Impact of Media on Socio-Cultural Values and Social Institution in Indian Society
The media, known as the fourth pillar of democracy, has a huge impact on the society. The effects are of course, positive as well as negative. Media is such a powerful tool that it literally governs the direction of our society today. It is the propeller as well as the direction provider of the society. Opinions can change overnight and celebrities can become infamous with just one wave by the media. The growth of media as an industry has accelerated over the past few years with new forms such as DVD and the internet changing the way we, the audience, consume and receive media.
In an interdependent and globalized political world, the challenge of the media is to provide extensive coverage of global politics and to examine the impact of these influences in specific national contexts.
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The mass media has a role to influence socio-political and cultural settings. Numbers of researchers have been conducting studies worldwide to investigate what they might contribute to an understanding of the economic and other factors that influence mass media, and how the media in turn influence the political climate and the democratic process in modern democracies.
Mass media is considered one of the principal agents for societal development, democracy and good governance. Media critics claim that at times mass media has not played the role that it should have played and have played in the hands of few vested interests. The researchers have also pointed out that mass media influence vary from country to country depending upon socio-political and cultural settings. There are many different theories about how mass media influence people’s attitudes, worldview, and behavior.
The mass media is considered to be the backbone of democracy that influences sociopolitical developments. However, there is a growing concern that the mass media in many countries is not fulfilling these functions properly due to inherent socio-cultural barriers. These days, there are already numerous types of Mass Media. This includes Audio recording and reproduction (records, tapes, cassettes, cartridges, CDs), Broadcasting Media (Radio, Television, Cable) Film (Cinema, DVDs), Digital Media (the Internet, Mobile Phones, Satellite), Publishing or the Print Media (Books, Newspapers, Magazines) and Video games.
Today we are going to discuss five types of media. They are as follows: 1. Newspapers 2. Magazines 3. Yellow pages 4. Radio 5. Television 6. Internet Out of these, Newspapers, TV, Radio are traditional modes of mass media whereas Magazines, Yellow pages and Internet are modern modes of mass media. Explanation of the different types of media with the advantages and disadvantages: Newspapers: Newspapers are one of the traditional mediums used by businesses, both big and small alike, to advertise their businesses.
Advantages Disadvantages • Allows you to reach a huge number of people in a given geographic area • You have the flexibility in deciding the ad size and placement within the newspaper • Your ad can be as large as necessary to communicate as much of a story as you care to tell • Exposure to your ad is not limited; readers can go back to your message again and again if so desired. • Free help in creating and producing ad copy is usually available • Quick turn-around helps your ad reflect the changing market conditions.
The ad you decide to run today can be in your customers’ hands in one to two days. • Ad space can be expensive • Your ad has to compete against the clutter of other advertisers, including the giants ads run by supermarkets and department stores as well as the ads of your competitors • Poor photo reproduction limits creativity • Newspapers are a price-oriented medium; most ads are for sales • Expect your ad to have a short shelf life, as newspapers are usually read once and then discarded. You may be paying to send your message to a lot of people who will probably never be in the market to buy from you. • Newspapers are a highly visible medium, so your competitors can quickly react to your prices • With the increasing popularity of the Internet, newspapers face declining readership and market penetration. A growing number of readers now skip the print version of the newspaper (and hence the print ads) and instead read the online version of the publication. Magazines:
Magazines are a more focused, albeit more expensive, alternative to newspaper advertising. This medium allows you to reach highly targeted audiences. Advantages Disadvantages • Allows for better targeting of audience, as you can choose magazine publications that cater to your specific audience or whose editorial content specializes in topics of interest to your audience. • High reader involvement means that more attention will be paid to your advertisement • Better quality paper permits better color reproduction and full-color ads • The smaller page (generally 8 ? y 11 inches) permits even small ads to stand out • Long lead times mean that you have to make plans weeks or months in advance • The slower lead time heightens the risk of your ad getting overtaken by events • There is limited flexibility in terms of ad placement and format. • Space and ad layout costs are higher Yellow Pages: There are several forms of Yellow Pages that you can use to promote and advertise your business.
Aside from the traditional Yellow Pages supplied by phone companies, you can also check out specialized directories targeted to specific markets (e. g. Hispanic Yellow Pages, Blacks, etc. ); interactive or consumer search databases; Audiotex or talking yellow pages; Internet directories containing national, local and regional listings; and other services classified as Yellow Pages. Advantages Disadvantages • Wide availability, as mostly everyone uses the Yellow Pages • Non-intrusive Action-oriented, as the audience is actually looking for the ads • Ads are reasonably inexpensive • Responses are easily tracked and measured • Frequency • Pages can look cluttered, and your ad can easily get lost in the clutter • Your ad is placed together with all your competitors • Limited creativity in the ads, given the need to follow a pre-determined format • Ads slow to reflect market changes Radio: Offers a wide range of publicity possibilities. It is a mobile medium suited to a mobile people.
It reaches the bedroom and breakfast table in the morning and rides to and from work in the car, lulls us to sleep at night and goes along to the beach, to the woods and on fishing trips, a flexibility no other medium can match. Advantages Disadvantages • Radio is a universal medium enjoyed by people at one time or another during the day, at home, at work, and even in the car. • The vast array of radio program formats offers to efficiently target your advertising dollars to narrowly defined segments of consumers most likely to respond to your offer. Gives your business personality through the creation of campaigns using sounds and voices • Free creative help is often available • Rates can generally be negotiated • During the past ten years, radio rates have seen less inflation than those for other media • Because radio listeners are spread over many stations, you may have to advertise simultaneously on several stations to reach your target audience • Listeners cannot go back to your ads to go over important points • Ads are an interruption in the entertainment.
