Mass Media, Journalism and Development

Mass Media, Journalism and Development


Mass Media

Media is called the fourth pillar of democracy.  It has been proved time and again.  With the passage of time mass media has got immense power.  Earlier it was not so strong but with the emergence of newer methods of communication, it has widened its arena.  Today mass media has to play more proactive roles by exposing the corrupt practices in the society.  James Augustus Hickey is regarded as the father of Indian journalism. Before 1947 media was a mission whose primary aim was get rid of British rule.

After independence it was time to create a new India and making its all round developments.  But after a few years it became profession and at last it has become a business.  Still we cannot ignore its power.  It has exposed large number of scams/

Media must refrain from hype and keep a balance approach.  One of the roles of media is to give constructive approach.  It must be a constructive critic like parents of a child.  Only then it can be called friend of masses and voice of deprived.


Print Media

Print media includes newspapers, magazines, books etc.


Newspapers are the mirror of society.  By reading a good newspaper, one can make an assessment of a society.   A newspaper contains news, views, reviews, features, articles and advertisement etc.  Although it has to face stiff competition from other media such as a television, radio, magazine, television and Internet but still it has its own importance. The word ‘Press’ is in fact, used generally for newspapers.  They are easy and cheap messengers which can provide an insight about what are happening in the government.  What welfare decisions are being taken by the government?  Who is going to become next chief minister of a certain state?  In addition to giving news, newspapers also render great service to nation by building the public opinion.  They clear the clouds engulfing the public minds.  They also reveal the reality and expose the malpractices.  They diagnosis the disease.


Newspapers inform us, educate entertain and influence us.  Newspapers have something for everyone.  Either it is a school going children, job seeker, businessman, political analyst, teacher or an owner of a manufacturing company.  Newspaper provides a platform from where the masses can raise their voices and it is done through the letters from readers.  Even newspapers can form and refine public opinion on some issues of national or international importance.


They also tell us about the social sector.  Newspaper tells us about the couple who had .done inter-caste marriage.  They tell us about the winning team.  Some newspapers have great credibility in the masses.  Some of the reputed newspapers of India are: Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Tehelaka, Navbharat Times, Hindustan, Dainik Jagaran, Dainik Bhasar, Punjab Kesari etc.  These newspapers are taken seriously by government agencies.

Content of Newspaper

A newspaper has diversified contents, which touch almost all the parts of our life such as politics, society, religion, history, health, science and technology etc.


Now we can see shifting of advertising revenue to other media, but in nations such as India where Internet is not accessible to all and  newspapers enjoy the love of masses.


Kinds of Newspapers

Newspapers can be categorised into various types-Region wise, they can be categorized into national   and city newspaper etc. in the same way they can be categorized into economic and political and religious newspapers.  Time factor also can divide it further such as morning newspaper, after noon newspaper and evening newspaper.

Structure of Newspaper Company

Like other organizations, Newspaper Company has an organizational structure.
The major sections of newspaper organization are editorial, Advertising, circulation, printing, Administrative, Accounting, Personnel, Legal, Public etc



Means of advertising: Advertisements are major source of revenues for newspapers. Advertisements may seem worthless to someone but the person who is looking a job, the businessman who wants to expand his business and the company who wants to hire employees for their company, the person who deals in property, the studies who want to know about the various existing opportunities in the field of education, for them theses relevant advertisements are of great importance.   Sometimes advertiser may influence the policy of newspaper or convince the newspaper to work in his favour, but it is not good practice as it may be applied to some small newspaper.



In India, the first newspaper was published in Jan, 1780 by Jamesh Augustus Hickey by the name of Bengal gazette.  It was first milestone in   the history of Indian journalism.  The newspaper is known for its attack on mighty people of the time.  It attacked on Warren Hastings, the then governor general and his friend Elija Impay, the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  The newspaper was “A weekly political and commercial paper open to all parties but influence by none.  It contained news related to fashion, politics, and belated description of the debates in the British Parliament.  Sometimes its content seemed to be vulgar and improper.


The fact cannot be denied that the primary aim and objective of the East Indian Company was to make as much profit as it could.  So many European who were not in agreement with the policies made by the company raised their voice and vent their anger through such publication.

