Editor’s Letter

With everything that has been happening in the news recently, we thought it was a good time to analyse the current status of media in India. The role of media is integral to the functioning of any democracy. Unfortunately, over the last few years, the mainstream media has been reduced to noise. In this issue we explore the various facets of the mainstream media and the emergence of an alternative media in India.

For our Ideas section, in our first article, Saahas, recalls the Emergency of 1975 and by providing a historical background asserts the importance of having a free and independent media. Barnana, through her article pushes this conversation forward by commenting on the current landscape of reportage. Mridula, talks about the necessity of positive discrimination and the inclusion of Dalits in media. Barkha, on the other hand, comments on the importance of giving due credit to reporters for their stories. With the rise of an alternative media, Shraddha brings forth the role of artists as political commentators. To compliment her article, Aditi, gives us a historical context that maps the increasing influence of graphic artists and their vast potential for the future.

To get a better understanding of the necessity for an alternative media, we interviewed Abhinandan Sekhri, the co-founder and CEO of the media critique and current affairs website, Newslaundry. He spoke to us about his journey as a journalist in India, the urgency of news critiquing in the current scenario, and the future of news organisations. The interview with Khabar Lahariya, India’s only all-women run media house, provides us with an insight into reporting in rural India and the role of local communities for the sustenance of rural reportage. We also interviewed Shakuntala Banaji, professor of Media, Culture, and Social Change at the London School of Economics. Through the interview, she articulates her research and provided us with an understanding of the effect of polarisation caused due to mainstream media on adolescents in urban and rural India.

In our Words section, we have an article that explores the relationship between literature and propaganda. Through a literary lens, the article comments on the relationship between a state-sponsored dissemination of information and violence.

In this issue, for the Journal section, we have a photo essay by Bharadwaj who takes us to small village called Galgibag, seated on the edge of the Karnataka-Goa border.

In our Culture section, Divanshu takes a deep dive into the rise of satire news and its implication on society. Tasneem wraps up the issue by taking a walk down memory lane through neatly folded paper-cuttings from old newspapers.

Adhishree Adulkar, Editor

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