Because of this, a radio ad may require multiple exposures to break through the listener’s “tune-out” factor and ensure message retention • Radio is a background medium. Most listeners are doing something else while listening, which means that your ad has to work hard to get their attention. Television: A medium that permits the use of the printed world, spoken word, pictures in motion, color, music, animation and sound effects all blend into one message, possesses immeasurable potency.
Television has become a dominant force, the primary source of news and entertainment and a powerful soapbox from which citizens protests can be communicated to the nation and the world. This medium has greatly altered national election campaigns and has diminished the role of the political parties. Events made large by TV shape public opinion worldwide. Advantages Disadvantages Television permits you to reach large numbers of people on a national or regional level in a short period of time • Independent stations and cable offer new opportunities to pinpoint local audiences • Television being an image-building and visual medium, it offers the ability to convey your message with sight, sound and motion • Message is temporary, and may require multiple exposure for the ad to rise above the clutter • Ads on network affiliates are concentrated in local news broadcasts and station breaks • Preferred ad times are often sold out far in advance Limited length of exposure, as most ads are only thirty seconds long or less, which limits the amount of information you can communicate • Relatively expensive in terms of creative, production and airtime costs Internet: The Internet or the World Wide Web is indeed a wonderful and amazing addition in our lives. The Internet can be known as a kind of global meeting place where people from all parts of the world can come together. It is a service available on the computer, through which everything under the sun is now at the fingertips of anyone who has access to the Internet. Advantages Disadvantages E-mail: E-mail is an online correspondence system. With e-mail you can send and receive instant electronic messages, which work like writing letters. Your messages are delivered instantly to people anywhere in the world, unlike traditional mail that takes a lot of time. •Access Information: The Internet is a virtual treasure trove of information. Any kind of information on any topic under the sun is available on the Internet. The ‘search engines’ on the Internet can help you to find data on any subject that you need. •Shopping: Along with getting information on the Internet, you can also shop online.
There are many online stores and sites that can be used to look for products as well as buy them using your credit card. You do not need to leave your house and can do all your shopping from the convenience of your home. •Online Chat: There are many ‘chat rooms’ on the web that can be accessed to meet new people, make new friends, as well as to stay in touch with old friends. •Downloading Software: This is one of the most happening and fun things to do via the Internet. You can download innumerable, games, music, videos, movies, and a host of other entertainment software from the Internet, most of which are free. Personal Information: If you use the Internet, your personal information such as your name, address, etc. can be accessed by other people. If you use a credit card to shop online, then your credit card information can also be ‘stolen’ which could be akin to giving someone a blank check. •Pornography: This is a very serious issue concerning the Internet, especially when it comes to young children. There are thousands of pornographic sites on the Internet that can be easily found and can be a detriment to letting children use the Internet. Spamming: This refers to sending unsolicited e-mails in bulk, which serve no purpose and unnecessarily clog up the entire system. These are the different types of Mass Media in this 21st century, the global generation era where digital globalization is taking place perpetually, and the forms of Mass Media is increasingly widespread and expectantly procreating. M edia technologies are becoming an important aspect of today’s society. Each and every day, people interact with media of many different forms. Media is commonly defined as being a channel of communication.
Radio, newspapers, and television are all examples of media. It is impossible to assume that media is made up of completely unbiased information and that the media companies do not impose their own control upon the information being supplied to media users. Since many people use media very frequently, it is obvious to assume that it has affects on people. According to the text book Media Now, “media effects are changes in knowledge, attitude, or behavior that result from exposure to the mass media,”. This leaves us with many unanswered questions about media and its influences.
While resurgent India seems to be high on the global media agenda, powered as it were by the economic boom, the national media too has witnessed exponential growth. Tracking this growth in a meaningful perspective is imperative since its spread and reach have been mired in socio-political and cultural barriers. The complexities that limit the growth of the Indian media story are based on a heady mix of poverty, bias, economics, and the inherent trappings of a religious philosophy that find echo in the fatalistic suppositions of Hinduism.
With minimal impact to change the state of the nation, the barriers that come in the way of the free flow of information need to be tackled with more alacrity and awareness, lest the growth gets sucked into the vortex of its own limitations. The advertisement-driven consumerist mooring that is propelling the flawed Indian info-age communication story seems to be a pointer in this direction. Media’s impact on society can be judged from three perspectives – social, economic and political. Social Impact: ) Generating awareness on various social evils like dowry, female foeticide and infanticide etc. this has led to the decline in the incidence of them 2) Bringing into focus any atrocities faced by weaker sections of the society. This has brought in a sense of security to the weaker sections. Majority groups fear to do any harm to them. In the long run this will bring peace and tranquility among communities. 3) Generating awareness on good practices like health, hygiene, nutrition etc thereby improving the living standards. ) Media is responsible for the success of green revolution in India during 60’s by popularizing the usage of high yielding varieties, fertilizers, pesticides and other farm management techniques. Green revolution has improved the living standard of poor by enhancing their incomes. Many new entrepreneurs from weaker sections of the society emerged. This has enabled them to rise in the social ladder and stay on par with the so called upper castes. 5) Media is responsible for generating pan India identity and enabling people to loosen their parochial and narrower identities. ) Media has been showing in new employment opportunities that are available in the market. This has enabled a common man with requisite skills to grab them. 7) Media is responsible for sensitizing our administrators on various issues. 8) Media is responsible for spreading in latest fashion visa-a-versa dressing style, cosmetics, hair styles etc. Variation of Music: India is made up of several dozen ethnic groups, speaking their own languages and dialects; as a result, folk music plays an essential role in uniting people of the same dialect group who may be far apart geographically.
