Title: Exploring the Role of Diversity in Newsrooms During an Ethnically Charged Environment: A Case Study of TV Media in India
Stream: Media Studies
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Anilesh Kumar, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Several reports have suggested that the state of minorities in India has deteriorated as right-wing Hindu nationalists operate with impunity under the current dispensation. Communal tensions have reflected in various incidents of deadly riots across the country and a large section of the mainstream media have been accused of supporting the ‘Otherization’ of minorities and uncritically absorbing the propaganda of Hindu nationalists. This raises an important question regarding the role of ethnic minorities in journalism: does ethnic diversity in newsroom impact media narratives or does the commitment to organizations’ policy/ideology hinders the scope of advocacy. How do journalists from ethnic minority communities contest the (mis)representation of minorities or whether they do it at all? While these aspects have been explored previously, there are two shortcomings in the existing literature: (i) most studies have been conducted in the Western countries and (ii) most have focused on print journalism. Therefore, this study aims to fill the literature gap by conducting a study in India - one of the most ethnically diverse countries, also home to the largest number of TV news channels in the world. The study has identified 20 journalists from minority communities working in various news channels. Preliminary discussions with interviewees suggest that journalistic norms and commitment to the values of organization impedes advocacy; however, they push for fair representation of the community and operate in a contested sphere. The study is rooted in grounded theory and aims to conduct a thematic discourse analysis on the interview content.
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