Indian Journalists: Personal passion, organisational dynamics and environmental forces

Jyotika Ramaprasad, Nagamallika Gudipaty, Ravindra Kumar Vemula

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Abstract

India has witnessed an exponential growth in its news media in contrast to trends elsewhere, lending urgency to the study of its journalists. This article presents a profile of India's journalists, including their views on personal careers, organisational dynamics and the economic-political-technological forces impacting journalism, from interviews conducted with 145 journalists in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. The project within which this study is situated had the common goal of comparing the views of journalists by online/ offline media and by cities. For India, comparisons between online and offline journalists views were made minimally because independent online journalism is still in its infancy in India, resulting in the inclusion of a few journalists working mainly on online versions of offline news media. In fact, interviewees considered traditional news media more prestigious, employing reputed journalists and serving the watchdog function, and deemed online news media to be younger, for young readers, and implemented by younger, less experienced journalists, but also more innovative and fast paced. For comparisons by city, the analyses indicated no major differences in the opinions of journalists. Still, the data are rich in the profile they provide. Most respondents shared an endearing passion for journalism and acknowledged the increasing number of women journalists. They indicated corporatisation, infiltration by political elites, and increasing use of new communication technologies in their profession. A news media ecology impacted by such trends has resulted in practitioners engaging in paid news; political forces corrupting news content; and technology making access to news easy for audiences, and news sourcing and feedback easy for journalists. What has not changed is the rather fierce adherence of these journalists to freedom from government control; most respondents wanted no government control of news media and mobile phones, but made exceptions for reasons of national security, pornography, communal relations and terrorist activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-86
Number of pages26
JournalAfrican Journalism Studies
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Feminisation
  • Online media
  • Paid news
  • Political pressure
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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