Mass Communication

According to historical evidence, oral exchange of news was the common method of communication in ancient India, whereas the modern medium of communication system was originated since the end of the eighteenth century. The present inquiry deals with variety of sub topics when analyzing Indian mass media. The coverage, popularity, diversification, westernization, commercialization, technology, entertainment, education, politics, sex, violence, women and children, are some of such topics which are deeply and sociologically analyzed in the study.

The print media, Radio, TV, and Films are taken into account as comprised of Indian mass media throughout the study. Having understood that the nature of mass media is determined by social conditions, a Herculean attempt is made to understand Indian mass media as a manifestation of social implications in association with the society of India. According to study, Indian mass media is a symbol as well as a reflection of India society, which is extremely heterogeneous, diverse, and most importantly, a place of wide range of opinions.

These criteria are relative, since the earliest forms of mass media (the printed book or pamphlet) were limited to the minority of a society that happened to be ijc-journal@hotmail. com 20 literate and relatively close to the place of publication. There has been a continuous line of development of technologies since the earliest forms of media (rock paintings) to the latest digital forms that have expanded the capacity, speed and efficiency of transmission (McQuail, 2000). Meanwhile, as Block (1979) argues, mass media refers to methods of message transmission over space and time.

Media involves a communication process by which messages are sent through space; both the ijcjournal@gmail. com Tilak Wijesundara International Journal of Communicology 2011;1(1) channels have come into existence and have been attracted by millions of listeners. Moreover, in India, Television made a humble debut when Doordarshan (DD) was initiated in 1959. Today, Television service is available throughout the country, directly as terrestrial TV and through cable operators, as satellite TV. When taking Films into consideration, India? s first Film was screened in 1896.

Today, Indian Film industry which is widely known as “Bolliwood” is the largest Film industry in the world, producing over 800 Films annually. The present inquiry deals with variety of sub topics when analyzing Indian mass media. The coverage, popularity, diversification, westernization, commercialization, technology, entertainment, education, politics, sex, violence, women and children, are some of such topics which are deeply and sociologically analyzed in this regard. The print media, Radio, TV, and Films are taken into account as comprised of Indian mass media throughout the study.

Having understood that the nature of mass media is determined by social conditions, a Himalayan attempt is made to understand Indian mass media as a manifestation of social implications prevalent in association with the society of India. It is due to this reason that a Sociological analysis is applied throughout the study as it bringsthe hidden realities of Indian society in general and its mass media in particular. Popularity Although it is evident that the overall popularity of mass media has been increasing, it is notable that this popularity varies in different media.

In colonial India, print media had acquired an immense popularity among people as the vehicle of 21 sender and receiver devote time within that process (Hornic, Schlinger, 1981). So, in generally, as McQuail (2000) points out, it is not incorrect to denote the idea that the term „mass media? is shorthand to describe means of communication that operate on a large scale, reaching and involving virtually everyone in a society to a greater or lesser degree. It refers to a number of media that are now longestablished and familiar, such as newspapers, magazines, film, radio, television and the phonograph (recorded music).

As historical factors indicate, oral exchange of news was the common method of communication in ancient India. As Malhan (1992) illustrates, religions and religious places (places of worship) employed every available medium of communication in that period. In addition, bathing places, tanks, riverbanks, sea shores, chopals also acted as forms of communication. It is also evident that educational institutions equally played a significant role in activating the process of communication in India in the past. The modern medium of communication system is seen to be originated in the land of India since the end of the eighteenth century.

The print media came into existence at the end of the eighteenth century symbolizing the first modern medium of communication and information. Indian press today is one of the largest in the world with more than 30,000 Newspapers published with an annual circulation that exceeds 55 million copies. Meanwhile, it is true to state that India was among one of the earliest countries to adopt broadcasting.

The cable subscriber base has increased from around 0. 05 million in the early 90s? to around 24 million by 1999-2000. Today, it is possible to view over 75 channels over satellite cable Television. In any case, as many studies do suggest, the prevalence of audio-visual media has not crippled the popularity of films. As Malhan (1992) suggests, even though TV and Video provide most of the ingredients within the home with all the comforts, people still prefer to see pictures on wider screens in crowded halls.

In fact, Films provide the most direct communication to the mind and images do not need to be translated to be understood. It cuts language barriers and can be enjoyed by both the educated and the fool alike. The songs and dances in Films are immensely popular among masses and popular Film stars live in the hearts of common people for generations. What is interesting to see is that Western audiences are becoming more interested in Indian Films, which has made Indian Films a global phenomenon. Diversification The diversification has been a notable feature in Indian mass media.

This symbolizes the diversity of India? s people. In 2001, India had 45,974 newspapers 22 independent movement and the voice of the people. Nevertheless, it is evident that this popularity shifted to Radio and TV with their emergence as audio-visual media, and this shift is significant after independence. Simultaneously, newspapers made a detachment of the general public. It is true that newspapers today have become a class medium. According to the present estimates, newspapers are purchased and read by less than 20% of India? s total population.

