An analysis of Trends in first page priorities of Indian print media reporting—a case study of four English-language newspapers

C.S.H.N. Murthy and Ramakrishna Challa (Institute of Management Studies, Noida, India and Andhra University, India)

A critical analysis of the first page reporting priorities of India’s four leading English-language news papers – The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Times of India and The Hindu – reveals a number of interesting shifts in the paradigms of news reporting and news values. The analysis, which involves first page news coverage (including headlines, content, photos and advertisements), has offered an insight into departures from traditional news values. This study has witnessed a growing trend for first reporting and investigative reporting, increased use of extra-large photos (especially photos of the main players in each story), and the use of long titles and large fonts for even short reports. These findings suggest an increasing tabloidization and trivialization of news. This study applies the strong market and weak market orientation theories of Randal Beam to the Indian media, and attempts to correlate developments in India’s newsrooms with broader changes in Indian lifestyles and values – within a society experiencing increased incidences of crime, corruption and litigation.

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