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Headlines From the Heartland

Headlines From the Heartland
Reinventing the Hindi Public Sphere

  • Sevanti Ninan - Media Analyst and Newspaper Columnist, New Delhi

May 2007 | 308 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Headlines From the Heartland: Reinventing the Hindi Public Sphere is the first in-depth study of the ongoing newspaper revolution in the Hindi-speaking states of India. With improved literacy levels, communications and purchasing power, the circulation of Hindi newspapers has grown rapidly in small towns and rural areas. By focusing their content to serve a local readership, some multi-edition Hindi newspapers have risen to the top of the national readership charts. Against the backdrop of the relationship between press and society, author Sevanti Ninan describes the emergence of a local public sphere; reinvention of the public sphere by the new non-elite readership; the effect on politics, administration, and social activism; the consequences of making newspapers reader rather than editor-led; the democratization of the Hindi press with the advent of village-level citizen journalists; and the impact of caste and communalism on the Hindi press.

Based on over 150 interviews with journalists, readers, publishers, politicians, administrators, and activists, as well as expert content analysis, this book tells the ongoing story of the press in the Hindi heartland.
Overview: Reinventing the Public Sphere
The Evolution and Growth of Hindi Journalism
A Rural Newspaper Revolution
Creating New Media Hubs
Local Newsgatherers
The Universe of Local News
Media and Commerce
Journalists and Politicians
Caste and Communalism
The Development Discourse
Reconfiguring the Public Sphere
Change and Attrition
Epilogue: Habermas Revisited

Rarely do journalists focus inwards.  But to her credit, Sevanti Ninan, in a brilliant exposition of the as-yet-unfinished media revolution in the Hindi heartland, has for the first time focused on the growth and increasing localization of news.

It documents the changing face of Hindi journalism in post liberalization India, as well as the consequences of newspaper localization for small town India.

The author brings alive India’s ongoing Hindi newspaper revolution and its impact on politics, administration and society.

Deccan Herald, Bangalore

Sevanti Ninan brilliantly brings alive India’s ongoing Hindi 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….  “a story of expansion, localization, fragmentation”….  Sachin Pilot called it “trivialization of the newspaper”…. “Headlines from the Heartland”  as the first serious effort to capture  the Hindi Press” not by a foreigner, but by an Indian….  “Ninan strives  to connect her richly  woven stories into larger pattern of media and newspaper development throughout the world in the past 200 years.  This is a book for everyone interested in modern India, and in how print and capitalism shaper societies.”….  Famous author and columnist Ramchandra Guha describes the book as “fascinating and richly textured study of the rise to influence  and power of the Hindi press across northern India

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ISBN: 9780761935803

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