Malayala Manorama (Malayalam: മലയാള മനോരമ) is a daily morning newspaper, in Malayalam language, published from Kottayam in the state of Kerala, India by Malayala Manorama Company Limited. It was first published as a weekly on 22 March 1890, and currently has a readership of over 20 million (with a circulation base of over 2.1 million copies). The Malayalam title “manorama” roughly translates to “entertainer”. It is widely criticised for its tabloid journalism.
According to World Association of Newspapers, as of 2011, it holds a position as the fifth most circulating newspaper in the world. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) 2013 figures, it is the third largest circulating newspapers in India (behind The Times of India and Dainik Jagran) and largest circulating newspaper in Kerala.
Malayala Manorama,is owned by single family, known as the Kandathil. Malayala Manorama Company was incorporated by Kandathil Varghese Mappillai at Kottayam on 14 March 1888. The company started with one hundred shares of Rs 100 each. The investors paid in four equal instalments. With the first instalment, the company brought a Hopkinson and Cope press, made in London. A local craftsman, Konthi Achari, was hired to make Malayalam types for the imported press.
Mappillai had worked for a year as editor of Kerala Mitram, a Malayalam newspaper run by Gujarati businessman Devji Bhimji, in Cochin. The maharajah of Travancore Moolam Thirunal approved the logo of the newspaper which was a slight modification of the Travancore Coat of Arms.
First issue of Malayala Manorama published 22 March 1890, while Kottayam was hosting a popular cattle fair. It was a four-page weekly newspaper, published on Saturdays. The weekly newspaper became a bi-weekly in 1901, a tri-weekly on 2 July 1918 and daily on 2 July 1928. In 1938, Travancore state proscribed Malayala Manorama daily. Later editor K. C. Mammen Mappillai was convicted and imprisoned on charges of corruption and fraud. Malayala Manorama re-commenced regular publication in 1947.
On KC Mammen Mappilla’s death, his son KM Cheriyan took over as the Editor-in-Chief in 1954. Malayala Manorama was produced in a single edition in the central Kerala town of Kottayam with a circulation of 28,666 copies.
However by the late 1950s, Manorama steadily increased circulation and overtook Mathrubhumi in circulation, the dominant Malayalam daily at the time.
Expansion to entire Kerala (1960s)
The struggle between Malayala Manorama (Kottayam) and Mathrubhumi (Calicut) demonstrated the forces that would drive the expansion of Indian regional newspapers. The contest also illustrated the difficulties if expansion had to rely on Gutenberg-style printing as with the case of Manorama.
Comparison of circulation Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi (from India’s Newspaper Revolution (2000) by Robin Jeffrey, Western Influence on Malayalam Language and Literature (1972) by K. M. George and Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) 2013)
Name Frequency Language Type
Arogyam, Monthly Malayalam Health
Balarama, Weekly Malayalam Comic magazine
Balarama Amar Chitra Katha, Fortnightly Malayalam Comics
Balarama Digest, Weekly Malayalam Children
Bhashaposhini, Monthly Malayalam Arts and literature
Kalikkudukka, Weekly Malayalam Children
Karshakasree, Monthly Malayalam Agriculture
FastTrack, Monthly Malayalam Automobile
Magic Pot, Weekly English Children
The Man, Monthly English Men’s lifestyle
Manorama Weekly, Weekly Malayalam General interest
Smart Life, Monthly English Society
Tell Me Why, Monthly English Children
Thozhil Veedhi, Weekly Malayalam Career
Vanita, Fortnightly Hindi Women
Vanitha, Fortnightly Malayalam Women
Vanitha Veedu, Monthly Malayalam Property
Sampadhyam, Monthly Malayalam Market
Watch Time India, Monthly English Technology
The Week, Weekly English News and general interest
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