Headlines From the Heartland: Reinventing the Hindi Public Sphere

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SAGE, May 8, 2007 - History - 308 pages
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In the 1990s, a newspaper revolution began blowing across northern and central India. When literacy levels rose, communications expanded, and purchasing power climbed in these Hindi-speaking states, newspapers followed—picking up readers in small towns and villages. Even while these newspapers surged to the top of national readership charts, they localised furiously in the race for readers. But in this universe of local news, questions arose about what localisation was doing to regional identity and consciousness.

Using notes from her pioneering field-study in eight states, Sevanti Ninan brilliantly brings alive India’s ongoing Hindi newspaper revolution, and its impact on politics, administration and society. Set against the socio-economic and political changes in the countryside, it is a remarkable story of how journalism flowered in unexpected and unorthodox ways, and colourful media marketing unfurled in the Hindi heartland.
 

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Contents

List of Tables
8
List of Illustrations
9
Acknowledgements
11
Reinventing the Public Sphere
13
The Evolution and Growth of Hindi Journalism
33
A Rural Newspaper Revolution
65
Creating New Media Hubs
91
Local News Gatherers
113
Journalists and Politicians
204
Caste and Communalism
216
The Development Discourse
230
Reconfiguring the Public Sphere
246
Change and Attrition
260
EpilogueHabermas Revisited
290
References
298
Index
301

The Universe of Local News
143
Media and Commerce
185
About the Author
309
Copyright

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