Coping with change in India’s media: Struggles of English-language journalists in an evolving mediascape
In recent times, journalism, worldwide, has been undergoing significant changes. Some of the major revolutions have occurred in India, the world’s largest democracy. The size and face of Indian news media have seen rapid transformations owing to major economic, technological, and political developments in the country in recent decades. The focus of this research is on how India’s English-language media are dealing with the various changes, including digital disruptions and other pressures under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Hindutva’ government. The insights are drawn from the experiences and perceptions of a sample of journalists at the forefront of covering major events. Being in the coalface, these journalists are bearing the brunt of the developments, both good and bad. The email interviews reveal that while the English-language media may be a small part of India’s vast national media landscape, they are also buffeted by some major developments in the country, and fighting to maintain their independence in the face of some powerful trends and influences in technology, politics, and commerce.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.
Bhushan, S. (2015, September 23). The power of social media: Emboldened right-wing trolls who are attempting an internet purge. The Caravan. Retrieved December 8, 2015 from https://caravanmagazine.in/vantage/power-social-media-emboldened-right-wing-trolls.
Chakravartty, P., & Roy, S. (2015). Mr Modi goes to Delhi: Mediated populism and the 2014 Indian elections. Television & New Media, 16(4), 311-322.
Christians, C., Glasser, T.L., McQuail, D., Nordenstreng, K., & White, R.A. (2009). Normative theories of the media: Journalism in democratic societies. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Coderre, F., & Mathieu, A. (2004). Comparison of the quality of qualitative data obtained through telephone, postal and email surveys. International Journal of Market Research, 46(3), 347-357.
Cook, T.E. (1998). Governing with the news: The news media as a political institution. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Corbridge, S. (2010). The political economy of development in India since independence. In P.R. Brass (Ed.), Routledge handbook of South Asian politics: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal (pp. 305-320). New York, NY: Routledge.
Deuze, M. (2008). Understanding journalism as newswork: How it changes, and how it remains the same. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 5(2), 4-23.
Diwanji, S. (2019, October 21). Circulation revenue of English newspaper market India 2013-2024. Retrieved April 25, 2020, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/797396/india-circulation-revenue-of-english-newspaper-market/.
Ganguly, S. (2019, May 28). India’s prime minister Modi pursues politics of Hindu nationalism—What does that mean? The Conversation. Retrieved May 28, 2019 from http://theconversation.com/indias-prime-minister-modi-pursues-politics-of-hindu-nationalism-what-does-that-mean-117794.
Hanitzsch, T., Hanusch, F., Mellado-Ruiz, C., et al. (2011). Mapping journalism cultures across nations: A comparative study of 18 countries. Journalism Studies, 12(3), 273-293.
Ilieva, J., Baron, S., & Healey, N.M. (2002). Online surveys in market research: Pros and cons. International Journal of Market Research, 44(3), 361-376.
International Telecommunication Union (2016). India: Mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions. Retrieved from https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx.
Internet World Stats (2020). Internet usage in Asia: Internet users, Facebook subscribers & population statistics for 35 countries and regions in Asia. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm.
Josephi, B. (2007). Internationalising the journalistic professional model: Imperatives and impediments. Global Media and Communication, 3(3), 300-306.
Kaplan, R.L. (2002). Politics and the American press: The rise of objectivity, 1865-1920. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Khorana, S. (2012). English-language television news and the great Indian middle class: Made for each other? Studies in South Asian Film and Media, 4(1), 23-37.
Kumar, R. (2019, June 10). India has lots of newspapers and lots of readers and one big journalism problem. Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved from https://www.cjr.org/business_of_news/india-has-lots-of-newspapers-and-lots-of-readers-and-one-big-journalism-problem.php.
Madan, A. (2019, January 23). India’s not-so-free media. The Diplomat. Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://thediplomat.com/2019/01/indias-not-so-free-media/.
Mehta, N. (2014). Channeling cultures: Television studies from India. Retrieved from http://www.oup.co.in/product/academic-general/media-studies/102/channeling-cultures-television-studies-from-india/9780198092056.
Mehta, N. (2008). India on television: How satellite news channels have changed the way we think and act. New Delhi, India: HarperCollins.
Michaelidou, N., & Dibb, S. (2006). Using email questionnaires for research: Good practice in tackling non-response. Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing 14(4), 289-296.
Mody, B. (2015). How well do India’s multiple language dailies provide political knowledge to citizens of this electoral democracy? Journalism Studies, 16(5), 734-749.