Hickey became a great source of inspiration for others and we see emergence of a number of newspapers such as Madras Courier, the Harkara, Indian Gazette, Bombay Gazette, James Silk Buckingham was a noteworthy journalist, who come to India as an editor of Calcutta chronicle’ , the newspaper that was started  by some merchants of  Calcutta to protect their collective interest.  Buckingham was a close friend of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the great social reformer, who is also called the father of Indian journalism. He himself started three newspapers: Mirat-ulAkhbar in Persian, Sambad Kaumadi in  Bengali and Brahmanical Magazine in English.  He was a man of great vision.

In the beginning, the newspapers were doing the duties of promoting interest of some groups or institutions.  But with the course of time, they began to become the voice of people.


Kind of Newspapers


Newspapers can be broadly divided into two groups one which are of general-interest and second is of special interest. In fact newspaper can be categorized into many groups such as




The word magazine comes from the Arabic makhazin means ‘store house’.

Magazines are different from newspapers.  Views are more important than news in a magazine.  It deals with interpretation, analysis and. it is a periodical publication containing a varied kinds of items.  The language of magazines is more refined and well-structured than that of newspapers language. Magazines are published to express and promote certain ideas or views.

Kinds of Magazine: Magazine can be classified in various categories. All we have read magazines. Nowadays magazines are seen highly specialized.  On the basis of its publication frequency it may be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annually.  If we have a close look.  Likewise, keeping in view the content it may be categorized in various categories such as fashion, health, competitive examination, music, home, games, computer, finance, automobiles, footwear, travel, news and business. Etc.

Source of revenue:  Magazines get revenue from three major sources; advertising, pre-paid subscription and purchase price.

History: The Gentlemans’ Magazine was the first magazine that was published in 1731 in London.

Prominent magazines of the world and India:  Reader’s Digest, Time, The New Yorker. India Today, outlook, etc. are some of India’s renowned magazines.


                                                              Electronic Media


It is a theatre of mind enhances ones visualization power.  When we are listening radios, actually our mind is doing two acts simultaneously.  On the one hand, we are listening to the news on the other hand what is listened is bring also created within our mind.  Radio is a personal media.


Some people have buried it but FM has revived it in a new form.  One can see number of people listening news in buses, metro trains and even when doing their household chores.

All India Radio is one of the largest radio networks in the world.  Headquarters of AIR is at the akashvani Bhavan in New Delhi. AIR provides services in number of languages.

History of Radio:

The first radio broadcasting started in India in Nov 1923 by Radio club of Bengal, Calcutta (Now Kolkatta). Next year Madras and Bombay radio club also started the radio broadcasting.  In the beginning the radio clubs were confined to broadcast only music and talks.  These initial attempts were very important but due to financial problems they could not survive and had to face closure in 1927. In the same year India Broadcasting company was set up on 23 rd July. IBC had to go to the same fate and went bankrupt and closed down.  Public reacted strongly on its closure and government took it over and renamed it Indian Broadcasting Service under the department of labor and industries.  In the year 1925, the Mysore station was named as ‘Akashvani’. Radio station at Delhi was set up and started functioning from 1936. It was a big event in the history of radio broadcasting.  It was in this year that India broadcasting was renamed All India Radio.  At the time of independence, India had six radio station, and 18 transmitters.  Total number of radio sets was 2, 75,000.

Vivid Bharti services were started on 3rd October 1957 and Yuvavani services were stated in Delhi on 1969. Commercial services of AIR were started from 1973. The first FM broadcasting started on 23rd July 1977 in Madras. In 1997 AIR along with DD was brought under Prasar Bharti, an autonomous body of I & B Ministry.

All India Radio consists of 277 stations and 432 broadcast transmitters (148 are MW (Medium Wave), 236 FM (Frequency Modulation) and 48 SW (Short Wave) transmitters as on 31 March 2012), which provide coverage to about 99% of the population spread over the country.

Three-tier Broadcasting System

All India Radio has a three-tier system of broadcasting: National, Regional and Local each having distinct audiences. National programmes are broadcast from Delhi for relay by the Capital, Regional and Local Radio Stations.  The National Channel of AIR located in Delhi broadcasts programmes which are heard on Medium Wave and also on Short Wave. The channel was started on 18th May 1988. Programmes are broadcast in Hindi, Urdu and English. The Regional Stations in different States are the middle tier of broadcasting. They present programmes in the regional languages and dialects. Regional Channels are located in the major linguistic-cultural region of every state.

Local Radio stations serve small communities, showcase local culture and broadcast area specific programmes for the benefit of the community. The transmission is in the FM mode.

