The changing face of journalism in India


The India Media Centre is organizing a conference in September on the changing face of journalism in India, monday 12 September 2011, at the University of Westminster (309 Regent Street, London). Conference organizer : Professor Daya Thussu, Co-Director of India Media Centre, University of Westminster

The transformation of journalism in India – the world’s largest democracy and one of its fastest growing economies – has implications for journalism around the world. With approaching 100 round-the-clock news channels – unrivalled in any other country – India boasts the world’s most linguistically diverse news landscape. This offers exciting opportunities, as well as challenges to professional journalists and scholars of international journalism. The India Media Centre, the world’s first academic centre dedicated to study globalizing tendencies of media in India, is organizing a pioneering conference to address the implications of this major media development. This international gathering will bring together journalists and journalism scholars from around the world to examine the changing face of journalism in India and its impact on the rest of the world. According to the World Association of Newspapers, the sale of newspapers in India is booming : circulation grew by 46 per cent between 2000 and 2008 and more than 99 million copies of newspapers are sold in India every day. The Times of India is now the world’s largest circulated, English-language ‘quality’ newspaper. From FM and community radio to on-line media, journalists are finding new ways to communicate with a demanding and fragmenting audience, including a young and vocal, middle-class diaspora. International media conglomerates – from financial, to sport journalism to entertainment news – are extending and embedding their operations into what is one of the world’s biggest news bazaars.

The study of journalism has scarcely kept up with this massive expansion and proliferation of media outlets. Although in the past decade, India has witnessed a mushrooming of mostly private, vocationally-oriented journalism institutes, academic research in this field remains at a very early stage. Internationally, too, the study of journalism in India has rarely moved beyond the superficial. The journalism scene in India raises some key questions : has excessive marketization and competition encouraged journalists to move away from a public-service news agenda to a ‘soft,’ version of news, with its emphasis on consumer journalism, sports and entertainment ? Is a market-driven news media eroding the public sphere in a Habermasian sense, in a country where a majority of the people still live in poverty ? Given the scale and globalizing tendencies of media in India, what are the international implications of these developments for journalism ?

Suggested topics for papers include, but are not restricted to, the following :

  • Marketization of news and commentary
  • Journalism ethics and professionalism
  • Infotainment and Bollywoodization of news
  • The future of public broadcasting news
  • The rise of FM radio
  • Transnational journalism in India
  • The phenomenon of  ‘Paid news’
  • Globalizing tendencies of Indian journalism
  • The revolution in vernacular press
  • News on-line
  • Sting operations and changing cultures of investigative journalism
  • Alternative news journalism
  • The demise of development news ?

Conference fee : £90, with a concessionary rate of £45 for students, to cover attendance at all sessions, refreshments and lunches as well as conference documentation. Conference registration will be open to all and not conditional upon presenting a paper.

Abstracts : These should be between 200-350 words and must include the presenter’s name, institutional affiliation, email and postal address, together with the title of the paper and a brief biographical note. Please submit in word format and include your name when saving the document. Deadline for submission : Friday July 1, 2011. Please email these to Helen Cohen, Events Administrator at

Conference team : Professor Daya Thussu, Dr Daisy Hasan, Savyasaachi Jain and Helen Cohen.

For general academic enquiries please contact Professor Daya Thussu at