Assam Tribune is the oldest English newspaper of Assam. It is the largest circulated English daily in North Eastern part of India with a circulation of over 700,000 copies and a readership of 3 million. It is currently published from Guwahati and Dibrugarh as a daily newspaper.
Originally Assam Tribune started as a weekly newspaper from Dibrugarh. It was launched on 4th of August, 1939 by Radha Govinda Baruah who was called the architect of modern Assam. He was an ingenious gentleman from Dibrugarh who conceived the idea of an English newspaper. Noted for his contributions towards Assamese society and culture, Radha Govinda Baruah, started the weekly with the initial help of some friends and well-wishers.
Radha Govinda Baruah appointed Lakshminath Phookan as the first editor of Assam Tribune. He formerly worked as an editorial staff of Hindustan Standard and later became one of the major figures of Assamese journalism. Under R.N Baruah and L.N Phookan, Assam Tribune soon became a popular newspaper which had wide circulation among tea estate managers, high schools and lawyers. At the time when Assam’s literacy rate was 10% among which not even 1% was English educated, publishing and increasing the readership of an English newspaper like Assam Tribune was a feat in itself. R.N Baruah was instrumental towards growing the educational needs of Assamese population.
R.N Baruah single-handedly managed the growth of Assam Tribune. He promoted the newspaper and collected advertisements from various establishments himself. In September 1946, Assam Tribune began publishing as a daily newspaper instead of weekly and shifted its publication to Guwahati. Eminent personalities of Assam contributed to the daily columns of Assam Tribune and thereby making it a popular daily among the masses. The newspaper covered news from all over North East but 2-3 pages were dedicated to news from Assam region. Established as well as fresh journalists represented the newspaper since the time of its inception.
From its very beginning, Assam Tribune has dedicated itself towards truth without any sensational add on. It has been the principle of this newspaper to publish news in the correct perspective keeping in mind the welfare of the Assamese people. It always aimed at national advancement and became the voice of the people of even the lowest strata. It has been over 80 years since the publication of the first Assam Tribune newspaper and it still grows and represents the true spirit of Assamese journalism.
Today the managing director of Assam Tribune is Prafulla Govinda Baruah who is the son of R.N Baruah. He became the editor of the newspaper way back in 1966. For growth of literature and education in Assam, Prafulla Govinda Baruah was honoured with Padma Sri Award in 2018. Assam Tribune has truly contributed to the growth and development of the state of Assam.
Advertisement is the chief source of revenue for a newspaper. During the days of its infancy, Assam Tribune struggled with advertisements. Unlike today, earlier Assam Tribune could not even fill two columns with ads. R.N Baruah, himself used to visit and collect advertisements from private and government organisations. However, with a readership of over 3 million today, it has become a lucrative platform to advertise for businesses and individuals. Publishing an ad in Assam Tribune guarantees the target audience with exceptional responses.
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