An example is the folk music of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Bhojpuri music. It serves as a means of communication as the lyrics of the songs often cover recent cultural changes and events; as well as religious content. Television & Drama: The television and print revolutions have granted access to these forms of media to the masses across India. Villages often have their own newspapers and access to television is readily available to the majority. Bollywood cinema is not restricted to the urban community and is in fact highly popular with the rural masses.
Changes in forms of media & communication Cassette & Compact Disks: In Cassette Culture, Peter Manuel tells how a new mass medium, the portable cassette player, caused a major upheaval in popular culture in the world’s second-largest country. The advent of cassette technology in the 1980s transformed India’s popular music industry from the virtual monopoly of a single multinational LP manufacturer to a free-for-all among hundreds of local cassette producers. The result was a revolution in the quantity, quality, and variety of Indian popular music and its patterns of dissemination and consumption.
Impact of Television:- It is nearly impossible to establish the precise number of people with access to a television set in “the poor world ”, as James Murdoch, chief executive of STAR TV Group told a cable conference in India; due to the fact that individual cable subscribers sometimes pass on the service illegally to an entire neighborhood. “Moreover, in parts of the developing world, large numbers of people often crowd into one house or cafe to watch television, a factor that is hard to quantify”. Caste Line:-
Caste lines have been blurred in the quest to gain access to information; which in itself is not a bad thing. Television watching, especially in the rural areas has become a communal event and it is not uncommon for TV owners to position their television sets such that they are facing the open door; allowing members of other caste groups to sit outside the home and enjoy the shows . Similarly, in villages where there is one common, government-provided television set, members of the village gather around to watch communally.
This is especially the case for religious programs as well as those related to agriculture. Indian Norms:- Other than changing the social structure and norm, the media revolution has also contributed to the disintegration of so-called ‘Indian norms’. Movies such as “Monsoon Wedding” are an ideal demonstration of the culture shock faced by many young Indians today. There is a chasm between traditional values of chastity and dressing conservatively and the TV values of stylish and often skimpy dressing and more liberal values, including dating before marriage and other ‘western norms’.
Differences between Culture and the Dominant Social Paradigm:- Culture, exactly because of its greater scope, may express values and ideas, which are not necessarily consistent with the dominant institutions. In fact, this is usually the case characterizing the arts and literature of a market economy, where, artists and writers have been given a significant degree of freedom to express their own views. Just as traditions have gone ‘out of fashion’, it seems that many beliefs have done so as well.
Television has reached a stage where even religious discourse is broadcast, negating the need for temple visits and religious-social gatherings. Infrastructure and the mass media influenences that it has brought with it have created a culture where person to person interaction has nearly stopped. Information is relayed to us through media channels, radio, television, books and newspapers. Lack of Credibility The first inherent barrier is the lack of credibility on the part of mass media in putting up typical examples of life style, consumerism and public behavior.
By subtly promoting and supporting the “me, mine, myself” culture, the mass media have managed to alienate themselves from the bulk of society. The expectation of any major impact of mass media messages on the society at large is futile. Media technologies are becoming an important aspect of today’s society. Each and every day, people interact with media of many different forms. It is impossible to assume that media is made up of completely unbiased information and that the media companies do not impose their own control upon the information being supplied to media users. Philosophical disregard of morals
The general Hindu Indian philosophy makes people believe that salvation lies at individual level, and practicing daily prayers, rituals, fasts, penance, attending religious discourses etc. can help people atone for whatever wrongs they have done or are perceived to have committed. Mass media are still not central to people’s natural behavior but remain an external influence, never internalized and experienced. Mass media are perceived as an entity doing its job (of spreading information, news, messages, entertaining and so on) whereas people in general go about their lives.
Impact on Agriculture and Family Planning Movement On the agriculture front, the mass media impact played a significant role in taking forward the message of high-yielding agricultural practices. “Green revolution”, a nationwide campaign to increase food grain production to help India become self-sufficient in food, was lauded across the media and its gains were discussed at length. An evaluation report prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in 1994 and quoted by M. R.
Dua says: “Television has positively been useful in increasing knowledge regarding new farm technology. The farmers who viewed television programs gained more or less the same amount of knowledge irrespective of age, education and farm holding”. Dua also quotes another study by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (IARI) having “convincingly shown the effectiveness of television in imparting technical information to farmers “television has proved to be effective in creating a favorable attitude among farmers to adopt recommended practices and in inducing their actual adoption. Impact of Advertising Among all mass media constituents, advertising has a noticeably greater impact than news and entertainment media as evident by the immediate impact of good or bad advertising on FMCG sales. Huge popularity of ad punch lines (doondhte reh jaoge meaning you’ll keep looking for the stain, safedi kii chamkar, meaning the lightning of whiteness, both hugely popular punch-lines of advertisements for detergent cake and powder), glaring appearance of hoardings of popular brands in villages and small townships.
There is apparently an eagerness to follow advertising messages and a reluctance to follow social impact messages. Studies conducted by market research organizations have also indicated that there is a positive impact of media exposure particularly that of television on consumer behavior. Increased rationality in consumer’s decisions due to media contact is proved irrespective of the place where the media are induced. How does mass media influence young people? The media makes billions of dollars with the advertising they sell and that we are exposed to.
