Screening the Public Sphere: Media and Democracy in India

1st Edition

Saima Saeed

Routledge India
Published January 21, 2016
Reference - 448 Pages
ISBN 9781138664012 - CAT# Y230094

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Summary

For centuries, democracy and development have steered the imagination of governments, citizens, intelligentsia and policymakers alike. Democracy without free media is a contradiction, while development without democracy is futile. Highlighting the power and significance of contemporary media, this book deconstructs news and news-making on Indian television. In exploring the concepts of ‘sense-making’ and ‘meaning-generation’, it examines how news and the dissemination of information and opinion influence the public sphere, participatory democracy, citizenship and civil society. Providing an original interpretation of the paradigmatic shifts in news content and newsroom practices, this book focuses on changing ownership patterns, increasing ‘entertainmentalization’ of news and the resultant ‘developmental reportage deficit’. At the same time, it confronts the uneasy and critical consequences of commercialization and rising sensationalism in news media. Finally, it discusses the role of Public Service Broadcasting, journalistic ethics, objectivity, and the politics of language and ideology in the media today, pointing to the need for greater diversity of content on the one hand and an emphasis on public interest in media policy-making, on the other.

Drawing upon comprehensive empirical data, the democracy–media–development relationship is demonstrated through critical analyses of the media’s coverage of recent news events. This includes exhaustive content examination of news programmes on all major news channels of India, surveys with media experts and news professionals by way of questionnaires, and interviews with the audience to gauge the impact of media content on their understanding of social, political and economic issues. This volume will be especially useful to those in journalism, media and communication studies, as also to students of political science, sociology and economics.

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