Neyazi, T. (2011). India on television: How satellite news channels have changed the way we think and act. Contemporary South Asia, 19(3), 342-343.
Ninan, S. (2012). Old journalism, new journalism, and public spheres in India. Keynote address presented at the Indian Media Symposium, ‘Public Spheres, the Media and Social Change in India’, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, 21-23 November 2012.
Obijiofor, L. (2015). New technologies in developing societies: From theory to practice. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Obijiofor, L, Murray, R., & Singh, S.B. (2017). Changes in journalism in two post-authoritarian non-Western countries. International Communication Gazette, 79(4), 379-399.
Obijiofor, L., & Hanusch, F. (2011). Journalism across cultures: An introduction. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Population Census 2011 (2011). India: Population Census 2011. Retrieved from https://www.census2011.co.in/.
Ranganathan, M. (2015). Sting journalism: A sign of the times. In U.M. Rodrigues and M. Ranganathan (Eds,), Indian news media: From observer to participant (pp. 65-94). New Delhi, India: Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd.
Ranganathan, M. (2014). Indian elections, 2014: Commercial media pushes social media into focus. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 24(1), 23-38.
Rangnekar, S. (2018, November 16). The fate of press freedom in India over the years. The Wire. Retrieved from https://thewire.in/media/press-freedom-in-india-over-the-years.
Rao, S. (2009). Glocalization of Indian journalism. Journalism Studies, 10(4), 474-488.
Rao, U. (2010). Empowerment through local news making: Studying the media/public interface in India. In S.E. Bird (Ed.), The anthropology of news and journalism: Global perspectives (pp. 100-115). Bloomington & Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press.
Rao, S. (2016). Awakening the dragon’s and elephants’ media: Comparative analysis of India’s and China’s journalism ethics. Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism. doi: 10.1177/1464884916670669.
Rao, S., & Mudgal, V. (2015). Introduction. Journalism Studies, 16(5), 615-623.
Rao, S., & Wasserman, H. (2015). A media not for all. Journalism Studies, 16(5), 651-662.
Registrar of Newspapers for India (2016-2017). Press in India 2016-17. Retrieved from http://rni.nic.in/pin201617.htm.
Reporters Without Borders (2020). India. 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://rsf.org/en/india.
Reporters Without Borders (2020). World Press Freedom Index. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://rsf.org/en/ranking/2020.
Reporters Without Borders (2017). India. 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Retrieved from https://rsf.org/en/india.
Robie, D. (2014). Don’t spoil my beautiful face: Media, mayhem and human rights in the Pacific. Auckland, NZ: Little Island Press.
Rukmini, S. (2019, May 14). In India, who speaks in English, and where? Retrieved April 25, 2020, from https://www.livemint.com/news/india/in-india-who-speaks-in-english-and-where-1557814101428.html.
Ryfe, D.M. (2006). Guest editor’s introduction: New institutionalism and the news. Political Communication, 23(2), 135-144.
Sen, A., & Nielsen, R.K. (2016). Report: Digital journalism start-ups in India. London, UK: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and University of Oxford.
Singh, S.B. (2015). Rethinking journalism for supporting social cohesion and democracy: Case study of media performance in Fiji. Unpublished PhD thesis, The University of Queensland. Retrieved from: http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:365724.
Sonwalkar, P. (2004). Mediating otherness: India’s English-language press and the northeast. Contemporary South Asia, 13(4), 389-402.
Sparrow, B.H. (1999). Uncertain guardians: The news media as a political institution. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Stassen, W. (2010). Your news in 140 characters: Exploring the role of social media in journalism. Global Media Journal—African Edition, 4(1), 116-131.
Statista (2018). India: Number of social network users 2015-2022. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/278407/number-of-social-network-users-in-india/.
The New York Times (2015, August 17). Editorial: India’s government censorship. Retrieved August 17, 2015, from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/18/opinion/indias-government-censorship.html.
Thussu, D.K. (2012). A million media now! The rise of India on the global scene. The Roundtable: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 101(5), 435-446.
Times of India (n.d.). The spirit of a startup: The resources of an institution. Retrieved from http://timesinternet.in/.
Tongco, M.D.C. (2007). Purposive sampling as a tool for informant selection. Ethnobotany Research & Applications, 5, 147-158.
Van Selm, M., & Jankowski, N.W. (2006). Conducting online surveys. Quality and Quantity, 40(3), 435-456.
Copyright (c) 2020 Levi Obijiofor, Shailendra Singh
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.