[csaa-forum] South Asia Seminar on Journalism in India

Devleena Ghosh Devleena.Ghosh at uts.edu.au
Thu Apr 17 14:24:20 CST 2008

Dear friends
Please come to this presentation by Dr Ursula Rao from UNSW hosted by  
the Sydney South Asia Seminar Group/Trans/forming Cultures Research  

I would also be grateful if you could pass it along through your  


Day Friday
Date 2nd May
Time 6 pm
Venue UTS Bldg3, rm210, enter via 755 Harris St

News strategies for Indian Big Men.

This paper is set against the background of a profound transformation  
of the Indian news making business that among other things has let to  
a rapid expansion of local news making since the 1990s. The growing  
availability of space for local information has supported the  
emergence of a 'news culture', by which I mean the willingness and  
desire of citizens to actively engage with editorial personnel and  
push their concerns, hopes and achievements. into the newspaper.
In this paper I will explore one dimension of this activity. I look  
at the way ambitious personalities at the local level use newspapers  
for building their political career. I argue that a politics of  
importance traditionally associated with the public arena and  
realised in public performances is carried into the newspaper through  
news that display importance rather than give information. The  
multiplication of such 'news', especially during media events,  
creates a public sphere of a particular character: it is a collage of  
competitive expressions of alliances, connections and eminence,  
rather than a rational debate of public concerns.

URSULA RAO, Dr. is Senior Lecturer in Sociology & Anthropology at the  
University of New South Wales, Sydney. Her fields of expertise are  
Media Anthropology and Religious Anthropology. She has worked in  
India for over 15 years and has written on Hinduism, Hindu-Muslim  
communalism, the caste system, Hindi- and English journalism as well  
as more generally on ritual and questions of research method. Some of  
her recent English language publications are Negotiating the Divine:  
Temple Religion and Temple Politics in Contemporary Urban India  
(2003, Delhi: Manohar) and Celebrating Transgression. Method and  
Politics in the Anthropological Studies of Cultures (2006, Oxford:  
Berghahn, co-edited with John Hutnyk). Next year she will be  
publishing News as Culture. Journalistic Practices and the Remaking  
of Leadership Traditions in India (Oxford: Berghahn).

(Dr) Devleena Ghosh
Associate Professor, Social Inquiry Program
Bon Marche (Bldg 3), room 550 (enter via Harris St)

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney

Postal address: PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
Phone and Voice Mail: +61-2-95141963
Fax: +61-2-95142332

UTS CRICOS Provider Code:  00099F
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