Abstract: May - August 2016
Impact Factors: SJIF (3.276), IIFS (0.993), ISRA (0.834)
Mutualisation of News through an Engaging Media is a Safer Bet in the Age of Sustainability and Diminishing Advertising Revenue
Issue Editor, Media Watch
“Gone are the days of “us and them” journalism”, suggests that there is no longer any different between the audience and the journalists with the increasing level of normal people becoming “citizen journalists”. The use of new and digital media has given the audiences the power to produce their own media product and level up with the journalists, according to Editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, now our journalists and readers as equal partners.”
- Yusra Khalid ( Independent Blogger)
In 2010, the former editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, showed the world about the power of publicness through his Twitter posting revolting against the court injection on The Guardian to report on the dumping of toxic chemicals by the company, Trafigura. Trafigura became viral in Twitter; the result is more vigorous news stories and personal comments that could have possibly escaped from the newspaper pages. Calling this as ‘mutualisation of news’, Rusbridger underlined the collaboration of professionals and nonprofessionals in the dissemination of news. From a carefully filtered and controlled letters to editor, the role of readers or news consumers have traversed such distance that news are now produced by a collaborative effort. The Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ is a typical example of how the laymen or those having a journalistic flair or at least an opinion work together to build an interactive or collaborative news platform, a completely different experience social media platforms provide.
Alan Rusbridger comments “The mutualisation of news is a very powerful idea that particularly works for the Guardian, as our relationship with our readers is very strong. We can use the community of our readers in ways we would not have been able to in the past.” Rusbridger says that in order to make the members feel involved and more interested, the Guardian should build trust by behaving like the old-style mutual building societies. The web has led to a news community where ideas and news are shared rather than delivered, as new and digital media has become more accessible through the use of the Internet world wide. He also suggests that, “By continuing to go down this route, we will be more diverse and genuinely more plural than other media organizations and create a huge external resource. We need to continue breaking down the perceptions of a remote
journalist who is a preacher, living distantly, and newspapers as being in bed with power and on the side of power, rather than the reader.”
As mutualisation gears its definition to wider spectrum, this issue of the Journal of Media Watch looks at the possibilities of using this concept in the developing world for journalism and news media. Journalism pays sustained attention to the coverage of ideas, policies, programs, activities and events dealing with the improvement of the life of people. As far as the developing world is concerned, media plays a pivotal role in keeping any eye not only on the governmental policies, but the larger human and societal developmental issues in the country. However the media in the developing world, both press and electronic, is entangled in the serious competition amidst the clutter where they consider political tussle and power struggle as the prominent matter to boost their readership or viewership. Though the 24 hour news channels ‘report’, these are often news pieces ‘to inform’ rather than ‘to change’. This is same with the revolution of e-papers as well; print shifted to online that eased readability for larger users, but added nothing to the wide opportunities that the online platform provides news media. The role of people in this process is limited to sharing the news links and posting comments only to the selective news allowed by the newspaper. The downturn for journalism in developing countries lies here, while exciting opportunities are wide open. If in 1969, George Varghese, a prominent journalist in The Hindustan Times could make revolutionary changes through his fortnightly column, ‘Our Village Chatera’ depicting the life in the village of Chatera that opened the windows towards the rural life of India. In this era where technology has put forward immense opportunity for journalists to embark on ‘reporting for changes’, we cannot see such advancements in journalism.
News mutualisation is challenging the modern business model of business marketing but is proposing a holistic approach to the media management on the goal of a sustainable stable entrepreneurship through receiver (consumer) engagement. This sustainability is ultimately essential as the advertisement revenue is deeply shrinking. Mutualisation is now a safer bet than more corporatization or privatization. Future will be glossy, if the product will be the part and parcel of human heart than the valets. This is a phenomenon of value addition—increasing public value, credibility and firmly erecting the roots of sustainability.
The biggest challenge is whether to involve the receiver in the process or product of news industry? The ultimatum is the possibility of transforming the private owned or state-owned news industry into a source-receiver mutually owned company of breakeven sustainability. Government’s budget deficit on public service broadcasting, diminishing revenue from seasoned print advertisements, lowering viewership TAM rating and switching to mobile and app oriented revenue generation is compelling for more and more news mutualisation. Sharing is more important than liking, commenting is more important than poking, emotions reaction rating is more vital than emoticons… More and more engagement strategies to mutualisation is experimented.
As Roy Greenslade, the professor of Journalism, City University London opines in his commentary “Although there is no certainty that they would be imperiled, a much safer bet for them - and for those who benefit by watching them - would be mutualisation (or, of course, the status quo). It would safeguard editorial independence”. But the idea is not inconceivable. Will there be a conflict of interest when the mutualisation be more diverse and plural? How can the balance between local and global news can be maintained and positioned? How can media integration possible with mutualisation? How shared media platforms can increase the engagements? Diversity plus innovation is new order in the news media world.
