha 24.44
2 Manorama 11.63
3 Madhyamam Weekly 8.26
4 Balarama 7.87
5 Thozhil Vartha 7.35


Doordarshan is the state-owned television broadcaster. Multi system operators provide a mix of Malayalam, English, and international channels. The first group to enter the television field was Asianet in 1993, followed by Surya TV in 1998. Kairali TV started broadcast in the year 2000.[4] Multiple channels then started broadcasting including general entertainment channels like Jeevan, Amrita, Jai Hind, Asianet plus, Kiran TV, Kairali We, news channels like Indiavision, Asianet News, Reporter TV, Manorama News, Kairali People, Mathrubhumi News, Media One TV and religious channels like Shalom, PowerVision TV. The only government owned channel in Malayalam is VICTERS Educational channel-Versatile ICT Enabled Resource for Students which is working under IT@School Project of General Education department, Kerala


In Kerala, Radio had a very vital role in communication.All India Radio, the national radio service, reaches much of Kerala via its Thiruvananthapuram 'A' Malayalam-language broadcaster. After AIR Malayalee audiences . Radio Alakal, the first Community radio in the state, started narrowcasting from Trivandrum on 1 May 2006. Kerala's First private FM station, Radio Mango 91.9, was launched on 29th, November 2007 in Calicut, sparking off the FM revolution in the state. Today, Kerala has a host of private FM channels that are fast gaining influence among its population.

Private FM Stations inside Kerala[edit]

  1. Club FM 94.3 (The Mathrubhumi Printing And Publishing Co Ltd)
  2. BIG FM 92.7 (Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group)
  3. Radio Mirchi 98.3 (entertainment Network (India)ltd)
  4. Red FM 93.5 (sun Network)
  5. Ananthapuri FM 101.9 MHz # Gyan Vani 105.6 (IGNOU)
  6. Radio DC(Low power CRS) 90.4 MHz
  1. Radio Media Village 90.8 (St Joseph College of Communication)
  1. Club FM 104.8 (The Mathrubhumi Printing And Publishing Co Ltd)
  2. Radio Mango 91.9 (The Malayala Manorama Co Ltd)
  3. BEST FM 95 (Asianet Communications Ltd)
  4. Red FM 91.1 (Sun Network)
  1. Club FM 94.3 (The Mathrubhumi Printing And Publishing Co Ltd)
  2. Radio Mango 91.9 (The Malayala Manorama Co Ltd)
  3. Red FM 93.5 (Sun Network)
  4. BEST FM 95 (Asianet Communications Ltd)
  1. Club FM 94.3 (The Mathrubhumi Printing And Publishing Co Ltd)
  2. Red FM 93.5 (Sun Network)
  3. Radio Mango 91.9 (The Malayala Manorama Co Ltd.)
  4. Gyanvani FM 105.6 (IGNOU)
  1. Radio Mango 91.9 (The Malayala Manorama Co Ltd)
  2. Red FM 93.5 (Sun Network)

Private AM/FM Stations outside Kerala[edit]

  1. Asianet Radio 657AM
  2. Radio Asia 1269 AM
  3. Radio Me 95.3 FM
  4. Hit FM 96.7
  5. Oxygen FM 102.4

Public sector Radio Channels[edit]

  1. Thiruvanthapuram -101.9
  2. Thiruvanthapuram Dc Radio -90.4
  3. Idukki - 101.4
  4. Kochi 102.3
  5. Kochi FM Rainbow 107.5 (Music Channel)
  6. Thrissur - 103
  7. Kozhikode - 103.6
  8. Malappuram -102.7
  9. Kannur - 101.5
  1. Thiruvanthapuram - 1161
  2. Alapuzha - 576
  3. Thrissur - 630
  4. Kozhikode - 684
  5. Kavaratti - 1584
  1. Thiruvanthapuram - 5010,7290

History of Media in Kerala[edit]

Doctrina Christam written in "Malayalam Tamul" by Fr. Henrique Henriques, a Jesuit priest is believed to be the first book to be printed in Kerala. This was in the year 1578 at Kollam. However the first Malayalam book came out in 1824 from CMS Press, Kottayam founded by Benjamin Bailey in the year 1821. A landmark in the history of book publication in Kerala was the setting up of Sahitya Pravarthaka Sahakarana Sanghom on 30 April 1945, a co-operative society by literary writers for publishing books in Malayalam.

