The Indian Media: How Credible?

(Released in September 2010 by Better Yourself Books, Mumbai, Pages: 336; Price; INR250 ($15)

(Brief description)

Decline in Media Standards

Media teacher and scholar Dr. Francis Arackal in his latest book The Indian Media: How Credible? highlights the general decline in media standards in India. An exception to this is the patch work of investigative reporting done by two media units such as The Indian Express and Tehelka. The subtitle of the book Investigative Reporting in India and the Indian Express is a pointer to this.

The main thesis in this book: The journalistic standard of mainstream media in India is on the decline. The author has paraphrased the words of Aamir Khan, an iconic Indian actor, who too sees The Indian Express and to some extent Tehelka as exceptions to this general decline. Overall the research concludes: The Press in India is Free; Investigative Reporting is a Public Service; People in India Consider Investigative Reporting a Public Service; Investigative Reporting More Important in India than other democracies because of rampant corruption and shameful societal practices; The Aim of Investigative Reporting is to Expose Corruption and Make the System Accountable and Responsible.

This book is the result of Dr. Arackal's research for nearly four years done mainly through a survey among the post-graduate students of eight leading media institutes in India: 1) Six schools from New Delhi - Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Indian Institute of Mass Communications (IIMC), IAAN School of Mass Communications (ISMC), Anwar Jamal Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre (AJKMCRC), Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication (SAIMC), National Institute of Social Communications Research and Training (NISCORT). 2) Two schools from South India: Journalism Department at Christ College, Bangalore, and Manorama School of Mass Communication (MASCOM).

This work with its inherent limitations has made at least five contributions to media research in India:

First, it has attempted to show the nature and state of Investigative Reporting in India. As far as data on Indian media research is available, a study of this kind has not been attempted before.

Second, it has tried to take a closer look at the way The Indian Express, one of the leading English Dailies in India, functions - its commitment, professionalism and so forth. This too is a first as far as media research in India is concerned.

Third, the study also showed why Investigative Reporting is so important for a country like India, though the largest democracy in the world, still plagued by enormous corruption and so many social evils.

Fourth, the study enabled us to come to know what many (262) of the future journalists of India, being trained in some of the most prestigious media institutions, think about Investigative Reporting and the way it is executed by The Indian Express.

Fifth, the study revealed a fact, which many in India might not be aware: That more and more Indian women are coming into the field of journalism, which is hugely satisfying and encouraging to the Indian society in general and women in particular.

The theoretical part of the research was done from the Gregorian University, Rome and Temple University, Philadelphia (USA).Through this book the author would like above all to propagate the need for value based ethical journalism in India.

The book was published by Better Yourself Books, Mumbai, September 2010. Pages 336, Price; Rs. 250.

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About the Author

Dr. Francis Arackal, OP is a professor of Media & Philosophy and is a trained journalist. He has been Formator, Superior, Parish Priest and Editor. He has also been the Joint Secretary of the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) for four years. His higher studies in Rome and Ireland and media work has taken him to many countries. He brings to bear on the writing of this book his vast multi-faceted experience (especially pastoral) in abundant measure. For more details about the author visit:




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