This issue of the Journal of Media Watch presents some of the novel research in the process of information and news disseminations. The diverse content, the plurality of research methods, the hyperglobal contributions will make this issue a splendid treat for the scholars and academics.
Prof. T T Sreekumar from MICA—The School of Ideas, Ahmadabad and Dr. Milagros Rivera-Sanchez University of Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa explores a grassroots level mutualisation, how cybercafés in small and medium Asian towns highlight new aspects of modernity. Especially in the context of Asian modernity, the introduction of ICT-shaped social spaces in the form of cybercafés leads to multiple conflicting rhetoric of empowerment and progress on the one hand, and risk and moral degeneration on the other.
Prof. Myna German and Dr. Padmini Banerjee Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware, USA research reflects an extensive and in-depth review of the literature on the role of hyper-reality in our contemporary lives and its impact on our migratory decisions.
Jermaine Hekili Cathcart, University of California study seeks to assess the impact of the change in ownership upon the way African Americans are represented in BET’s programming. The study begins by placing black popular cultures roots in the minstrel show and shows how that form of media continues to plague American popular culture, and indeed, BET, today.
Prof. Bai Gui and Muhammad Arif of Hebei University, China traces the new channels of communication being used as intercultural communication tool to enhance the existing bond of friendship between China and Pakistan, the oldest strategic allies in the region. The study explores government initiatives, academic programs and projects aimed at promoting Chinese language and culture in Pakistan to boost cross-cultural communication.
Jayakrishnan Sreekumar of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore briefly analyze the articles and editorials appeared in Indian and foreign newspapers (The Hindu, India; The Guardian, UK; and The New York Times, USA on Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from cricket. The retirement articles of other Indian great cricketers in these three newspapers were also analysed and compared with the articles on Tendulkar.
Kiran Bhatia from MICA—The School of Ideas, Ahmedabad investigates how new media networks have led to the personalization of the political sphere as it recognizes the significance of ‘the self’ over ‘the mass’ in democratizing the political discourse and give space to unaffiliated independent opinions to emerge. They let arguments and divergent views determine the construction of the ‘active collective conscience’.
Dr. Varsha Jain and Dr. Saumya Pant of MICA–The School of Ideas, Ahmedabad aims to uncover the role of mobile phone that has emerged along with the evolution of Generation Y. The digitized consumers of this generation need to be understood in light of the importance of family, friends and peers.
Sangita De and Priyam Basu Thakur at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata attempt to conduct an explanatory research by using analysis of Twitter Revolution (Iran), Umbrella Revolution (Hong Kong), Sunflower Protest (Taiwan), Shah Bag Movement (Bangladesh), Delhi Gang Rape Agitation (India) and Bersih Movement (Malaysia). The paper identify the role of social media in mobilizing social movement of Asian region.
Arun Kumar and Dr. Mrinalini Pandey from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad research revealed a positive impact of informativeness, entertainment, credibility and user-generatedcontent belief factors on attitudes and behavior of respondents. Structural equation modeling was employed to analyze the important factors and relationships among them.
Arun Mathew's paper is focused on the bribery among journalists. Several reasons from poor salaries to the culture of a place have been discussed as causative factors. The article poses many ethical and moral questions on the practices in the fourth estate.
Dr. Soumya Jose, Faculty, School of Social Sciences & Languages, Vellore Institute of Technology University, Vellore-632 014, Tamil Nadu, India.
Dr. Sony Jalarajan Raj Deepak Ranjan Jena
Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor
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New media, Space and Marginality: Control and Regulation of Cybercafe Use in Small and Medium Towns in Asia
TT SREEKUMAR1 & MILAGROS RIVERA-SÁNCHEZ2
1MICA-The School of Ideas, Ahmedabad, India
2University of Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa
This paper is about how cybercafés in small and medium Asian towns highlight new aspects of modernity. Especially in the context of Asian modernity, the introduction of ICT-shaped social spaces in the form of cybercafés leads to multiple conflicting rhetoric of empowerment and progress on the one hand, and risk and moral degeneration on the other. Through an ethnographic study carried out in twelve small or medium towns in six Asian countries, the research explores how new media technologies influence the contexts of reimagining Asia’s encounter with modernity. The paper is based on a study drawing from secondary materials and primary information gathered through extensive field work in six developing countries in Asia: Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines in South East Asia, and India and Bangladesh in South Asia. In this paper we set out to argue that the continuities, ruptures and innovations that constitute the Asian modernity, as well as their social impacts, are mirrored in the discourses surrounding the various technologies that embody this modernity, negotiating a new phase in its mediation and legitimization in Asia. In particular, new media technologies and social media are involved in multiple discourses of risk, opportunity and adaptation. In the case of the cybercafés in Asia, we argue that the situated nature of technological access gives rise to new dimensions of adaptation at individual and collective levels. Discourses emanating from representatives of civil society, State and various other stakeholders converge on cybercafés, and their attention on this particular space emerges as an indication of its complexity as a zone of mediated access to the worlds—both desired and undesired—that computers make possible. The complexity of defining an essential set of Asian values and a regionally unique trajectory of modernity notwithstanding, cybercafé users in small towns across the six countries studied faced similar pressures and options that motivated the calibration of access to multiple worlds. Global technologies are shaped by local realities as civil society stakeholders struggle to redefine boundaries of morality, safety and privacy, balancing these against necessity and opportunity.
