Communication & Global Power Shifts| The Ambivalent State and the Media in India: Between Corporate Compulsions and the Public Interest

Pradip Thomas


The inability of the state in India to either translate existing media policies into practice, or create media policies and regulatory processes that correspond with the emergent reality of convergent media, is a reflection of its ambivalence—caught as if were between the demands from its interests groups and the compulsions stemming from the need to engage with a populist politics. This article explores issues related to the emerging political economy of communications in India with a specific emphasis on the nature of media ownership and control within a media market that is increasingly controlled by business interests and political parties. It also tries to make sense of the efficacy of counter-movements including community radio, free and open source software.

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