FM Radio

The first FM Channel was launched in Chennai in 1977.  The local radio stations of AIR which had their beginning in 1984 were all based on FM technology. These stations introduced the concept of community radio using the FM transmitter which provided limited coverage focused on the needs of the local people and served the community effectively.

FM Rainbow channel was launched by AIR on 1st January, 1993.  Wide ranges of programmer are launched by the FM Rainbow i.e. Pop music, Film songs, Classical & Devotional music, News Headlines, informal chat shows, phone-in programmer etc.

Traditional Media

India is an ancient country having very rich cultural heritage.  With the passage of time different kinds of folk dances and folklores developed.  They have being informing, educating, entertaining the masses effectively and persuasively for centuries. These are deeply rooted to our culture.  They make us aware about some religious or social issues.

India is a country of villages.  Major sources of there entertainment are nukkad natak, puppet show and various other folklores.  They are bled of information and entertainment. Now, we see various non governmental organisations and government itself have understood the effectiveness of these folk forms.


People are educated and entertained in a very light manner. These folk lores and dances have charm to attract the masses.  They make good rapport with the masses.

Each state has its own folk theatre as Tamasha in Maharashtra and  Yakshgayan in Karnataka is very popular. Nautanki is very popular in North Indian state. Jatra is a folk theatre of Bengal and Odisha and Bhavi is the folk theatre of Gujarat.


Puppetry:  Puppetry is the least expensive form of all animated visual art form.


The early puppet shows were confined to the heroic deeds of great kings and princes.

Kind of puppetry

Rod puppet

Shadow puppet

String puppet

Glove puppet

Puppetry attracts everyone irrespective of age and social background. Stories are taken form local myth and puranic literature.

String puppet: String puppetry is widely used and flourishes in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan Odisha and Karantaka.  It is called Kathputi in Rajasthan, Kundhei in Odisha.  In Rajasthan puppets are carved from a single piece of wood and look like large dolls.  They are dressed colorfully.

In Karnataka string puppets are called gombeyatta.


In Tamil Nadu, puppets are called as Bommallatam.


Shadow Puppet: shadow puppet can be seen flourishing in Kerla Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.  In Karnataka it is called Togalu Gombeyatta.  In Anddhra it is called Thalu Bommalata. It is called Ravanchage in Odisha.

Rod puppet: it is manipulated by rod. Rod puppet is mostly flourishing in Odisha and West Bengal.  In Bihar, it is known as Yampuri while in Bengal it is called Putul Nautch.

Glove Puppet:  In Kerala it is called Parvakoothu. . It arose from Karnataka.



The word journalism is made of journal which is derived from the French journal.  Gradually the word came in practice for the person who wrote for newspapers, periodicals etc. with the modernization of press, the word journalist is being used for the persons who works in the newspaper, magazine, radio or television and is associated with the worked such as collecting, selecting , editing, writing processes in these media.

In fact, it is the practice of investigation and reporting of events and trends to a broad audience. It has the basic work of collecting and disseminating of news through the print media as well as the electronic media. There is much variation within journalism, the basic task is to inform and educate. It covers and is free to cover almost all the news and views.

Now we see flood of internet newspapers, where cyber journalists are engaged in purveying the information and entertainment to the audience.  Thus the role of journalism is undergoing change.

Journalism can be classified into two categories i.e. Print Journalism and ii. Electronic Journalism. Newspapers, magazines come under the print journalism while Radio, Television and the Web portals come under electronic journalism.  Journalists play a major role in the development of society and nation as a whole.


Mass Media and Development


Development is a very wide term. It is a state of growth or advancement and synonyms of progress and modernization.    It is very complex issue. Development is an empowerment.  Mass media have a great role in the developmental process of society, be it economic, political or social development.  Mass media may not have tools to change the state of things but various media may work as agents to change.  Media can create awareness and generate newer views and can interpret the situation at different level.  It can make the people aware about the shortcomings of system, planning and execution. The more developed the society, the more effective and powerful mass media become.  Mass media is dependent on society for its existence and society can be benefited by it in more than one ways.  The more educated and literate the people, better there understanding to the world and they are better at understanding the message or information disseminated or transmitted.  It may be used as a vehicle of progress by various societies.