Continental Divides in an Age of Technology: Unanticipated Consequences of Emigration and Implications for the Economic, Political and Socio-Cultural Arrangements in the Home Country
MYNA GERMAN & PADMINI BANERJEE
Delaware State University, USA
This paper reflects an extensive and in-depth review of the literature on the role of hyper-reality in our contemporary lives and its impact on our migratory decisions. Hyper-reality is defined as the somewhat surreal ability to peer into living rooms thousands of miles away using state-of-the-art communication technology such as Skype Examining development issues, one could highlight groups of individuals for whom living conditions have improved substantively back home and who choose not to migrate, based on what they see in the receiving country, in terms of reversal of cultural norms and erosion of traditional values. Or, migrants in the receiving country might choose to turn their attention homeward to take advantage of upbeat economies, viewing the increase in material prosperity firsthand through the new informational communication technologies. The paper includes aspects of material,, including a chapter by Buzzi & Megele on “hyper-reality” in our upcoming co-edited book, an anthology of global writings on migration, technology and transculturation (Lindenwood University Press, 2011). The paper concludes with perspectives on reversing the “brain drain” which has created pockets of wealth in educated new-immigrant communities in the developed world while creating shortages in the developing world. The paper builds on the three conceptual strands in the German & Banerjee co-edited book, starting with material on “digital diasporas” (technology), moving into material on “social networks” and “chains of migration” from certain locations (transculturation or social perspective) to future migration scenarios (as in reversing the “brain drain”).
Black Entertainment Television: Impact of Corporate Ownership on Black Media
JERMAINE HEKILI CATHCART
University of California, USA
In 2001, CEO and owner of Black Entertainment Television (BET) Bob Johnson, sold majority ownership to Viacom with much controversy. Many people in the black community questioned the appropriateness of a network that claimed to represent black life being under the defacto control of a white dominated corporation. This study seeks to assess the impact of the change in ownership upon the way African Americans are represented in BET’s programming. The study begins by placing black popular cultures roots in the minstrel show and shows how that form of media continues to plague American popular culture, and indeed, BET, today. The study then undertakes an interpretive textual analysis to show that BET shows and programming, under the ownership of a white corporation is used as a mechanism of white imperialistic ideological domination.
Redefining the Indian Public Sphere: A Study of the LGBT Rights Movement in India
KIRAN VINOD BHATIA
MICA-The School of Ideas, Ahmedabad, India
New media networks have led to a personalization of the political sphere as affordances provided by the virtual space give precedence to the significance of the ‘self ’ over the ‘masses’. Through this paper an attempt has been made to understand how the LGBT community uses new media technologies to transcend the boundaries of the traditional public sphere in order to create a realm of
self-identification in the virtual world. The study focuses on a group of Indian citizens who identify themselves as members of the LGBT community, who are digitally active and have participated in activities to mobilize public opinion in favor of the legalization of their sexual preferences. The study delineates how the LGBT community translates online discursive practices into offline civic engagement activities through the process of community formation, mobilization, setting up agenda for collective actions and creation of a realm for expression by the marginalized other.
Exploring Channels of Cultural Communication between Pakistan and China
BAI GUI & MUHAMMAD ARIF
Hebei University, China
This article traces the new channels of communication being used as inter cultural communication tool to enhance the existing bond of friendship between China and Pakistan, the oldest strategic allies in the region. The study explores government initiatives, academic programs and projects aimed at promoting Chinese language and culture in Pakistan to boost cross-cultural communication. The horizon of China’s cultural communication in Pakistan is being expanded by teaching Chinese language like utilizing new media tools such as video conferencing and radio broadcasts technology. The paper covers the various aspects of the roles different organization are playing to empower cultural communication channels such as Confucius Institute, China Radio International, Pakistan China Institute, National University of Modern Languages and Chinese Diplomatic Mission in Pakistan. This paper is highly significant as it helps to know the strategic measures that China is taking to strengthen the bilateral ties with Pakistan, especially people to people contacts, through inter cultural communication tools.