We buy what we are told to be good, after seeing thousands of advertisings we make our buying decisions based on what we saw on TV, newspapers or magazines to be a product we can trust and also based on what everyone else that we know is buying and their decision are also based on the media. These are the effects of mass media in teenagers, they buy what they see on TV, what their favorite celebrity advertise and what is acceptable by society based on the fashion that the media has imposed them. There are some positive and negative influences in young people.
Here is a positive influence example, if there is a sport that is getting a lot of attention by the media and gains popularity among your friends and society, you will more likely want to practice the sport and be cool with all your friends. The result is that you will have fun with your friends and be healthier because of the exercise you are doing. However a negative influence in teenagers is the use of cigars by celebrity movie stars, the constant exposure of sex images, the excessive images of violence and exposure to thousands of junk food ads.
Young people are in a stage of life where they want to be accepted by their peers, they want to be loved and be successful. The media creates the ideal image of a beautiful men and women and tells you what are the characteristics of a successful person are, you can see it in movies and TV. It’s a subliminal way to tell you that if you are not like them you are not cool yet so it’s time to buy the stuff they buy and look like they look. Another negative influence in teenagers that has grown over the last years is anorexia and obesity.
There are millions of adolescents fighting obesity, but at the same time they are exposed to thousands of advertisements of junk food, while the ideas image of a successful person is told to be thin and wealthy. Also more women are obsessive with losing weight even when they are not obese; there are many thin women that want to look like the super models and thin celebrities so they engage in eating disorders which lead to severe health issues and even death. Conclusion: Other than dress; many other aspects of culture have been sacrificed in favour of western influences.
Folk music and travelling singers have given way to cassettes and compact discs; nautanki shows have dissolved under the pressure and competition brought forth by television and cinema. The traditions of storytelling have also taken a back seat due to cassette playbacks of discourses and the ease with which printed material is cheaply available. Economic Impact: 1) Media is responsible directly for providing employment opportunities and thereby increasing the living standards of the people. 2) Media spreads awareness of a new product launched by a company through advertisements and product reviews.
This will increase the demand of industrial goods thereby promoting industrialization and increase in GDP. India’s language newspapers enjoy a relatively new entrepreneurial prowess. A mutually convenient relationship between the owners and capitalists keeps a financial balance between local/regional and national spheres in both private and public sectors. “Like coral in a reef, newspapers grew and died in a process inseparable from the creation of a ‘public sphere’ in the classical liberal sense.
Individual proprietors sometimes brought to their newspapers a crusader’s zeal for a particular cause or a diehard’s loathing for a rival” (Jeffrey 105). The Second Press Commission in 1982 tried to liberate the press from the monopoly houses. In 1995 the Audit Bureau of circulations had 165 newspapers as members, with a combined circulation of about 16 million copies a day. The top ten newspapers control roughly 50 percent of daily circulations in all languages. Bennett Coleman and the Indian Express own roughly 20 percent of daily circulations.
While capitalists sustained national newspapers, the big houses, Dalmias, Jains, Goenka et al. , monopolized and corrupted free journalism. The family and caste controlled small newspapers regionally maintain their freedom from big monopolies, thriving on their loyal supporters in north and south India. Diversity of ownership is reflective of cultural variation in India’s multilingual landscape. Twenty-one newspapers control two-thirds of all circulations. Inevitability of Poverty & a Feudal Mindset
A large percentage of people are still not well-off enough (according to 2001 census figures, the population living below poverty line is a worrying 26. 10 per cent) to enjoy the fruits of free mass media. Concerns for a stable job and a decent living are more important for them as compared to any message against a social evil reaching them through the mass media. In this situation, anything else may be immaterial to him, even if it is a positive message about availability of free educational facilities for children of underprivileged classes.
A feudal mindset continues to prevail among people across the socioeconomic strata. While the super-rich treat the upper middle class with contempt, the latter reserve the same treatment for those below the hierarchy. This manifests in people’s attitude towards the media as well. Those who are slightly better off, would never bother about what the mass media say (except perhaps the commercial announcements or advertisements). Strongly Self-Centered Lives Material growth in the last two decades has led to dilution of values within family and in society.
Becoming successful in their own small way–even if it is a petty roadside stall selling vegetables–is what matters. And to that end, messages on how to make lives better matter little. For example, if the roadside stall is an encroachment on a road and even if the mass media reports scream daily that those encroachments are a punishable offence, the stall owner is unmoved. He continues to sell his ware at the same spot and even if forcibly removed one day, he comes back the next day. The authorities, too, tire of this game of hide-and-seek and give up.
We can see such sights all across the Indian towns and cities. In a general atmosphere that of lax rules and where one can get away with offence has made the people become more selfish than they naturally are. The erosion of authority of law and establishment and the general lack of a culture of punishment have added to this environment of general disregard for ethics. Mass media, again, have a limited role to play in making people change their attitudes. Impact of Television on the Indian Population.
Ever since the advent of modern communication technology that has allowed people around the world to communicate ever so easily, the world itself seems like a smaller space. Broadcasting is an especially effective manner through which millions of people are able to become unified on the basis that they are common recipients of a particular message. One of the most powerful transmitters of these messages is of course the television; programs of which can be seen around the world to serve many purposes.
In most contemporary societies, television is a highly influential medium of popular culture and plays an important role in the social construction of reality. The effects of television should therefore be recognized as having the ability to alter social, economic and political situations in its places of propagation and beyond. I will be exploring these cultural shifts in detail pertaining to India, a developing nation undergoing a grand cultural shift in part due to the rapid growth of satellite television in the 1990’s and its programming.
