Since independence in 1947 India has remained a stable and functioning democracy in the face of enormous challenges. Amid a variety of interlinking contraries and a burgeoning media – one of the largest in the world – there has been a serious dearth of scholarship on the role of journalists and dramatically changing journalism practices. This book brings together some of the best known scholars on Indian journalism to ask questions such as: Can the plethora of privately run cable news channels provide the discursive space needed to strengthen the practices of democracy, not just inform results from the ballot boxes? Can neoliberal media ownership patterns provide space for a critical and free journalistic culture to evolve? What are the ethical challenges editors and journalists face on a day-to-day basis in a media industry which has exploded? In answering some of these questions, the contributors to this volume are equally sensitive to the historical, social, and cultural context in which Indian journalism evolved, but they do not all reach the same conclusion about the role of journalism in Indian civil society and democracy. This book was originally published as a special issue of Journalism Studies.
About the Author
Shakuntala Rao is Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh, NY, USA.
Vipul Mudgal heads the Common Cause and Inclusive Media for Change organisations. He has been founding Director of Publics and Policies Programme and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, India. He works on the intersections of media, democracy and political violence.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Democracy, civil society, and journalism in India Shakuntala Rao and Vipul Mudgal
1. Indian Journalism in the Colonial Crucible: a nineteenth-century story of political protest Prasun Sonwalkar
2. Popular Cinephilia in North India: Madhuri shows the way (1964-78) Ravikant
3. A Media Not for All: A comparative analysis of journalism, democracy and exclusion in Indian and South African media Shakuntala Rao and Herman Wasserman
4. Phantom Journalism: Governing India’s proxy media owners Saima Saeed
5. Shaming the Nation on Public Affairs Television: Barkha Dutt tackles colorism on We the People Radhika Parameswaran
6. Playing Reporter: Small-town women journalists in north India Disha Mullick
7. The Potential and Limitations of Citizen Journalism Initiatives: Chhattisgarh’s CGNet Swara Kalyani Chadha and Linda Steiner
8. Connecting Activists and Journalists: Twitter communication in the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi rape Thomas Poell and Sudha Rajagopalan
9. How Well do India’s Multiple Language Dailies Provide Political Knowledge to Citizens of this Electoral Democracy? Bella Mody
10. Our Media, Our Principles: Building codes of practice for community radio in India Kanchan K. Malik