Journalism, Democracy and Civil Society in India: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Journalism, Democracy and Civil Society in India

1st Edition

Edited by Shakuntala Rao, Vipul Mudgal


154 pages

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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.

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

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Journalism Studies

Theory and Practice

The journal Journalism Studies was established at the turn of the new millennium by Bob Franklin. It was launched in the context of a burgeoning interest in the scholarly study of journalism and an expansive global community of journalism scholars and researchers. The ambition was to provide a forum for the critical discussion and study of journalism as a subject of intellectual inquiry but also an arena of professional practice. Previously, the study of journalism in the UK and much of Europe was a fairly marginal branch of the larger disciplines of media, communication and cultural studies; only a handful of Universities offered degree programmes in the subject. Journalism Studies has flourished and succeeded in providing the intended public space for discussion of research on key issues within the field, to the point where in 2007 a sister journal, Journalism Practice, was launched to enable an enhanced focus on practice-based issues, as well as foregrounding studies of journalism education, training and professional concerns. Both journals are among the leading ranked journals within the field and publish six issues annually, in electronic and print formats. From the outset, the publication of themed issues has been a commitment for both journals. Their purpose is first, to focus on highly significant or neglected areas of the field; second, to facilitate discussion and analysis of important and topical policy issues; and third, to offer readers an especially high quality and closely focused set of essays, analyses and discussions; or all three.

The Journalism Studies: Theory and Practice book series draws on a wide range of these themed issues from both journals and thereby extends the critical and public forum provided by them. The Editor of the journals works closely with guest editors to ensure that the books achieve relevance for readers and the highest standards of research rigour and academic excellence. The series makes a significant contribution to the field of journalism studies by inviting distinguished scholars, academics and journalism practitioners to discuss and debate the central concerns within the field. It also reaches a wider readership of scholars, students and practitioners across the social sciences, humanities and communication arts, encouraging them to engage critically with, but also to interrogate, the specialist scholarly studies of journalism which this series provides.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies