't was founded in August 1984 in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. The newspaper is notable for reporting social issues and revealing scams, such as the Fodder Scam. The newspaper began reporting the Fodder Scam in 1992. Despite receiving threats, the newspaper wrote 70 reports on the scam and had four or five reporters reporting the story.
The first edition of 'Prabhat Khabar' was launched in 1984 by Congress MP Mr. Gayan Ranjan in Ranchi, the land of Birsa Munda. It was initially a small and unknown newspaper with 6-8 pages and print run of around 500 copies.
In 1989, the paper was taken over by Usha Martin Group which had business interests in Bihar. The group hired a young assistant editor, of a Hindi weekly 'Ravivaar', from Kolkata. This young editor by the name of Harivansh is considered to be one of the three craftsmen behind the successful development of Prabhat Khabar. The other two men are KK Goenka and RK Dutta. The Usha Martin Group spent 6 crores between 1989 to 1994 in reviving the then defunct Prabhat Khabar. Today, Prabhat Khabar has a brand and assets that can be valued at several times the initial investment.
The secret behind this turnaround is best explained by Harivansh, the Editor and CEO, himself:
Not a newspaper but a movement’. We have been following, what I would call, civil society journalism. The paper has always given voice to the people. We have managed to stay in touch with our readers through initiatives like Aap ke Dwar (At your doorstep) and Pathak Manch (Readers’ Forum). Over the years, ever since I took over as editor 15 years ago, people have come to associate Prabhat Khabar as a newspaper giving information about their surroundings. We have a loyal readership base.
At a time, when there were serious constraints on big newspapers for reporting of 'local' news, Prabhat Khabar chose to focus on publishing local events that were important to ordinary people as front page news. The primary content of Prabhat Khabar has thus always been its local news, issues, causes, aspirations and the problems of people. According to Harivansh:
we cover international news to keep our readers well informed, but it is global news with a local viewpoint.
The paper has since then expanded it's reach to many other towns of Jharkhand and Bihar as mentioned below and is 7th among top 10 Hindi Dailies in India, with a readership of at least 9 million and 8 editions published across East India.
- Ranchi - Since 1984
- Jamshedpur - Since 1995
- Patna - Since 1996
- Dhanbad - Since 1999
- Kolkata - Since 2000
- Deoghar - Since 2004
- Siliguri - Since 2006
- Muzaffarpur - Since 2010
- Bhagalpur - Since February 2011
- Gaya - Since October 2011
- "Jharkhand daily Prabhat Khabar on the block". DNA (newspaper). 2006-12-03. Archived from the original on 2008-11-23. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
- Ninan, Sevanti (2002-09-02). "Prabhat Khabar: Expanding in Reach and Relevance". The Hoot. Archived from the original on 2008-11-23. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
- Official website (Hindi)
- Official epaper
- http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/9788132102618 Practising Journalism: Values, Constraints, Implications edited by Nalini Rajan