City Landmark – City News Service, Connaught Place
The print media landmark.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It’s hardly a secret that these are difficult days for print media—because of the Internet.
Here in Delhi, it’s hard to find all-day newspaper stalls anymore. Even so, a unique relic still thrives in the heart of Connaught Place.
City News Service doesn’t stock Indian papers any longer but does sell famous international mastheads like The New York Times and The Guardian from London. “Our regular customers have always included diplomats and foreign nationals,” explains owner Vaibhav Gupta. The international newspapers are collected at the airport from incoming Air India flights; in a supply chain that’s worked smoothly since 1984 when they decided to stock the publications.
Mr Gupta does feel the very best years for City News Service are behind them, though he still supplies newspapers to offices and libraries along with other institutions. His elderly father, who still sits in the stall, recalls earlier years “when there was no Internet, and we’d spread our newspapers over a large area.”
His son says he’ll give City News Service 10 years max, and then it’s all over.
The stall is something of an N-Block landmark, originally set up in the 1950s when Mr Gupta’s grandfather launched the business by selling saris that gradually gave way to handicrafts and colas. Print media gradually took over.
The New York Times newsstand