Meanwhile, the broadcasting media have the capacity to reach out to the people in every four corners of the country. By indicating the popularity of Indian Radio, Malhan (1992) illustrates, “as a comparatively low cost spoken word medium, it has become a constant companion for farmers, workers, travelers, sports lovers and for all those who are interested in news, music, drama, quiz programs, farm bulletins, or views of eminent persons on public affairs. Because of its low cost and easy availability, it has been a common man? s paradise, and for people, a symbol of social respectability as well.

However, it is incorrect to mention that the existence of print media has been totally paralyzed today, rather, evidence indicate that particularly the book publishing industry has been growing at an exceedingly higher level, with around 10,000 publishers and around 40,000 new titles every year. The domestic publishing market is in fact one of largest in the world today. Since its beginning, Television has acquired an immense popularity as the key media in the world. According to one idea, it is clear that Television is central to the processes of media saturation.

Indeed, Television is central to modern society altogether (Abercrombie, 1997). The popularity of Television symbolizes the increase of ijc-journal@hotmail. com ijcjournal@gmail. com Tilak Wijesundara International Journal of Communicology 2011;1(1) large country where many languages are spoken. Each of the larger languages supports its own Film industry: Urdu/Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. Accordingly, the Indian film industry is placed in diverse regions as follows; ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

The Hindi/Urdu film industry, based on Mumbai is called „Bollywood The Marathi film industry, based on Mumbai and Pune The Tamil film industry, based on Chennai, Tamilnadu The Bengali film industry, based on Kolkata, West Begall The kannada film industry, based on the state of Karnataka The Telugu film industry, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh based on including 5364 daily newspapers published in over 100 languages. The largest number of newspapers were published in Hindi (20,589), followed by English (7,596), Marathi (2,943), Urdu (2,906), Bengali (2,741), Gujarati (2,215), Tamil (2,119), Kannada (1,816), Malayalam (1,505), and Telugu (1,289).

The diversification is also apparent in Indian Broadcasting media. For instance, All India Radio? s (AIR) programs have been diversified over the years. Today, its home service programs are transmitted for 3. 91 hours every year. In addition, there are also external service transmissions which present programs in 17 foreign languages and 8 Indian languages for over 56 hours daily. AIR broadcasts programs for special audiences and occasions. Specific programs are relayed for the armed forces, women and children, youth students, industrial workers, and rural and tribal people.

Fourteen stations broadcast daily programs twice a week in regional languages for women with the objective of providing entertainment and imparting information on household topics. Programs on family welfare, a very important information sector for the welfare of the women are planned and produced by 36 family welfare units at various broadcasting networks. These programs are integrated with the general programs as well as those meant for special audiences like rural, folk, women, youth, and industrial workers (Malhan,1992).

Indian Television has achieved an immense success in reaching wide range of viewers. The prevalence of over 75 channels itself indicates its veracity. Doordarshan (DD) alone offers diverse national, regional, and local service for Indian Television viewers. The diversification is immensely visible in association with Indian Films. India is a ijc-journal@hotmail. com The Malayalam film industry, based on the state of Kerala What all these factors suggest is that Indian mass media are highly diversified in order to access multitude of people.

Commercialization/ Westernization In the present scenario, it has been often put forward the fact that Indian mass media are enormously subject to commercialization and Westernization. This is particularly true with regard to Television and Cinema. As D? Souza (1998) indicates, contemporary film making is a big financing venture more than ever before. It is usually controlled by commercial consideration rather than the demand o the art. Films make no demands on the power of thinking, rather, ignore it for the sake of commerce.

This argument is supported by Malhan (1992) when he denotes the fact that the Cinema after independence is predominately commercial so far as feature films are concerned. 23 ijcjournal@gmail. com Tilak Wijesundara International Journal of Communicology 2011;1(1) advertisements or advertorials is disguised as news. Whatever it is, it can be assumed that the process of commercialization and westernization have been in a tremendous enhancement after 1990s than ever before, with the introduction of liberalization and privatization policies.

Technology It is crystal clear that all the mainstream mass media in India are under the impact of high technological appliances. As Malhan (1992) indicates, the advanced technologies such as adaptation of satellite communication and broadcasting, electronic printing, electronic and digital technology, extensive use of Tele-communication, internet and computer machinery are enormously benefited by the print media today. Television and Radio too has no exception in this direction. Moreover, Indian Cinema is in extreme use of new and effective technology in the process of Film making, recording and screening.

However, as D? Souza (1998) points out, even though India has been using an increasing level of technology, very powerful political and economic forces have gained control over technology in general and communication system in particular. This has obstructed the communication flow from and to the grass root level. What is indeed true is that Indian mass media today are in the hands of few business houses and companies. As Sahay et al (2006) remarks, the most visible change is the growing influence of commercial departments in the media companies in India.