Home » India News » The Power of Print: On I-Day, The Times of India delivered — and how! | India News – Times of India

The Power of Print: On I-Day, The Times of India delivered — and how! | India News – Times of India

India’s 75th Independence Day deserved something special from the nation’s most trusted source of news. The Times of India delivered — and how! Millions of readers woke up on the morning of August 15 to find a blockbuster edition on their doorsteps, including multiple books of the main TOI, one or more books of the entertainment pullout (depending on the location), and a special feature, Leaders of Change.
Readers tend to take newspaper delivery for granted, confident they will get it come hail or storm. But bringing out a newspaper is a complex logistical exercise, and the challenge gets magnified when something is done on the unprecedented scale that TOI attempted — and pulled off on August 15.
To give you an idea of the work that went on behind the scenes, over 1,400 unique pages had to be created for TOI alone, since pages vary across our multiple editions in different cities (TOI Delhi, for example, can be quite different from TOI Mumbai, given our focus on local issues and concerns. In fact, no two editions of TOI will have the exact same pages).
When you factor in that the same printing and distribution team also handles TOI’s sister publications like The Economic Times, Navbharat Times, Maharashtra Times, Ei Samay and Vijay Karnataka, the level of difficulty rises even further. In all, over 4,500 unique pages were created. These were then printed across millions of newspaper copies, making for a total of over 17 crore pages published in TOI alone!
This herculean task took weeks of planning. The result is aptly summarised in the accompanying picture of a newspaper vendor on the morning of August 15. This photo also fittingly symbolises the spirit behind the whole exercise — a gargantuan task accomplished with a cheerful smile!
All departments of TOI worked closely to accomplish this feat. The Response team — which is responsible for getting advertisements — burned the midnight oil for several days in a row. In all, over 750 clients were featured across Times Group publications on a single day.
The Editorial team was required to produce multiple books without any drop in quality. As if that wasn’t challenging enough, deadlines had to be moved up — because of the huge volume of printing and strict security measures, especially in the capital, on the eve of Independence Day.
Special stories and articles were commissioned and prepared in advance. Late on August 13, having sent the edition for August 14 for printing, the team took a brief break, then began working on the edition for August 15. Work went on till the proverbial wee hours. After snatching forty winks around dawn, the senior editorial leadership was back at work.
It was a similar story for the Production team, which is responsible for printing the paper. All pages had to be printed by 4am, to give the circulation department (Results & Market Development, or RMD, in TOI parlance) time to deliver the paper.
The Production team planned meticulously for almost a week. Those who went into the printing press on the evening of August 13 put in an extended 36-hour shift in which they first printed the edition of August 14, then the entertainment supplement, then Leaders of Change, and then the multiple TOI books. They finally emerged around 7am on August 15.
All this hard work would have gone waste if RMD hadn’t bridged the last mile seamlessly, aided by the final link in the chain — the heroic vendor, who often braves rains, floods, riots and various other problems to deliver the newspaper to readers.
Organising, collating and transporting so many books while following appropriate Covid protocols was a complex logistical exercise, as was ensuring that vendors would distribute all the books to their intended destinations. But RMD rose to the task, and the vendors cooperated enthusiastically, as they always do, resulting in readers receiving a special edition that seems to have thrilled and delighted them, going by the feedback that has poured in.
Sceptics have been writing obituaries for Print for at least 30 years, ever since the arrival of satellite television in the country. But Print has proved far more resilient than many give it credit for. Content, curation and credibility have been the cornerstone of the Times Group’s long and successful existence. We are more firmly committed to them than ever before, and we look forward to giving our loyal readers many more memorable editions to treasure!

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