[FoME] WG: [IAMCR] Call for Papers: Public Spheres, the Media & Social Change in India

Wolf Ludwig wolf.ludwig at comunica-ch.net
Fr Mai 4 12:56:45 CEST 2012

Just FYI -- with regards,

Pradip Thomas sent Fri, 4 May 2012 06:29
>Call for Papers: Public Spheres, the Media & Social Change in India
>Dates: November 21-23, 2012
>Venue: International House, The University of Queensland
>Sponsors: DVC-I, University of Queensland, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, School of Journalism & Communication
>*             Journalism & the Public Sphere
>*             765 Channels & Counting: Television and the Public Sphere
>*             Community Media, Social Movements & Public Spheres
>*             Public Spheres and the Internet
>*             India Media in the Context of Global Media
>Rationale: The media scenario in India is among the most dynamic in the world. Media growth rates over the last decade have been phenomenal best illustrated by the fact that the average cable subscriber has access to around 200 channels, most that are local in nature and origin and that are in regional languages. Newspaper circulations are up rather than down, beating a worldwide decline in newspaper readership. There are close to 500 cable and satellite channels that are currently available, including more than 70, 24-hour news channels, along with a couple of hundred FM radio stations, 70,000+ registered newspapers, a fledgling community radio movement along with the state broadcasters -- Doordarshan and All India Radio.
>Bollywood along with its regional language counterparts have provided much of the content for cable and satellite television in India and there is a thriving export market in Hollywood film leading to reverse forms of cultural imperialism in parts of South Asia and Africa. The inclusion of internet access, mobile phones, social networking and other forms of 'new' media adds another dimension to the media scene in India making it even more dynamic. At the last count, there were close to 575 million mobile phone users, making this market one of the largest in the world.
>While the Indian IT industry and outsourcing have been recognised by the world's media, there is minimal information on emerging markets in India from animation to FM radio.
>This growth in media is of recent vintage. Until the early 1990s, broadcasting was a state monopoly that was frequently misused by the Congress government. The war in the Gulf in the early 1990s along with the CNN effect resulted in the pirate cabling of India. While there were close to 60,000 cable operators in India in 2001, today there are clear indications of emerging monopolies. A handful of large media conglomerates such as Sun TV also function as multi-service providers. Much of this growth has occurred within a policy vacuum and one can argue that 'No Policy' is a type of Policy that has favoured both the State and major private interests.
>The Indian state continues to play an ambivalent role vis-a-vis the media. While it has supported the freeing of the airwaves, it continues to play Big Brother and exerts significant control over numerous media sectors. There is also massive regional divergences in media access. The populist political project of television distribution to the poor and more recently laptop distribution in the Southern state of Tamilnadu has meant that access has become a reality for many poor people in that state. However, in Central and North India, media access remains distant for large segments of the population. There is no denying the fact that the media have contributed to the creation of local public spheres in India. A well known example - is that of the Southern state of Kerala where newspapers have played a critical role in the engendering of local public spheres - a phenomenon that has been explored by the Australian media academic Robin Jeffrey and more widely, by the Indian jour!
 nalist Sevanti Ninan. What is evident is that the confluence of technology, expertise and civil society has led to a vibrant, mediated public spheres and numerous movements that are involved in extending media access and participation for the country's many marginalised groups - women, Dalits, people with disabilities and the rural and urban poor.
>While Australia has increasingly begun to invest in India, knowledge of the media in India is strictly limited. This symposium will offer an opportunity for scholars to present and discuss related to the media industry in India and of the ways in which the media have become a means to strengthen democracy, citizenship and the public sphere in India.
>Please send an abstract that explores one of the five themes mentioned above - Length 400 words, before May 15 c/o Pradip Thomas, pradip.thomas at uq.edu.au

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