'India Abroad': Iconic ethnic Indian newspaper in US ceases print edition after 50 years
New York, Mar 29: An iconic ethnic Indian newspaper in the US that catered to the diaspora for the last 50 years will cease the print edition from Monday, its publisher announced, citing the woes in the publishing industry in the Internet era and compounded by the repercussions of cancellation of advertisements amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Founded by Indian-American publisher Gopal Raju in 1970, India Abroad rose to great heights of popularity by focusing on Indian news meant for the expatriate audience. In 2001, Raju sold the publication to Rediff.com. In late 2016, Rediff.com sold its venture to 8K Miles Media Inc. Suresh Venkatachari through his publisher's note announced the New York-based company's decision to cease the print edition.
"Dear readers, I regret to inform you that India abroad will cease its print publication at the end of March 2020. The last issue of India Abroad will be dated March 30," Venkatachari said on Sunday. "For the thousands of readers for whom India Abroad has been an integral part of their Indian-American journey, the close of the publication maybe heart-rending, but hardly surprising, given the reversal of fortunes of print publications in the United States and across the world," he said.
Like many newspapers, India Abroad has been struggling with declaring advertising revenues and subscriptions since the advent of the Internet age, he noted. "The past few years have been particularly difficult even as we revamped the newspaper under the aegis of 8K Miles Media," he said. "Compounding all of this, was the advent of the ominous coronavirus pandemic and the devastating repercussions in its wake, which led to several advertisers cancelling their advertisement and hence the looming outlook for future revenue generation appearing even more bleak," he said.
Venkatachari said people expressed fears to touch physical copies of newspapers, magazines and journals on newsstands and those delivered to them, which may have gone through several contacts, and the post office also indicating that it will give priority only for the delivery of letters. It led to the possibility that publications may be delayed or may not even reach subscribers and added to the woes of publishing houses reeling from the cancellation of advertisements, he said.
"Over the past 50 years, India Abroad has been a leader in the ethnic media, serving the Indian-American community with integrity and professionalism. Despite many challenges and pressures, it has remained steadfast in its editorial integrity and impartiality. It wore attacks from the partisan left and the right as badges of honour," he said.
Several generations of Indian-Americans have gone on to the great strides and achieve great heights in different fields, including politics, business, technology, literature and entertainment, after they have been first featured in the pages of India Abroad. "The publication will always be a proud part of their origin story," Venkatachari said. "As the curtain comes town, it is only fitting to remember the founder and editor Gopal Raju, who built India Abroad into an institution that has a special place in the history of Indians in America," he added.