Indian News Media: From Observer to Participant


Usha M. Rodrigues & Maya Ranganathan

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    List of Abbreviations

    AAPAam Aadmi Party
    ABAkaash Bangla
    AIADMKAll India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
    ARCAdministrative Reforms Commission
    ASIADAsian Games
    ATNAsian Television Network
    BBCBritish Broadcasting Corporation
    BCCLBennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd
    BJDBiju Janata Dal
    BJPBharatiya Janata Party
    CAGComptroller and Auditor General
    CBFCCentral Board of Film Certification
    CBICentral Bureau of Investigation
    CMchief minister
    CPI (M)Communist Party of India (Marxist)
    CSTChhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
    CVCCentral Vigilance Commission
    DBRealty Dynamix Balwas Realty
    DMDKDesiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam
    DMKDravida Munnetra Kazhagam
    ECElection Commission
    FBIFederal Bureau of Investigation
    FMfrequency modulation
    GATTGeneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
    GDPgross domestic product
    IACIndia Against Corruption
    IMFInternational Monetary Fund
    IPSIndian Police Service
    ITinformation technology
    JPCJoint Parliamentary Committee
    JSPLJindal Steel and Power Limited
    KPCCKerala Pradesh Congress Committee
    LoCLine of Control
    LTTELiberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
    MGRM.G. Ramachandran
    MLAMember of Legislative Assembly
    MPMember of Parliament
    MPLADSMP Local Area Development Scheme
    NBANews Broadcasters Association
    NDANational Democratic Alliance
    PCIPress Council of India
    PMKPattali Makkal Katchi
    RILReliance Industries Limited
    RLDRashtriya Lok Dal
    RNIRegistrar of Newspapers for India
    RSSRashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
    RTIRight to Information
    SADShiromani Akali Dal
    SCVSumangali Cable Vision
    SEBISecurities and Exchange Board of India
    SFIOSerious Fraud Investigation Office
    SMSshort message service
    STARSatellite Television Asia Region
    TAMTelevision Audience Measurement
    TNTamil Nadu
    TRAITelecom Regulatory Authority of India
    TRPtarget rating point
    UNUnited Nations
    UNHRCUN Human Rights Council
    UPUttar Pradesh
    UPAUnited Progressive Alliance
    USPunique selling point
    VETVocational Education and Training
    VSNLVidesh Sanchaar Nigam Limited


    Usha M. Rodrigues thanks Karan Thapar, who is currently associated with Headlines Today and hosts the show To the Point; Rajdeep Sardesai, Consulting Editor, TV Today and Ashutosh, former Managing Editor of IBN7, who is now associated with Aam Aadmi Party, for their time and discussion on the state of the Indian news media. Many thanks also go to Vipul Mudgal, former journalist and now director of Publics and Policies Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies; B.V. Rao, Group Editor, Samay Network; Manu Joseph, former Editor, OPEN magazine; Abhinandan Sekhri, a founding partner of and a member of Team Anna in 2011 protests; Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, a media analyst and author; Sevanti Ninan, Editor,; J. Radhakrishnan, an IAS officer, who is known for his relief work during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, and tsunami and Subramaniam Vincent and Meera K. of Citizen Matters, an interactive news magazine from Bangalore.

    Dr Rodrigues is grateful to her husband and children for accommodating her research and publication plans into their family life. She also thanks her brother and sister for their unflinching support. She thanks her dear aunt, uncle and cousins for hosting, feeding and providing an intellectually stimulating environment and on-the-ground details of the situation in India during her research visit to New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangaluru. And, Dr Rodrigues is appreciative of the unrelenting support and counsel provided by Professor Stephen Lacy, Michigan State University, during a difficult period in her career.

    Maya Ranganathan thanks the Hindu, particularly former Editor Siddharth Varadarajan, former Readers’ Editor S. Viswanathan and then librarian Babu Rajendran, for allowing access to the archives in June 2012. She is grateful to Caravan Executive Editor Vinod Jose, columnist Gnani and Asian College of Journalism Chairman Sashi Kumar for their valuable insights. Her work owes much to former media colleagues who shared their work experiences in confidence and to friends Dr Nagamallika Gudipaty, Manoj Kumar, Ramya Kannan, Shoaib Zaman and S. Ramanathan for help in data collection. Special thanks to her mentor RMIT's Globalism Institute Professor Paul James, to Macquarie University's Department of Media, Music, Culture Studies and Communication Research Director Professor Joseph Pugliese and to the Hoot Editor Sevanti Ninan for their support and encouragement to the project. University of Queensland Associate Professor Pradip Thomas, M.S. Madhivanan and Ramesh Bala's honest comments on early draft of some chapters helped immensely in fine-tuning the arguments. Dr Ranganathan is indebted to Seline Augustine for help with the first draft of the manuscript and to Judy Pasqualge for efficient copy-editing. This work would not have been possible without the support of Janaki Ranganathan who crossed continents to help her meet the deadline and to whom this book, like every other work of hers, is dedicated.

    The authors thank Professor Robin Jeffrey and Professor Daya Thussu for their endorsements on the book and SAGE Commissioning Editors R. Chandra Sekhar, Elina Majumdar and Shambhu Sahu and the production team of Sandhya Gola, Anupam Choudhury and Shreya Chakraborti for their commitment to the project.

  • About the Authors

    Usha M. Rodrigues is currently teaching journalism across multiple platforms including new participatory media technologies at Deakin University, Melbourne. She received her PhD from the University of Queensland in 2006. Her PhD thesis, entitled The Impact of Private and Foreign Television on News and Audiences: 1991–2001, was a landmark study of the changing nature of Indian television industry since 1991 when the Indian government embarked on economic liberalisation, ensuing the process of globalisation of the Indian economy in general and the Indian news media in particular. She co-authored Indian Media in a Globalised World (2010) with Dr Maya Ranganathan. She has also co-edited Youth, Media and Culture in the Asia Pacific Region (2008) with Dr Belinda Smaill. Dr Rodrigues has published in scholarly journals such as Media International Australia and Australian Journalism Review. She is a regular contributor to the media watch web site and has published media commentaries on the Australian ABC and The Age online sites. Her current research interests are Indian news media, new media technologies and their impact on journalism practices and citizen journalism.

    Maya Ranganathan currently teaches media and international communication at Macquarie University, Sydney. She was awarded a PhD by Monash University, Victoria, for her work on online nationalism in 2004 and completed a two-year postdoctoral project on Sri Lankan Tamil online nationalism in 2009. She is the author of Eelam Online: The Tamil Diaspora and War in Sri Lanka (2011). Her research spans media in South Asia and currently revolves around Indian media and the ways in which it has adapted to the changes wrought by globalisation. She has published widely in scholarly journals, such as Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Continuum and South Asia, and is a regular contributor to the South Asian media analysis web site She has over a decade's experience as a journalist in the New Indian Express, Chennai, India.

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