Media

The do-good show

Has public service broadcasting returned to Indian television? When Ashok Kumar began appearing with his public service messages at the end of every Hum Log episode in 1984, he was adapting the model of Mexican telenovellas that couched family-planning messages within entertainment. No one paid much attention to the preachy messages but the elder statesman […..]

The Amar Chitra Katha of 1857: The Nation in the Comic

17LACover

EXTRACT I am a child of Amar Chitra Katha (ACK hereafter). Growing up in the 1980s, poring over the ACK comics on history and mythology was one of the greatest delights of my childhood. The comics opened up a world of wonder from the past that first ignited my interest in history. My first mental […..]

Satellites, Politics and India’s TV News Revolution: Challenges and Prospects

24LACover

Abstract This article explores two themes. First, it looks closely at the profusion of regional language news television in India, the patterns in its growth, its politics and its social impact. In particular, it looks at how political parties and politicians appropriated satellite news channels and cable networks in various states (Punjab, Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu), […..]

THE MOB AND THE CAMERA

A couple of days ago, a prominent TV anchor, not associated with the Anna protest coverage, posted sardonically on his Facebook wall that he wanted to go on a fast against TV. He may have been only half-serious but his page was quickly flooded with ‘likes’ and supportive messages, most of them from cynical TV […..]

Television: The daily theatre in our lives

For television, the 1990s began with a worried bureaucrat in the ministry of information and broadcasting submitting a file to his minister on how to stop what was then still called the “satellite invasion”. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s 1945 vision of a satellite in geosynchronous orbit solving the global broadcast distribution problem suddenly […..]

WHY THERE ISN’T AN INDIAN MURDOCH

As British Members of Parliament united against Rupert Murdoch last week, the most revealing quote came from one of his advisors who ruefully said, “Not even Saddam Hussein managed to unite the Commons like he did. Talk about revenge being served cold.” Faced with such unanimous and unprecedented political opposition, Mr Murdoch has retreated but […..]

MURDOCH AND THE END OF NEWS

Rupert Murdoch has always had two fascinations: the first is what he calls ‘a spiritual calling towards journalism’; the second, the vision of science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke who, in 1945, imagined that a satellite placed in geosynchronous orbit would solve the ‘global broadcast distribution problem.’ Both of these primal impulses – the business […..]