Television is unlike any other medium of mass communication in that its social effects are prominent, and able to prompt substantial change. The strong cultural influence of television on developing nations can therefore be linked to the following factors as outlined in the book “Media and Social Changes: the modernizing influences of television in rural India. ” First, television programming is easily accessible and inexpensive, which is mainly due to the fact that Indian television is sold inexpensively around the world after profits in its home market have already been made.
Television’s potency is also a result of its broad scope and diversity of programs which therefore makes it appealing to almost anybody. Yet another reason for television’s mass appeal is its benign presence, which allows viewers to be in control of what they watch, how much they watch and when to watch it. Ultimately, it is these factors that propel the reliance on the medium which has the power to inflict many societal changes in developing nations such as India.
Through the examination of diverse groups in India such as rural villagers, youth, women and the middle class, I intend to illustrate the vast social and cultural changes taking place in a culturally rich country, in large part due to the relatively recent popularity of television throughout the country. According to statistics the population in India was: In 2000, it was 1,003 million people. In 2001, it was 1,019 million people. In 2002, it was 1,050 million people. In 2003, it was 1,060 million people. In 2004, it was 1,080 million people. In 2005, it was 1,094 million people.
In 2006, it was 1,110 million people. While almost 75 percent of India’s one billion people live in villages, their thoughts and actions consequently have a large influence on the country’s social, political and economic state. One of the most prolific changes in village life which can be linked directly to the influence of television is rise of consumerism in rural India. Just as we are enveloped with advertisements and endorsements which propel us to purchase that which we deem necessary, the same is true in rural India in which such things as blue jeans and hand cream have become necessities.
Villagers themselves acknowledge this growing need: “I want many things that my parents never had. I want a motorcycle and a nice colour TV; I want to eat mutton once a week instead of three times a year”. Through this illustration, it is evident that needs are certainly growing and it is due to television and advertisements that the economically dependent third world is now being internally pressured to make shifts that may not be financially possible yet incredibly desirable. Another growing desire of the rural Indian population is to become urbanized, leading to a shift in behavior and relationships.
Not only do these villagers want to mimic the representations of their urban counterparts by changing their attire and consumer goods, their attitudes are also altered as a result. Such phenomenon can be seen as a positive shift which allows modern attitudes to flourish, through which more sensitivity and emotion are finding their ways into the rigid caste system and competition, therefore adding sentimental value to various relationships. In the case of rural parts of developing nations, mediation may also be useful as a way of educating villagers about their own country.
The programs that are seen by the villagers are those which are produced in India yet reflect a Western undercurrent of values and lifestyles. The rural audience is therefore able to learn about other parts of their own country, which is useful due to the fact that many do not venture far from their village for touring purposes. Although touring the country may not be prioritized, with the glamorization of urban life through the media, many villagers are moving to urban centers in search for a better life. The mplications of such a shift are obvious in that the villages that are being abandoned are at a disadvantage, yet the urban cities have nothing to gain other than more overcrowding. Although the middle class in India is generally more urbanized and therefore more in touch with the globalizing effects of media, they resemble the villagers in terms of the effects of television on their daily lives. While villagers are enticed with what is outside their village, the urban middle class is able to see the correlation between the foreign and national trademarks. Multinational companies consistently attempt to associate their products with signifiers of the Indian nation, for instance through sponsorship of the Indian Olympic team in the 1996 Olympics or through more subtle references to specifically Indian conditions such as the monsoon season”. While conglomerates such as Pepsi and Coke are striving to merge the Indian identity with their brands by sponsoring sporting events and relying on Indian celebrity endorsements, the Indian audience fails to see that what they see as sponsorship for India’s pride is actually a mere scheme to boost consumerism.
It is therefore evident that just as the rural class is becoming increasingly commoditized, the middle class urban population is no different. Although many televised advertisements tug on the nationalized heartstrings, many direct correlations are also made between Indian cities and North Indian or European ones. In this sense, the existence of the Indian city dwellers is being justified on the basis of their city’s comparison to Western cities. It is through these processes that Indian’s are made to feel that they are being recognized, but the concern is whether this recognition is strong if it is formulated through comparison.
While many of these discrete messages are being transmitted through television and advertisements, they are transforming into ideals; and, just as the rural population is in search for an urban setting, the urban dwellers are looking towards Western societies for opportunity. According to static’s result India spends so much for their TV advertisements. In 2002 US $718 million was spent out of US $ 37,682. In 2003 US $848 million was spent out of US $ 44,413. In 2004 US $ 899million was spent out of US $ 51,812. In 2005 US $1,034 million was spent out of US $ 61,478.
In 2006 US $1,189 million was spent out of US $ 67,672. The effects of commercialism cannot be underestimated. Today’s children are besieged by manipulative commercial messages day in and day out, on TV, and even at school. Companies hire psychologists to help them target children and manipulate them; this is called the “art of whine-making. ” The bombardment of commercial messages has created a sense of chronic dissatisfaction in children and, many psychologists think that is has contributed to the increase in teen depression. In terms of programming, television shows are either Indian or Indian imitations of them. Programs targeted specifically at the middle class are often characterized by a hybridized language which combines Hindi and English. This mixture, termed ‘Hinglish’ by the popular media, combines Hindi and English in different television shows”. Through this very example it is evident that Westernized ideals are seeping into Indian mainstream media through the use of television. Moreover, an important shift to consider is that while English is becoming increasingly predominant, the non-English speakers are being marginalized and degraded in their own home country.