Media Representation and Celebrity Discourse: Editorial Approaches to Sachin Tendulkar's Retirement
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India
The retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, unarguably one of the greatest cricketers the world has ever witnessed, was a major landmark in the recent history of sport and generated a widespread media discourse across the world. This paper analyses how differently Indian and foreign media engaged with this celebrity discourse through a comparative analysis of the online editorials of three leading international dailies namely, The Hindu (India), The Guardian (UK) and The New York Times (US) during a given period. During the study, the researcher identified contrasting online editorial approaches (Indian and non-Indian pattern) to the treatment of Tendulkar ’s retirement. The retirement articles of other Indian greats in these three newspapers were also analysed and compared with the articles on Tendulkar. A number of variables and sub-variables were identified and analysed to discuss the key differences in the two ‘patterns’ of media representation. The paper concluded that while the Indian pattern idolised Tendulkar and made comparisons to God; the ‘non-Indian pattern’ was objective and neutral.
Generation Y as a Digital Consumer: A Conceptual Framework for Mobile Marketing in India
VARSHA JAIN & SAUMYA PANT
MICA–The School of Ideas, Ahmedabad, India
Among the emerging economies, India is the most promising market for Generation Y, because majority of Indian’s population belongs to this segment (those born between 1980 and 2000). These individuals are tech-savvy and extensively use mobile phones. This study aims to uncover the role of mobile phone that has emerged along with the evolution of Generation Y. The digitized consumers of this generation need to be understood in light of the importance of family, friends and peers. This will help us determine the purchase of products and brands via mobile phones while understanding the characteristics of these individuals. A total of 10 focus group discussions (FGDs) with 72 respondents
were conducted in three Indian leading cities: Mumbai, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad. The study found that Generation Y widely use mobile phone, get influenced by the peers, family and friends and get involved with the brands via phone. Generation Y also focus on personalization, security and sharing; while they emerge as digital consumers.
Social Media and Social Movement: Contemporary Online Activism in Asia
PRIYAM BASU THAKUR& SANGITA DE
Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, India
In contemporary era social media and mass movement are playing a crucial role in global public sphere. Statistics shows that in the countries of Asian continent active social media penetration is flourishing with times. The paper will attempt to conduct an explanatory research by using analysis of Twitter Revolution (Iran), Umbrella Revolution (Hong Kong), Sunflower Protest (Taiwan), Shah Bag Movement (Bangladesh), Delhi Gang Rape Agitation (India) and Bersih Movement (Malaysia). In the context of theoretical framework, the paper will attempt to discuss public opinion of Walter Lippmann (1922), the structural transformations of the public sphere by Jurgen Habermas (1964), social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE) by Riecher, Spears & Postmes (1995), mediapolis of Roger Silverstone (2007) etc. The paper will primarily try to identify the role of social media in mobilizing social movement of Asian region.
Indian Consumers' Beliefs, Attitudes and Behavioural Responses towards Advertising on Social Networking Sites
ARUN KUMAR & MRINALINI PANDEY
Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India
Advertising is an important facet of marketing of a product or a company. The marketers are using myriad ways to influence the consumers’ purchase behaviour. One of the latest trends is advertising on social networking sites. This study is an attempt to examine the beliefs, attitudes and responses towards advertisements on social networking sites. For this study, structured questionnaire was administered on a sample of 150 post-graduate students. Structural Equation Modeling was employed to analyze the factors and relationships among them. The research revealed a positive impact of informativeness, entertainment, credibility and user-generated-content belief factors on attitudes and behaviour of respondents. The findings also suggested that user-generated content had significant impact on attitude and behaviour responses towards advertising on social networking sites. It was also found that attitude towards advertising on social networking sites played a mediating role between social media advertising beliefs and behavioural responses of consumers.
Media Professionals Perception on Bribe and Corruption
ARUN P MATHEW & C PICHANDY
Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India
Bribery among journalists could be seen widely in many places but is a comparatively less researched topic. It would be surprising for an average news consumer to know that the sometimes news story he reads in print or views on television might be the product of a bribe or some sort of incentive received by the journalist who covered that news. After all, we read and watch news on the sordid details of corruption in government and society in general through the media with such alarming alacrity, but would almost have never known about corruption in the media they subscribe. Moreover, when one talks about corruption in media, it is about how the media reports on corruption or on ‘paid news’ where the aspect of how the media establishments publish news after accepting monetary assistance.