India Fact Book

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Discrimination in Media

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In a country of 1.2 billion people, only around 200 million people read a newspaper every day. “That means fundamentally there are still 800 million to 900 million people waiting to start engaging with newspapers,” said Tarun Tejpal, editor of the investigative weekly Tehelka

Hindu upper caste men, who constitute just eight per cent of the total population of India, hold over 70 % of the key posts across newsrooms in the country. The so-called twice-born Hindu castes dominate 85 % key posts despite constituting just 16 % of the total population, while the intermediary castes represent a meager 3%.

The Hindu Other Backward Class groups, who are 34 % of the total population, have a share of just 4% in the Indian newsrooms. Muslims, who constitute about 13 % of the population, control just 4 % top posts while Christians and Sikhs have a slightly better representation. But the worst scenario emerges in the case of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes /Aborgines (STs): Based on CSDS study, 2006. Ref: The Hindu, June 05, 2006

Since 2005 the number of paid-for daily newspaper titles in India has grown by 44 percent to 2,700, according to the “World Press Trends 2010” survey published by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA). That makes it the world leader ahead of the United States with 1,397 titles and China with 1,000.

In readership terms English-language newspapers are absent from the top 10 where Hindi titles, led by the 55 million readership Dainik Jagran, take the top four spots, according to the WAN-IFRA survey. They are followed by Tamil, Marathi, Bengali and Telugu titles, and it?s not until 11th place is reached that the Times of India pops up with 13.3 million readers.

India boasts the world’s largest English-language newspaper in the Times of India, with a circulation of around four million and a well-educated, affluent readership that allows it to charge ad rates more than 10 times those of Hindi and other language publications.

Indian newspapers are not struggling with the same competition from the Internet that has been partly blamed for falling circulation in developed countries.

The cost of connections and a lack of infrastructure means Internet penetration remains low, with only 55 million Indian web users. And while there are more than 635 million mobile phone users, just 20 percent have Internet capability.

Digital pay TV subscription, which includes satellite TV and digital cable households, now account for around 19 million homes in India.  However, India tops a list of 15 Asia-Pacific nations in terms of   pay television piracy that resulted in losses of $1.28 billion (around Rs6,030 crore).  Pay TV piracy is defined as cable operators reporting a lower number of subscribers than they actually service  (CASBA Survey 2009)

Written by Cyber Gandhi

November 1, 2009 at 5:50 am

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