Secondly, the predominance of Hindi as the main language on television weakens the diverse languages spoken in India which have contributed to its cultural heritage for centuries. One of the most prominent examples of the hybrid of Indian and Indian culture is through the phenomenon of MTV and youth culture in India. “The two main foreign-owned music television channels operating in India, News Corporation’s Channel [V] and Viacom’s MTV have followed a market strategy of aggressive “Indianization. This has taken the form of programs featuring Indian film songs and music videos…” Although it may hold true that television which is geared towards youth may support Indian entertainment, these channels directly model the Indian versions of them; therefore, enforcing a global Indianized culture upon middle-class Indian youth. Consumerism is extremely prominent among this group due to the cultural icons represented through music videos and advertisements, along with their parent’s willingness to support such spending.
This seems to hold true as a characteristic of youth culture across the globe, which raises the question of whether this global identity was created to homogenize this particular group. Yet another concern that satellite television and its growing Western influence has brought about is the generational reformation of these viewers. “… graduate students of classical dance and mainly Telugu Channel [V] viewers and say that they have frequently experienced discomfort (and so have their parents)because of the growing trend of obscenity in Telugu film songs (including nudity, suggestive body movements, and “double-meaning” lyrics). Families were once able to enjoy programs without any discrepancy among parents and children, the ever growing influence of Western ideology that ‘sex sells’ in the media has transgressed into the Indian market, and led to reformation of the family unit, creating obvious distinctions between tastes. The new trends in television broadcasting may therefore effectively deconstruct the family unit as the Western ideals transgressing through Indian television are slowly creating gaps within the home.
Some young viewers of these provocative music videos seem to think that due to their promiscuous nature, that these television programs are also being aired in the West; however, it is this misconception that demonstrates the young Indian’s desire to be recognized by its Indian counterparts. This ideal requires placing cultural regulations on the backburner, meeting and enjoying Westernized standards and masking them with an overarching Indian identity, all in a subconscious attempt to escape that very identity. Study has shown Television viewing occupied 10. 9% of an adolescent time that is about 12 hours per week. 0% of this viewing occurred at home, 73% was done with other family members including 7% with grandparents, uncles, or aunts. This indicates that TV viewing is a typical family activity. Adolescents’ rates of viewing were correlated with mothers’ rates of viewing, with rates for both higher when mothers were unemployed. Adolescents’ TV rates were also correlated with fathers’ rates and with fathers’ type of unemployment. Study has prove, during TV viewing adolescents reported lower than average challenge, worry, and paying attention and higher than average choice, clam and relaxation.
In short TV viewing of the middle class Indian youth is a relaxed antidote to the stress of the day that they share with their families. Television has a major impact on toddlers it influences their viewing habits throughout their lives. Since toddlers have a strong preference for cartoons and other programs that have characters that move fast, there is considerable likelihood that they will be exposed to large amounts of violence. Children do not become full-fledged “viewers” until around the age of two-and-a-half. As toddlers, they begin to pay more attention to the television set when it is on.
They develop a limited ability to extract meaning from television content. At the age of eight, children are more likely to be sensitive to important moderating influences of television content, and will not become more aggressive themselves if the violence they see is portrayed as evil, as causing human suffering, or as resulting in punishment or disapproval. However, they are especially likely to show increased aggression from watching violent television if they believe the violence reflects real life, if they identify with a violent hero, or if they engage in aggressive fantasies.
One major group which television watching has effected is the age group between 5-13 years of age. Television violence is accompanied by vivid production features; preschoolers are predisposed to seek out and pay attention to violence—particularly cartoon violence. It is not the violence itself that makes the cartoons attractive to preschoolers, but the accompanying vivid production features. With this preference for cartoons, preschoolers are being exposed to a large number of violent acts in their viewing day.
Moreover, they are unlikely to be able to put the violence in context, since they are likely to miss any subtlety conveyed mitigating information concerning motivation and consequences. Preschoolers behave more aggressively than usual in their play after watching any high-action exciting television content, but mostly after watching violent television. Television watching and physical activity both are related to obesity. However this has been investigated mainly in children. Television viewing takes up 10. % of an adolescent’s time (about 12 hours per week) study proves. Children get glued to the television and do not exercise. They watch one program after another without giving them self’s a break. They do not even have half an hour to do any kind of physical activities. This finally results in obesity. Political Impact: 1) Media has been bringing out corrupt practices practiced by our political leaders. This has enabled people to make more rational choices when electing their representatives. 2) Media has been a major force in mobilizing people during elections. India is the cradle of human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, grandmother of legend, and great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only” -Mark Twain Yes, indeed the most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are in India. We are the world’s largest democracy and an emerging force in the field of communication, science and technology.
After combating recession, India is back on the path of growth and development but with challenges ahead like Carbon Emission reduction, Reforms in Judiciary, Progress of the Industrial sector etc… In this scenario an analysis of the towers of strength of India will provide a strong basis for realizing our opportunities and threats in the future. Mass Media has always played a vital role in the functioning of democracy in India and exploring into these avenues will definitely play a major role in solving the problems pondered upon India. Background:
On 26th January 1950 when the Constitution proclaimed India as a “sovereign socialist secular democratic republic”, the word democracy became a part of us. From then on Religion, Caste, Population, Development, International issues, Education, Poverty, Corruption, Economy, Politics…anything happening in our nation was linked with Democracy. A vibrant democracy attracts and filters-in the most competent ones in our country to govern and eliminates the not- so -competent. Truly, democracy in India is wider than the beautiful description of Abraham Lincoln-It is lot more than a form of government of the people, for the people and by the people.
The role of democracy in India is to fulfill the dream of every true patriot in India i. e. to live in a “Great India”, a strong and prosperous one. On the other hand portraying the life of Indian people the media won the hearts of millions in India. Enjoying complete freedom the media took up the responsibility to make people aware of everything going around them whether it is good or bad. It is not amusing that the only thing in India which is trusted by everyone is Media. Even Mass Media has travelled a long way from the late 1700’s and far beyond the era of Radio Broadcasting.
