Prime Time Hate: A Political Economy Approach to Investigate Communal Narratives on TV Debates in India

Anilesh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstractpeer-review

Abstract

A notable change in the nature of TV journalism has been registered in India since the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi in 2014 and subsequently in 2019. News organisations/journalists that have been critical of Modi have landed in legal and financial troubles while a large section of the mainstream media (and an emergent ultra right-wing digital eco-system) has been propagating BJP’s ethno-nationalist politics. Media support for the BJP’s ethno-nationalist ideology has reflected on a number of occasions in which minorities, particularly Muslims, have been found to be at the receiving end of an incessant media trial questioning their loyalty and projecting them as a threat to national security.

While such ‘media framing’ of minorities has been studied in various countries, the proposed article is the first study of Indian TV media that aims to explore the topic from a political economy perspective. Much has been written regarding how the media (re)presents Muslims elsewhere, however, there is no comprehensive study on the relationship between media ownership and the (re)presentation of Muslims in a ‘certain way’ in Indian media.

To explore the ownership-narrative dynamic, this study proposes to conduct a thematic discourse analysis on more than 200 episodes of News18’ primetime debates. News18 is owned by India’s largest industrial conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and its owner Mukesh Ambani – the richest businessman in India, is known to have close ties with Modi, raising pertinent questions about the role of media in creating sympathetic narratives for the ethno-nationalist ideology of the BJP.

Preliminary findings suggest a clearly discernible trend of an overtly hostile media coverage against Muslims which can have serious social and political implications for India in particular and democracy in general.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2023
EventXX ISA World Congress of Sociology - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 25 Jun 20231 Jul 2023
https://www.isa-sociology.org/en/conferences/world-congress/melbourne-2023 (Conference website)
https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2023/meetingapp.cgi/Home/0 (Conference programme)

Conference

ConferenceXX ISA World Congress of Sociology
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period25/06/231/07/23
Internet address

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • political economy
  • media
  • journalism
  • hate
  • Islam

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