Reconstructing the Indian public sphere: Newswork and social media in the Delhi gang rape case

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Abstract

In recent years, a growing literature in journalism studies has discussed the increasing importance of social media in European and American news production. Adding to this body of work, we explore how Indian and foreign correspondents reporting from India used social media during the coverage of the Delhi gang rape; how journalists represented the public sphere in their social media usage; and, what this representation says about the future of India's public sphere. Throughout our analysis, Manuel Castells' discussion of 'space of flows' informs our examination of journalists' social media uses. Our article reveals that while the coverage of the Delhi gang rape highlights an emerging, participatory nature of storytelling by journalists, this new-found inclusiveness remains exclusive to the urban, educated, connected middle and upper classes. We also find that today in India, social media usage is rearticulated around pre-existing journalistic practices and norms common to both Indian reporters working for English-language media houses and foreign correspondents stationed in India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1075
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism
Volume15
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 27 2014

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Keywords

  • Delhi gang rape case
  • India
  • Social media
  • networked public sphere
  • news production
  • space of flows

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