Mass media can play more active and vital role in the countries like ours, where illiteracy, poverty and ignorance are rampant.   Mass media play the role of watchdog over various agencies and their functioning.   Mass media can motivate the masses on certain issues. In rural sector mass media can have a good role in exposing the various kinds of superstitions.  Despite all scientific and technological advancement still most of our villagers are orthodox and fatalist. Physical illness is attached with some superstition. Mass media can be used as a vehicle of development. Media can form and refined public opinion.  Television has penetrated into the lowest level of society and is doing the work of informing and educating.


Science:  Science has progressed much and newer innovative inventions are taking place.

Agriculture. Agriculture is main activities in our rural area and around 70 per cent of our rural population is associated with agriculture.  Farmers can be informed, educated about the latest technologies.  Various media such television, radio and newspaper give news about the weather forecast. They get news about what is happening in their respect and what plans the government has put in place. Television and radio also broadcast specific programmed related to farmers and their problems.   Farmers get to know about the agricultural loan and the various banks providing the services.

Health:  Masses can be made aware about the disadvantages of large family and advantage of a small family.  In the filed of family planning, various media have played a very active role. Malnutrition is another problem facing our society.  Gender bias is also seen in the society.
Education and Social Development

Our society is facing a number of problems.  India is a country with diversity, illiteracy, poverty, gender bias, drugs, khap panchyat, hunger, over population.

Over-population: India’s population is around 1.34 billion.  It ranks second in the world and has 37th place in the population density.  Media can spread awareness about the advantage and disadvantages of large family.   India is a home to one-third of the world poor people.  According to a report by NCEUS-National commission for enterprises in the unorganized sector 25% Indian people live on less than 20 rupees per day. These people are living in utter poverty.  Their life is indefinite and insecure.  Mass media can highlight the issue and present their pitiful plight.  Media can promote the family planning at least government can publish the advertisement. But the people who earn just 20 rupees can they afford to buy a newspaper?  If one can afford to buy it what is the guarantee of his or her being educated to go through the newspaper.


Media are watched, read or seen by millions of people. Television has good penetration into the masses and can play and is playing a great role to inform, educate and entertain the masses.  We have seen on many occasions people glued to their television sets. Who can forget the time when on the broadcasting of    Ramayan and Mahabharat people happened to glue to their television sets.

Poverty:  India is ridden in the following fields

Education: In the field of education mass media provides its service to educate the learners. Various educational programmer are being broadcasted d by radio, television etc. Newspapers are also good source of making the people aware about the various burning topics.  Along with it people’s hold over the language concerned gets firmer.

In this context the name of educet is worth-mentioning.    It was launched by Indian Space Reserch Organisation. This communication satellite was prepared to cater the educational needs of the society.  The first broadband network on EDUSAT for schools VICTERS (virtual class technology on edusat for rural schools was inaugurated by renowned scientists and former President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. It has brought a transformation in the concept of imparting of education. The primary aim of this education satellite was to cater the needs of children or learners who are not able to attend a school or college due to one or other reason. By using power point presentation classes are conducted by the education institutions such as NCERT, CBSE   or universities or state educational boards. Education is imparted through a studion environment.  Here we see the power of mass media where one source provide information or impart education to a wide range of masses.


Now, CDs and various kind of electric gadgets are in the services of masses.

Farmers:  Agriculture   is the foremost occupation of rural people.

In rural area mass media can play very vital and effective role in rural area.  It can create awareness in the masses.  Mass media can do a great service in the rural area in removing all kinds of superstitions prevailed in the society.      Most of the villagers are orthodox and fatalist and even they avoid taking medicine and use their old traditional methods.



Political parties use mass media to propagate their agenda and ideology.  They want to live in the minds of people and for that they find media as a vehicle through which they can spread their point of view.  Media coverage is needed to reach the masses.  They use television, radio, newspapers, pamphlets, magazines.  Interviews are given and manifestos are published. What are the shortcomings of the government, how we will change the situations. Going through the basic task of media, are used to inform, educate and influence the masses.

Moral Development

It is very unfortunate that mass media is being misused and even young children are falling victims of it.  Nowadays we see pornography is widely seen by even small children.  Various kinds of websites are active on the internets which are being used by these children. Media can enhance the moral upgradation of masses.

Entertainer to the masses


Media entertain the masses.  People, who get tired after toiling from dawn to task, seek for some entertainment and light atmosphere.  They can fulfill their requirement, by watching a movie or drama, or any puppetry.  Films are great sources of entertainment which take us away from the intricacies of our daily life.


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