Media Outreach

Media of India consist of several different types of Indian communications media: television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines, and Internet-based Web sites. Many of the media are controlled by large, for-profit corporations who reap revenue from advertising,subscriptions, and sale of copyrighted material. India also has a strong music and film industry. India has more than 70,000 newspapers and over 690 satellite channels (more than 80 are news channels) and is the biggest newspaper market in the world – over 100 million copies sold each day.

The Indian media was initiated since the late 18th century with print media started in 1780, radio broadcasting initiated in 1927, and the screening of Auguste and Louis Lumière moving pictures in Bombay initiated during the July 1895 —is among the oldest and largest media of the world. Indian media—private media in particular—has been “free and independent” throughout most of its history. The period of emergency (1975–1977), declared by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was the brief period when India’s media was faced with potential government retribution.

Print Media

According to this article print Media in India is expected to grow unlike print media in the United States:

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) India seems to have “bucked the trend” of a downslide in the print media sector across the world with its newspaper industry poised to grow at 10 percent and emerge as the world’s sixth-largest newspaper market by 2017, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Saturday.

Addressing the inaugural function of the National Media Centre here, Tewari said the media sector has witnessed massive transformation over the past two decades, and one of the collaterals in this has been the print industry with many iconic newspapers and magazines the world over shutting shop.

However, India appears to be bucking the trend, he said.

He said the regional and vernacular print sector has seen growth in tandem with increasing literacy levels and advertisers are keen to leverage these markets.

The print industry would “be able to weather the shifting sands of technology at least in the Indian context”, he said.

The minister also said there is scope for increasing viewership of news channels in India, which stands at only seven percent compared to 93 percent viewership for general entertainment channels of the 15.4 crore TV households in India

This could happen if the “news broadcasters and Multi System Operators (MSOs) are prepared to re-imagine their content and carriage paradigms respectively”, he stressed.

With the revenue model of both the print and TV genres heavily dependent on advertisement for revenue, Tewari said for the news broadcasting industry the cap on advertisements could be synchronized with the digitization process of cable TV.

He asked telecom watchdog, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to reconsider the 12-minute ad cap that news channels have resented.

Keeping in mind the exponential growth of new media, with over 86 crore mobile phones, 12.4 crore internet users and eight crore people on Facebook, the government has recently created a New Media Wing in the ministry to have a presence in this virtual civilization, he said.

On the film industry, he said it had grown but has potential to grow further with 14 million Indians going to the movies everyday, he said, adding that the Mukul Mudgal panel was looking into the Cinematograph Act 1952.

Another panel under Sam Pitroda “is also close to finalizing their recommendations on a comprehensive restructuring of Prasar Bharti”, he added.

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Radio broadcasting was initiated in 1927 but became state responsibility only in 1930.In 1937 it was given the name All India Radio and since 1957 it has been called Akashvani. Limited duration of television programming began in 1959, and complete broadcasting followed in 1965. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting owned and maintained the audio-visual apparatus—including the television channel Doordarshan—in the country prior to the economic reforms of 1991. The Government of India played a significant role in using the audio-visual media for increasing mass education in India’s rural swathes. Projected television screens provided engaging education in India’s villages by the 1990s. In 1997, an autonomous body was established in the name of Prasar Bharti to take care of the public service broadcasting under the Prasar Bharti Act. All India Radio and Doordarshan, which earlier were working as media units under the Ministry of I&B became constituents of the body. 

Following the economic reforms satellite television channels from around the world—including BBC, CNN, CNBC, and other foreign television channels gained a foothold in the country. 47 million household with television sets emerged in 1993, which was also the year when Rupert Murdoch entered the Indian market. Satellite and cable television soon gained a foothold. Doordarshan, in turn, initiated reforms and modernization. With 1,400 television stations as of 2009, the country ranks 4th in the list of countries by number of television broadcast stations.

On 16 November 2006, the Government of India released the community radio policy which allowed agricultural centers, educational institutions and civil society organizations to apply for community based FM broadcasting license. Community Radio is allowed 100 Watt Effective Radiated Power (ERP) with a maximum tower height of 30 meters. The license is valid for five years and one organization can only get one license, which is non-transferable and to be used for community development purposes.

Film Industry

Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; however, it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centres producing films in multiple languages. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centres of film production in the world.

Bollywood is also formally referred to as Hindi cinema. There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It is common to see films that feature dialogue with English words (also known as Hinglish), phrases, or even whole sentences.


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