Impact of private and foreign television on India's news and audiences: 1991-2001

Rodrigues, Usha Manchanda (2006). Impact of private and foreign television on India's news and audiences: 1991-2001 PhD Thesis, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Queensland.

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Author Rodrigues, Usha Manchanda
Thesis Title Impact of private and foreign television on India's news and audiences: 1991-2001
School, Centre or Institute School of Journalism and Communication
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2006
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Christopher Lawe Davies
Subjects 400104 Communication and Media Studies
Abstract/Summary The central question this thesis attempts to answer is whether increased competition from private and foreign television networks has had a causal effect on changes in local broadcasting. The Indian television market was transformed between 1991 and 2001 from a single player to a multi-channel global media market. This change raised the question of whether Indian audiences benefited from this transformation from one public television monopolistic market to a global market consisting of multiple networks, owned in various degrees by private and foreign entrepreneurs, and in public ownership. The thesis explores the impact of privatisation and globalisation between 1991 and 2001 on television's role as a developmental tool as envisaged by the Indian planners during its inception in India in 1959. Until 1991, Indian audiences received a controlled, sometimes development oriented and at other times propaganda induced television programming. By 2001 audiences were subjected to a cacophony of commercially driven multi-channel broadcast. This study looks at the historical growth of the television industry in India with a view to assessing the impact of private and foreign television via cable and satellite technology, and its effect on the concept and practice of public service broadcasting in a nation which is both industrialised and developing. It takes into account the diverse needs of two broad categories of Indian population, the growing middle class, and the poor and the disadvantaged. At a theoretical level, the study explains the impact of globalisation of the Indian television industry on local programming. The study aims to find out whether 'news' presented by public and private channels differed in its coverage due to a network's ownership and commercial imperatives. It looks at the reason for increasing television audience numbers and whether the expansion of television as an entertainment medium was detracting it from its role as a catalyst for social change. The study also explores the socio-economic-political environment in the 1990s in India, which led to the exponential growth of television from a twochannel industry to a multi-channel industry, where a cable subscriber in 2001 could access more than 100 channels at a cost of AU$5 a month. In this context, the study includes an analysis of various Indian governments' policy responses to the exponential growth of the television industry in the 1990s. In conclusion, the study provides a set of policy recommendations to guide the future growth of television in India, particularly the need to maintain diversity, plurality and public service programming for all Indians.

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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 15:00:59 EST