The `Swadesamitran` was the first Tamil newspaper published in India. It was the only newspaper, which was, published in one the languages of South India during the British rule. This newspaper had the largest and the most widespread circulation of any Tamil publication of Madras Presidency.
The Swadesamitran was established in 1882.
The `Swadesamitran` was liked even in the interior parts of South India. The `Swadesamitran` represented the strong and loyal public opinion of the educated peoples and was the mouthpiece of almost the entire Tamil reading public.
It was only for the popularity of the `Swadesamitran`, its editor was invited to attend the Imperial Durbar held at Delhi by the Imperial Majesties King George and Queen Mary in 1911. He was the only one to represent a vernacular publication in this Presidency.
Currently, the Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi is ranked first with a total readership of 20,305,000. With an AIR of 12,294,000 crore in Q4 results of IRS, the Any Tamil dailies genre has seen decline in readership throughout the last three quarters. Besides, the results are not very optimistic for Tamil magazine domain too.
As per the IRS Q4 2010, the most read Tamil newspaper, Daily Thanthi has registered AIR of 70.14 Lac. The daily has seen hike in readership in the Q2 results of IRS but in Q3 and Q4 result, the AIR numbers for the daily was declined.
With negative growth in readership in the Q2 and Q3 results of IRS, Dinakaran has regained growth and recorded AIR of 49.77 Lac in Quarter4. Dinamalar has witnessed constant decline in readership in all last three Quarters of IRS 2010. The daily scored AIR of 25.48 Lac in Q4 results of IRS 2010.
Dinamani and Malai Malar have also registered continuous de-growth in the AIR numbers in last three Quarter results. In Q4 results of IRS, while, Dinamani got AIR of 3.98 Lac; Malai Malar scored AIR of 4.28 Lac.
Meanwhile, Tamil monthly Kumudam with constant decline in readership has been able to garner AIR of 11.43 Lac. Ananda Vikatan has also seen decline in its readership in last few Quarters. The magazine has gained AIR of 9.40 Lac in Q4 results of IRS. Kungumam has also written decline story for itself in the last three Quarter's results of IRS 2010. The magazine has recorded AIR of 7.45 Lac in the Q4 results of IRS 2010.