1st Edition

Television Publics in South Asia Mediated Politics and Culture

Edited By S M Shameem Reza, Ratan Kumar Roy Copyright 2024
    264 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    264 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    264 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    Television has a prime role to play in the formation of discursive domains in the everyday life of South Asian publics. This book explores various television media practices, social processes, mediated political experiences and everyday cultural compositions from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

    With the help of country-specific case studies, it captures a broad range of themes which foreground the publics and their real-life experiences of television in the region. The chapters in this book discuss gendered television spaces, women seeking solace from television in pandemic, the taboo in digital TV dramas, television viewership and localizing publics, changing viewership from television to OTT, news and public perception of death, redefining ‘the national’, theatrical television and post-truth television news, among other key issues.

    Rich in ethnographic case studies, this volume will be a useful resource for scholars and researchers of media and communication studies, journalism, digital media, South Asian studies, cultural studies, sociology and social anthropology.

    List of Figures vii

    List of Tables viii

    List of Contributors ix

    Acknowledgements xiii

    1 Introduction: Imagining South Asian Television Publics 1

    S.M. Shameem Reza and Ratan Kumar Roy

    PART I

    Television Viewership and Localizing Publics 19

    2 Social Realms of Audiences: Women’s Collective Viewing of Mega Teledramas in Sri Lanka 21

    Shashini Gamage

    3 The Dramatic Escape From Pandemic Life: Everyday Experience of Watching Television During the Lockdowns 38

    Rashmi Kumar

    4 Televised Sexuality and Public Perception: Voicing the Taboo in Pakistani TV Dramas 51

    Wajiha Raza Rizvi and Maheen Imran

    5 Indian Television and the Rise of the Local: Televised Realities of Localized Sociocultural Experience 74

    Raj Sony Jalarajan and Adith K. Suresh


    Consumption and Construction of Reality 91

    6 OTT-Based Digital Sociality: An Exploration of the Viewership Among Urban Youth in Bangladesh 93

    Moiyen Zalal Chowdhury

    7 Television News and Public Perception of Death in India: Case of Covid-19 Pandemic 111

    Deepu Pratheep

    8 Television Viewership and Engagement in Rural Kashmir: From Cathode Ray Tube to Smart TV 123

    Syed Aadil Hussain and Ruheela Hassan

    9 Emergence of Television Publics in Nepal: Intense Participation of Audiences as News Sources, Critics and Fans 137

    Harsha Man Maharjan


    Mediatizing Politics and Constructing Publics 159

    10 Live Public: Television and Mobilization in Post-Liberalization India 161

    Abhijit Roy

    11 The Everyday Nation of Indian News Television 178

    Maya Ranganathan

    12 Reproducing the Truth: Television News in Sri Lanka 195

    Pradeep N’ Weerasinghe

    13 From Public Turn to Publicness in Media: Notes on Media Public in India 220

    Biswajit Das and Ridhi Kakkar

    Index 242


    S.M. Shameem Reza is Professor of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Dhaka. He earned his PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London. As an adjunct faculty member, he has taught media, culture and communication courses at several other public and private universities. He held Asia Fellowship at the Institute of Malaysia and International Studies (IKMAS), University Kebangsaan Malaysia. Reza has published his academic work in a wide range of journals, periodicals and books. His research interests include political history of television, advocacy and campaigns for community broadcasting, media policy reform and governance in the Global South, communication for change and development, communication rights of the child, public service media, and communications and geo-politics. Reza is recipient of a number of scholarships and awards including Australian Development Scholarship, Chevening Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarship and Ford ASIA Fellows Award. He has received special research grants on the occasion of 50 years of the independence of Bangladesh and 100 years of the University of Dhaka. As a communication expert, he has worked for, among others, the organisations like The World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, Article-19, BRAC and Save the Children. S.M. Shameem Reza is a social advocate for community broadcasting, and media policy reforms in South Asia. He is a media personality and also hosted a number of Television talks shows.

    Ratan Kumar Roy is Assistant Professor, the School of General Education at BRAC University, Bangladesh. He was a Charles Wallace Bangladesh Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow at LSE South Asia Centre, UK (2022–23). Dr Roy worked as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He was a residency research fellow in Asia Culture Centre, Korea, in 2018. He received doctoral award from the Department of Sociology, South Asian University, New Delhi. His book titled Television in Bangladesh: News and Audiences has been published by Routledge, London, 2021. Besides, he has authored some book chapters and articles in reputed journals. Currently he is working as the chief coordinator of International Research Center, SIMEC Institute of Technology, Dhaka. Dr Roy’s research and teaching interests are anthropology of media, visual culture and communication, media and social movement, communication research methods, media and culture in contemporary South Asia, media ethnography, and digital media culture.