Hicky’s Bengal Gazette, also known simply as the Bengal Gazette, was one of the earliest newspapers in India and is often considered the first newspaper in the Indian subcontinent.

It was founded by James Augustus Hicky, an Irishman, in 1780 during the period of British colonial rule in India.

The newspaper was published in Calcutta (now Kolkata), which was the capital of British India at the time.

Hicky’s Bengal Gazette was known for its critical and often controversial content.

It covered various topics, including the actions of the British East India Company, the local Indian rulers, and general news and advertisements.

Hicky used the newspaper as a platform to voice his opinions and criticize the British establishment, which sometimes led to legal troubles and confrontations with the authorities.

Hicky’s newspaper gained popularity for its bold and daring reporting.

But it also attracted the ire of the British officials and their supporters.

In 1781, Hicky was arrested and after that, the newspaper was shut down.

His arrest and the closure of the Bengal Gazette are often seen as early instances of press censorship in India.

Hicky’s Bengal Gazette holds historical significance as a pioneering effort in journalism in India.

So, it paved the way for the development of the newspaper industry in the country.

It serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by early Indian journalists who sought to speak truth to power during the colonial period.

Hicky’s Bengal Gazette history


The history of newspapers is a long and fascinating one, with the development of print media playing a crucial role in shaping societies, disseminating information, and influencing public opinion.

Here’s an overview of key developments in newspaper history

Origins of Printing

The history of newspapers begins with the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century.

The printing press also allowed for the mass production of books and pamphlets, setting the stage for printed news.

Early News Publications

 The first recorded news publication is believed to be the “Acta Diurna,” which was posted daily in ancient Rome around 59 BC. These early news sheets carried information about government affairs and events like gladiatorial contests.

The Corantos

 In the 16th and 17th centuries, corantos, or “newsbooks” became popular in Europe. These one-page newsletters provided updates on various topics, such as wars, politics, and foreign events.

Development of Newspapers in Europe

 The 17th century saw the emergence of regular newspapers, with titles like “The London Gazette” (1665) and “La Gazette” (France, 1631). These publications also played a role in reporting news, but they were often heavily censored and controlled by the government.

North American Newspapers

 In North America, the first newspaper was “Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick,” published in 1690 in Boston. However, it was quickly suppressed. “The Boston News-Letter,” established in 1704, is often considered the first successful newspaper in the American colonies.

Penny Press Era

The 19th century also marked the beginning of the penny press era, with newspapers becoming more affordable and accessible to a wider audience. Titles like “The New York Sun” and “The New York Herald” pioneered this approach.

Yellow Journalism

 In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, newspapers like “The New York Journal” and “The New York World” engaged in sensational and often biased reporting, a practice known as yellow journalism.

Wire Services

 The late 19th century also saw the development of wire services like the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters.

So, These services provided newspapers with a more efficient way of obtaining news from around the world.

20th Century Innovations

The 20th century brought significant innovations in newspaper production, including offset printing, which made newspapers more visually appealing, and later, digital technologies.

Decline and Digital Transition-Hicky’s Bengal Gazette

 In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the newspaper industry faced challenges due to the rise of the internet. Many traditional newspapers saw declining circulation and revenue. Some shifted to online platforms, and digital-only publications emerged.

Contemporary Landscape

Today, newspapers exist in various forms, including traditional print, online news websites, and mobile apps. The industry continues to evolve as it grapples with the changing media landscape and revenue models.

Throughout history, newspapers have played a critical role in informing the public, shaping public opinion, and holding those in power accountable. They remain an important source of news and information, albeit in a rapidly changing media environment.

Legacy of Hicky’s Bengal Gazette


Hicky’s Bengal Gazette, despite its relatively short-lived existence, left a lasting legacy in the history of journalism in India and beyond.

Its impact can be seen in several ways

Pioneering Independent Journalism-Hicky’s Bengal Gazette

Hicky’s Bengal Gazette is often regarded as one of the earliest examples of independent and critical journalism in India. James Hicky used the newspaper as a platform to question the British East India Company and local authorities, setting a precedent for the press to be a watchdog over those in power.

Freedom of the Press-Hicky’s Bengal Gazette

The newspaper’s confrontations with the authorities and Hicky’s legal troubles highlighted the importance of freedom of the press. It became an early example of the challenges faced by journalists and publishers in the colonial era when they attempted to publish critical content.

Influence on Subsequent Journalism

The bold and daring reporting style of Hicky’s Bengal Gazette served as an inspiration for subsequent generations of Indian journalists. The newspaper set a precedent for investigative and critical journalism in India.

Historical Record-Hicky’s Bengal Gazette

The Bengal Gazette provides a valuable historical record of the events, social issues, and political climate of its time. It serves as a resource for historians and researchers studying 18th-century India and the British colonial period.

Colonial Press Censorship

Hicky’s arrest and the closure of his newspaper highlighted the issue of press censorship in colonial India. It demonstrated how the colonial authorities were willing to suppress publications that challenged their interests, and this history played a role in shaping discussions on press freedom.

Development of Indian Journalism

Hicky’s Bengal Gazette laid the groundwork for the development of Indian journalism. Over the years, the newspaper industry in India continued to grow, leading to the establishment of numerous newspapers and periodicals. This growth in the Indian press played a pivotal role in shaping public discourse and advocating for independence from British colonial rule.

Inspiration for Modern Indian Media

In contemporary India, Hicky’s Bengal Gazette is remembered as a symbol of the enduring spirit of free and independent journalism. It has also inspired modern journalists and publications to continue the tradition of holding those in power accountable and providing a platform for diverse voices.

In summary, Hicky’s Bengal Gazette is a historically significant publication that, despite its relatively short existence, left a profound impact on the development of journalism and the concept of press freedom in India. It remains an important chapter in the history of Indian media and serves as a testament to the enduring importance of independent journalism in any society.


When was the Hickey Bengal Gazette published?



It was first published on January 29, 1780, and it continued to be published until its closure in 1782. The newspaper had also relatively short existence but left a lasting impact on the history of Indian journalism.

Who is the father of Bengal Gazette?


The “Bengal Gazette,” often referred to as “Hicky’s Bengal Gazette,”.

It was founded by James Augustus Hicky, an Irishman who lived in Calcutta, India during the late 18th century.

James Hicky is often recognized as the father of the Bengal Gazette.

As he was the publisher and editor of the newspaper.

which is also considered one of the earliest newspapers in India.

also is significant in the history of journalism in the Indian subcontinent.


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