The history of news media in Kerala begins with the publication of Rajyasamacharam, the first newspaper of Kerala. This was started for religious propagation by the Christian missionaries of Basel Mission in June 1847 from Illikunnu near Thalassery (Tellicherry). Subsequently two more newspapers Paschimodayam (1847 October) and Njananikshepam (1848 November) came out from Tellicherry and Kottayam respectively. Another major development was the publication of Nasrani Deepika on 15 April 1887 from Mannanam near Kottayam as a fortnightly. The publication started under the editorship of a Catholic priest Nidhiry Mani Kathanar later became a daily newspaper on 3 January 1927. The paper was renamed as Deepika in 1938 and it continues to be published even today. Malayala Manorama was started from Kottayam on 22 March 1890 by Kandathil Varghese Mappillai as a weekly. This became a daily in 1928 and is the largest circulating daily of Kerala today. K. Ramakrishna Pillai popularly known as Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai is the first journalist in Kerala who was exiled. He was exiled from the erstwhile princely state of Travancore in 26 September 1910, for criticizing the then rulers. He is also credited with authoring the first book on journalism titled Vrithantha Pathra Pravarthanam in Malayalam as early as in 1912. Kerala Kaumudi was started in 1911 in Mayyanad in Kollam under the editorship of C.V. Kunhiraman as a weekly and was later converted to a daily and is one of the leading newspapers today. Mathrubhumi newspaper was started as part of the nationalist movement and Indian independence movement on 18 March 1923, under the editorship of K. P. Kesava Menon. It was started as a tri-weekly at Kozhikode and was later made a daily in 6 April 1930. Today it is the second largest circulated daily of Kerala. Deshabhimani started in 1942 as the organ of the Communist Party of India under the editorship of M. S. Devadas from Kozhikode became a daily in 1946. Today it is one of the largest dailies in the state and is the organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Madhyamam began publishing in 1987 at Silver Hills near Calicut. Veteran journalist, Kuldip Nayar inaugurated the publishing. Madhyamam has its core readership in the Malabar Muslim community, Udaya keralam started from Thiruvananthapuram on 30 nov 2012 by vishnu s ambadi as a daily news paper. now udaya keralam has emerged as a new generation news paper catering digital as well as traditional medium . There are nearly 1140 Malayalam newspapers with a total circulation of 76, 68,000 copies. The circulation of dailies alone is 22, 63,000. Some of the popular weeklies in Malayalam today are Mathrubhumi weekly (1932), Kalakaumudi weekly (1976), India Today (Malayalam) (1987), Samakalika Malayalam (1997) and Madhyamam weekly (1998).

In 1864 first telegraph service was commenced in Alleppey, Quilon and Trivandrum. Voice communication was started in 1923 at Kochi.

Radio transmission started in Kerala in 1934 at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. The second transmitter was installed in Calicut in 1950. Radio transmission in Kerala was the monopoly of the government of India or Government owned corporations till December 2007. Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi started the first and second private FM stations respectively in December 2007.

Main article: Malayalam Cinema

The history of Malayalam cinema begins with Vigathakumaran a silent film made by J.C. Daniel in 1928. The first Malayalam talkie, Balan, came out in 1938.

Udaya Studio, the first professional film studio of Kerala was set up in Alappuzha by Kunchako in 1947. Another landmark was the release of Chemmeen in 1966, directed by Ramu Kariat, which won the President’s Gold Medal for the best Indian film.

The first co-operative society for film production, Chitralekha Film Co-operative was promoted by Chithralekha Film Society. This first film society of Kerala was started in 1964 by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Kulathur Bhaskaran Nair.

Formal training in mass media was started in 1968 with the setting up of an Institute of Journalism by the Press Club, Trivandrum. A programme for journalism was started at university level in the year 1977 at the University of Kerala. A course for electronic journalism was started in 1997 by the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-Dit) in Thiruvananthapuram.

Television broadcasting in Kerala was started by the Doordarshan, the official television channel of the government of India on 1 January 1985. Simultaneously Malayalam news telecast began. The first private Television channel of the state, Asianet started the telecast of Malayalam programmes in August 1993. Surya, Kairali, India Vision, Jeevan, Amritha and JaiHind TV are the other major private television broadcasters of the state.

In the year Kerala Government started 1990 Centre for development of Imaging Technology C DIT in Thiruvananthapuram. A division for research into digital media technology was part of this institution. This was a landmark in the digital media history of Kerala. Subsequently, Technopark, Trivandrum, a centre for Technology related industries was started in Thiruvananthapuram. These were started by the Kerala Government. But in the mean time Private enterprises were coming up in Kerala particularly in Thiruvananthapuram. Companies like UST Global, IBS, TCS, MSquare, NeST were the leading institutions engaged in Software development and training.

Digital content creation was started by Invis Multimedia in 1995 by launching a project for developing a multimedia title on Kerala. This first multimedia publication on Kerala, Kerala: The Green Symphony published in association with the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala was released in June 1998 by E.K. Nayanar, Chief Minister, Government of Kerala.

Internet service was started by ISPs like Kerala Telecommunication and VSNL in the year 1998. In the same year BPL, a private mobile service provider introduced mobile telephony in Kerala.[5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "General Review". Registrar of Newspapers for India. Retrieved 2006-09-01. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ New Malayalam channel to go on air from Aug 17 Business Line Financial Daily, Monday, August 14, 2000
  5. ^ Dr. Vellayani Arjunan, ed. (1987). Sarva Vijnana Kosham Volume 8. 
  6. ^ " (Provisional)". Department of Tourism. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  7. ^ "Keralabsnl(Provisional)". Department of Tourism. Retrieved 2007-11-18.