Author: Ramesh Aroli
Author Affiliation: Department of Journalism, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi
Abstract: The ownership of Indian media, be it print or electronic, has been in the hands of mostly ‘merchant castes’ or ‘communities’ (such as Birla, Jain, Bania in North India and Elazav, Ediga, or Vaishyas in Southern India). As a result of this, merchant castes not only emerged powerful but also established their hegemony over the media sector in the country. The dominance of any particular caste or community would certainly play a pivotal role in prioritizing the issues to be ‘covered’ or to be ‘killed’ in the media. In the process of constructing a ‘social reality’, media follows somewhat an exclusionary approach and thereby tries to impact the world affairs of communities on an everyday basis. The present paper intends to explore the way ‘caste’ functions in the media sector and often marginalize the communities that have lesser access to the media. By taking some examples of media reportage in print, the study would make an attempt to understand the portrayal of Dalit communities and shaping popular perceptions about these socially excluded groups through various elements of news.
Keywords: Caste, Media, Inequality, Democracy