Mass Media in India had to resist immense pressure from the government to be what it is today. The press had to face oppression during the freedom struggle as it was being successful in carrying out its duty to create a feeling of nationalism among the people during that time. Today in terms of Media, India is the second largest market in the world for newspapers, 18th largest country in broadband Internet users and 8th in the list of countries by number of television broadcast stations.
All of this achieved when Media has been free and independent with only few regulatory bodies at the realm. THE ROLE OF MASS MEDIA IN INDIAN DEMOCRACY: Every man needs food, clothing, healthcare and shelter for his physical survival. Similarly communication is regarded as an indispensible factor for the social welfare of people. In this 21st century every individual is keen to be updated with the latest developments in all walks of life. It is here where the mass media comes into the picture which aims to reach out to a very large audience.
It carries out its functions through advertising, marketing, propaganda, public relations and political communication. Mass media is now considered as an effective tool for advocating business and social concerns. But what role does media and information play in a democratic society need to be examined as there is still a dispute regarding the significance and magnitude of mass media in Indian society. Every citizen is entitled to have free access to the knowledge and information they require.
The democratic political system depends on the efficient, accurate, and complete transmission of social, political, and cultural information in society People should be able to discuss matters of public interest with their equals in order to influence the actions taken in our nation. This ensures genuine participation of individuals in matters of public interest which is in fact the essence of democracy. Thus mass media forms an integral part of democracy as it contributes to those factors that are intrinsic to genuine democracy.
Democracy believes in the empowerment of individual and media facilitates it through communication and ensures freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. Democracy and mass media are the two essential components of Indian life. It has accomplished the task of transforming the lives of the people. But to what extent has Indian lives progressed and what advancement has the nation achieved is a matter of concern. Like every coin which has two sides the effects of mass media in Indian democracy has brought in serious advantages as well as disadvantages.
We need to understand the role and functions of media in our nation and the significance of media in democracy. There is a need to analyze mass media and democracy in relation with each other to comprehend the impact of these core aspects. AN OPTIMISTIC APPROACH: A democratic society permits freedom of speech and expression. We Indians have the freedom to think, freedom to write, freedom to discuss with others, freedom to explain, freedom to criticize and freedom to dissent. Democracy demands the fulfillment of every citizen’s right to expression.
Media facilitates the process of empowerment of individual by providing an arena for public debate and by reconstituting private citizens as a public body in the form of public opinion. Nowadays, media provides a platform for every individual to exercise his right of being heard. Innovative talk shows and public discussions organized by the media is now playing a major role in the enforcement of the right of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(a) of the constitution. Media in India has tried every possible means to satisfy the democratic ideals.
For example, during elections voters are educated and informed to the point where they are able to understand the most important political issues. During all these years the Indian mass media has successfully performed the following functions: • Supporting objective news and informative programs so that people can make quick decisions. • Cultivating alternative media, so that multiple voices and opinions will be heard. • Mobilizing popular participation in the transition process. • Multiplying the impact of transition activities by disseminating information on successful local peace and participatory efforts.
Let it be any natural calamity or any other disaster we find our reporters there risking their lives to give us information regarding the events taking place in every nook and corner of the world. There are many instances of Media turning out to be real investigators in cases like the murder of Jessica Lal, Priyadarshini Matoo case, Best Bakery scandal etc. If the media didn’t take the initiative to bring out the truth before the public then justice wouldn’t have prevailed. The efforts of the media are always concentrated towards lifting the veil to ensure righteousness in society.
It uses effective techniques like sting operations, opinion polls etc to portray the reality. Whether it is newspaper, television or internet the objective of every media is to collect, analyze, verify and present information regarding current events, trends, and various other issues of this democratic nation. Democracy believes in protecting the rights of the citizens and limiting the powers of the government. It intends that no one should be discriminated on the basis of their race, religion, ethnic group, or gender. It directs that no one should be arrested, imprisoned or exiled arbitrarily.
No one in a democratic society should be denied their freedom without a fair and public hearing by an impartial court. No one may be taxed or prosecuted except by a law established in advance. The idea of democracy lays in the fact that no one is above the law, not even a king or an elected president. Above all the law is fairly, impartially, and consistently enforced, by courts that are independent of the other branches of government. The contribution by mass media for upholding the above principles of democracy in our society is remarkable.
WHEN MONEY RULES OVER MORALS: “Tell me, why is the media here so negative. Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why? ” -Dr. Abdul Kalam This observation made by our former President is very true. It is a very sad fact that every morning we have to begin our day with negative news.
Indian mass media often has a tendency to exhibit gossip, scandal and violence. The aim of mass media is to sensationalize every piece of information rather than sensitizing them. The Media is usually focused on the lives of celebrities and reality shows instead of concentrating on events of national importance. The lack of media literacy among the pubic also makes matters worse. With the increase in the number of competitors in mass media nowadays we find that a wide range of topics are being discussed among the public.
The common man and the celebrities express their opinion, but usually there is no measure taken after that. The issues discussed become stale and after a week a new storyline creeps in bringing in hope and opening up a new avenue. Gone are those days when preferences were given to the selection of news. Media does not believe in newsworthiness anymore. There is a wide opinion among people that media is no more interested in creating citizenship. At times media fails in its duty to provide public sphere for dialogue and interaction among the citizens.
