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Paper founded by Nehru shuts down after 70 years

Jawaharlal Nehru.

The National Herald founded 70 years ago by India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on Tuesday published its last editorial as it "temporarily suspended" operations, acording to Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).

The Congress party, which finances the paper, is reportedly considering the feasibility of relaunching the newspaper with modern technology. The editorial department of the English edition did not even have a computer all these days. The press section had five-six computers and there was one computer in the teleprinter room, which was used by the editorial and advertisement staff to check mails.

Some details about the closure:

Some senior editors brought their own laptops to work. The management had wanted to computerise Quami Awaz four years ago, but the proposal was shot down by the union as around 20 calligraphers would have been displaced.

The National Herald, which was started in Lucknow on September 9, 1938 by Nehru, and its Urdu edition Quami Awaz carried a small message on the front page announcing the closure: "The management of the Associated Journals Ltd has decided to temporarily suspend the publication of National Herald and Quami Awaz, from 1st April 2008. Therefore, there will be no issue dated 2nd April 2008, onward, till further notice."

The paper was running into losses for several years due to overstaffing, mainly non journalists and in the press, and lack of advertisements.

The last editorial, titled "Herald hopes for a better tomorrow", stated, "With its glorious tradition, will National Herald be made to remain only a part of history, or, will it continue to function to herald change and progress in time with the positive basic values for which India has always stood?"

National Herald editor-in-chief T V Venkitachalam is keen that the paper does not become part of history as happened with Mahatma Gandhi's Harijan, which closed down during Gandhi's lifetime.

Date posted: April 9, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 514