The economics and sociology of contemporary journalism: a case study analysis of the growth of television news channels in India

Pallavi Majumdar & Ruchi Jaggi (Amity University, India)

From the year 1999 when India got its first round-the-clock news channel Aaj Tak (Till Today); the story of growth of television news channels has been phenomenal. According to available data, a third of all television channels in India are focused on news and current affairs: about 44 news channels in Hindi, English and regional languages beamed into 71 million homes. This growth has been propelled by several factors, such as a robust economy, increased buying capacities and improved standards of living. The demography of India is such that there is huge populace ready to consume television content in different ways. This provides a fertile ground for the news channels. The demographic and psychographic profile of the Indian audience is a major factor in the rise of news channels. The rise of television news channels and their subsequent success can also be viewed in a sociological context – in terms of Indian society’s major transformations. This paper attempts to analyze the growth of news channels in relation to such economic and sociological parameters.

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