The Indian Media Economy: New Perspectives from New Zealand Research Symposium 25th – 26th February 2014 and Workshop 27th February 2014.

18 11 2013

The Indian Media Economy: New Perspectives from New Zealand
Research Symposium 25th – 26th February 2014 and Workshop 27th February 2014.

Hosted by:
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton
Centre for Culture, Media and Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Organising Committee:
Dr. Adrian Athique
New Zealand India Research Institute and School of Arts, University of Waikato
Dr. SV Srinivas
Culture Industries and Diversity in Asia Programme, Centre for Study of Culture and Society
Assoc. Professor Vibodh Parthasarathi
Centre For Culture, Media and Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia

Supported by: New Zealand India Research Institute (NZIRI)

Location: Raglan, Waikato, New Zealand.

The Indian Media Economy

The overarching notion of India as an emerging market for imported goods at the outset of the 1990s was rapidly superseded by a widespread recognition of the new prominence of India as a service-provider to the global economy, particularly in the fields of computer software, back office processing, call centres, biotechnology and others tropes of the ‘knowledge economy’. This shift to a ‘services provision’ model has been paralleled by two decades of very rapid growth in India’s media landscape, exemplified by the global ambitions of the Indian film industry, the domestic television boom, the rapid rise of mobile telecoms and the explosion of cross media advertising. As such, the ‘new economy’ of India as it stands today is largely imagined in terms of the cumulative aspirations, of consumers and policymakers alike, enshrined in the software park, the shopping mall, the satellite TV system and the multiplex cinema.

Alongside the much-vaunted ‘development’ of productive capacity in services and technology, the rapid growth of new forms of media distribution and consumption has served as the vanguard of economic and social change. The increasing global literacy amongst India’s diverse middle classes is being fostered by the widening ‘international’ outlook of the new media environment. In fact, international finance and domestic capital have moved decisively into the domain of entertainment over the past decade. New market positions have been accompanied by widespread experimentation with new and reformulated business models, entertainment formats, media technologies and marketing strategies. As India’s economy continues to grow in the face of recession in the industrialised world, the advent of widespread discretionary spending power in India takes on obvious global significance.

Within this broader context, India’s emergent media economy has been shaped by progressive deregulation in sectors that were previously characterised by state monopolies and traditional family businesses operating at various scales. The expansion of multi-national actors such as News Corporation, Sony and Vodafone was easily anticipated, but their role has been counterpoised by the rise of domestic media empires like Essel, Bharti and Reliance. This field of trans-national linkages and national giants is further juxtaposed by the increasingly significant role of sub-national cultural formations and an array of regionalised media providers, like the Sun, DB Corp and Sakaal Groups. In that sense, regionalisation, as much as commercialisation, has been a significant, and largely un-anticipated, dynamic of the liberalisation of the media economy.

Amongst all this, New Zealand has made some significant contributions to the media boom through the activities of companies like Walker Cinema Architects, Weta Workshops and Vista Entertainment Solutions. What we have learned in the process is that the reconfiguration of the media economy has great significance for the operation of the Indian economy as a whole, and equally so for the prevailing forms of democratic participation and expressions of public culture. Accordingly, this symposium will consider a spectrum of developments (political, technological, commercial and sociological) relevant to locating the Indian media economy from a broad range of inter-related academic perspectives.

Call for Papers
We would like to invite submissions for high quality papers that engage with the present transformation of the Indian media economy across a range of disciplines including, but not limited to: anthropology, Asian studies, cultural studies, development studies, geography, history, media and communications, political economy and sociology.
Suggested themes:
• Cultures of Consumption
• International Media Flows & Trade
• Journalism and Political Communication
• Media and Urban Transformation
• Media Commodities & Intellectual Property
• Media Law, Rights & Justice
• Media Workforce & Business Cultures
• Political Economy of the Media and of Regulation
• Technology, Communication and Social Change

Symposium 25-26 February 2014
The symposium will be located in the small but vibrant coastal town of Raglan, which is 45 minutes from the University of Waikato main campus in Hamilton ( The symposium venue will be the Sunset Motel Conference Centre ( The symposium event will run for two full days and the format will include panel sessions and spaces for discussion. Refreshments and lunches will be provided. There will be no registration fee, although there will be a cost for accommodation at the venue.

Raglan has a range of accommodation options as well as a good selection of dining options and its famous beaches ( Accommodation at the conference venue for those attending the symposium can be arranged via the event




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