Political parties started their own channels to highlight their achievements and political news was more about personalities than about their ideologies. In the absence of serious debate, voters are left with paid political propaganda containing only meaningless slogans making them disinterested and cynical about politics and losing faith in democracy. Forgetting its responsibility to educate the masses media is busy transforming citizens into spectators by offering them pure entertainment. What happened in most of the cases is that Global Competition and profit motive made media forget about democracy.
The interests of the advertisers did not coincide with readers, listeners and viewers. Advertisements occupied the pages in newspapers. Media was concentrated on promoting an event or a latest movie which is yet to be released so as to increase its box-office collection. If media was left with the option of choosing between either its functions or its survival it would have chosen the latter. Democratic values and principles were to be buried if advertisement rules media Money ruled over morals and media was no more interested in veracity. CONCLUSION:
After analyzing the role of media in our democratic society we have come to the conclusion that all these years since its establishment the mass media has worked for the progress and development of our country. All its activities were concentrated to see a fully fledged democratic Indian society. But observations also prove the fact that mass media nowadays prefer to sensationalize news. Media is losing interest in promoting democratic values and principles. Mass media corporations are now concerned about improving the financial position of their organizations.
If this continues India can never fulfill its dream to be a developed nation by 2020. So the question arises: What next? Well first we need to realize the fact that the problem is neither with the media nor the democratic principles. Media gives us entertainment because we demand it. Media cannot be blamed alone for its depicting people’s preferences. So first the attitude of the public should be changed. We should not be bothered about timely pleasure instead our focus should be on long term projects which would take our country to new heights. If you are given the opportunity to express what you want from the media… ust think for a while and then decide what you really want. If the media also tries to sensitize news and takes initiative to accomplish its social responsibilities then no one can stop our country from being a strong powerful democratic nation. I nformation on the latest happenings reaches people in just a matter of minutes. The vision of media reaches even the remotest corners of the country and makes sure that everyone is aware of what is going on in the country. The easy and swift availability of any given information makes media one of the most reliable sources for forming public opinion.
It bridges the gap between the leaders and the masses by becoming their channel of communication. It brings into open the innumerable achievements that are going on in the country. Media gives ordinary people the power to reach out to the society as a whole. It can make heroes out of ordinary men. The media acts as a deterrent on corrupt practices and keeps a check on the working of the government. Media has significantly promoted social causes like literacy, health management, anti-dowry practices, discouraging female feticide, AIDS awareness, etc.
Media can adversely affect the thinking capability of individuals and instill negative or destructive thinking patterns in the society as a whole. As already said before, media has the power to form and alter opinions. This means media can portray an ordinary thing so negatively that it may force people to think or act in quite the opposite way. Media glorifies violence and contains graphic descriptions or images. When viewed by the vulnerable portion of the society, i. e. , the children, it can have grave effects on their upcoming and thinking patterns.
The media can sometimes go out of the way in advertising or glorifying certain issues. Usually, a bad or detrimental message is packaged in a glorious way and is made accessible to the public. Movies that depict filthy rich thieves who don’t bat an eyelid before killing someone or extorting someone and the getting away with it, sure give entertainment to people. At the same time, it encourages them to act in a way that promises adventure and thrill in life. This way, media glorifies the bad aspects of people and encourages them to act in forbidden ways.
One particular article which examined the portrayal of women in Indian television states, “Although many of the programs continued to relegate women to the role of either the glamorous host or the traditional housewife, there were many examples of non-traditional roles for women. ” Whereas traditional roles are still portrayed, and certain qualities are equated with feminism, the diversity in female roles can be viewed as an indication that women now have choices to fit into those roles that appeal to them. Through television, a range of options are presented, therefore reflecting the potential flexibility of women’s lives.
The concern that arises in this case is the harsh reality of Indian culture that is caught between two contradictory gender role portrayals which may either promote female independence, or discourage it altogether. It is therefore important to consider those women who desire liberation, and are held back because they don’t coincide with traditional norms and expectations. In recent years, viewers of Indian film and television have witnessed a shift from portrayals of females as innocent and subordinate in nature, into independent sexual beings.
While India’s strong traditional heritage has always been significantly characterized by the traditional roles of women as homemakers and mothers, the portrayal of women on television has challenged this ideal, and therefore cultivated a new perception of womanhood for the Indian woman. “In the 1990s, the Indian ideal of female beauty changed to become more aligned with the Western concept of ‘thin is beautiful’. This change can be unhealthy because the average female Indian body type generally includes large hips. It is therefore evident that the increasing popularity of Western norms through television can be equated with the changing attitudes of Indian females and their bodies. The concern here is obviously the potential damage these ideals may inflict upon the health and self esteem of women exposed to such figures. The very concept of woman has been revolutionized by the integration of Western ideals and practices that are seeping into Indian-produced television. Conflicts are therefore surfacing which pertain to the issues of female identity.
Similarly, with the recent uproar of music-based television, Indian youth culture is flourishing into an ‘Indianized’ group which depends on Western ideals to propel their tastes. This consequently, is creating drifts within the nuclear family structure, and producing a generation gap. The urban middle class, as well as rural villagers are also affected in that they now utilize commodities as a signifier of rank, and these commodities are determined by conglomerate advertising through mainstream India television. Socially, one of the greatest problems plaguing India today is the consequences of Indianization.
Indian’s have eroticized the culture of India to such a degree where they do not realize that they are constantly consuming high priced merchandise at the expense of their own enriched diverse culture. The Indian economy is so motivated by the capital gain from multinationals that they often try to counterbalance the impact of the western images by enforcing radical Nationalistic themes. The growing popularity of television in all parts of India is therefore making way for a homogenized Indian culture whose cultural identity is becoming ever so fragil