Headlines From the Heartland

Reinventing the Hindi Public Sphere

Sevanti Ninan,

Headlines From the Heartland: Reinventing the Hindi Public Sphere
 
 
In the 1990s a newspaper revolution began blowing across northern and central India. In these Hindi-speaking states, when literacy levels rose, communications expanded, and purchasing power climbed, Hindi newspapers followed-picking up readers in small towns and villages. Even while these newspapers surged to the top of national readership charts, they localised furiously in the race for readers. But in this universe of local news, questions arose about what localisation was doing to regional identity and consciousness.

Using notes from her pioneering field-study in eight states, Sevanti Ninan brings alive India's ongoing rural newspaper revolution, and its impact on politics, administration and society. Set against the socio-economic and political changes in the countryside, it is a remarkable story of how journalism flowered in unexpected and unorthodox ways, and colourful media marketing unfurled in the Hindi heartland.



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