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Posted Online on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 15:30 IST

Muslim Islamic NewsSocial profile of key heads in the national media

Report by Anil Chamaria, Freelance Journalist; Jitendra Kumar, Independent Researcher; Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, CSDS

The Milli Gazette Online

6 June 2006

KEY FINDINGS:

  • India's 'national' media lacks social diversity, it does not reflect the country's social profile
  • Hindu upper caste men dominate the media. They are about 8 % of India's population but among the key decision makers of the national media their share is as high as 71 %.
  • Gender bias rules: only 17 % of the key decision makers are women. Their representation is better in the English Electronic media (32 %).
  • Media's caste profile is equally unrepresentative. 'Twice born' Hindus (dwijas comprising Brahmins, Kayasthas, Rajputs, Vaishyas and Khatris) are about 16 % of India's population, but they are about 86 % among the key media decision makers in this survey. Brahmins (including Bhumihars and Tyagis) alone constitute 49% of the key media personnel.
  • Dalits and adivasis are conspicuous by their absence among the decision makers. Not even one of the 315 key decision makers belonged to the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes.
  • The proportion of OBCs is abysmally low among the key decision makers in the national media: they are only 4 % compared to their population of around 40 % in the country.
  • Muslims are severely under-represented in the national media: they are only 3 % among the key decision makers, compared to 13.4% in the country's population.
  • Christians are proportionately represented in the media (mainly in the English media): their share is about 4 per cent compared to their population share of 2.3 %
  • Social groups that suffer 'double disadvantage' are also nearly absent among the key decision makers: there are no women among the few OBC decision makers and negligible backwards among the Muslims and Christians.
  • These findings are based on a survey of the social background of 315 key decision makers from 37 'national' media organizations (up to 10 key decision makers from each organisation) based in Delhi. The survey was carried out by volunteers of Media Study Group between 30 May and 3 June 2006.
  • The survey was designed and executed by Anil Chamaria, Feerlance Journalist, and Jitendra Kumar, Independent Researcher, from Media Study Group and Yogendra Yadav, Senior Fellow, CSDS.


Survey methodology: 

For this survey 40 ‘national’ media organizations located in Delhi were identified. These included all the major news papers, news magazines, radio channels, television channels and news agencies that could be said to have a national spread. Of these information could be obtained about 37 organizations. For this purpose different publications or channels of the same media house have been treated as different organaisations. 

For each of these organizations we sought information on the top 10 ‘key decision makers’ who matter in deciding the news and editorial policy of the organization. For each of these persons thus identified, information was collected on their social profile in terms of their gender, age, religion, caste/community, mother tongue and state of domicile. The information was available for 315 key decision makers. This was gathered by a group of volunteers of the Media Study Group. Since the information was gathered not by face-to-face interview but by speaking to colleagues and other informants, the data here may contain some errors.


SUMMARY TABLES

Gender Profile

      Men Women
    Print Hindi 86 % 14 %
    Print English 84 % 16 %
    Electronic Hindi 89 % 11 %
    Electronic English 68 % 32 %
    All 83 % 17 %

Religious profile

  Hindu Muslim Christian Sikh
Share in India’s population 81 % 13 % 2 % 2 %
Print Hindi 97 % 2 % 0 % 0
Print English 90 % 3 % 4 % 0
Electronic Hindi 90 % 6 % 1 % 0
Electronic English 85 % 0 % 13 % 2 %
All 90 % 3 % 4 % 1 %

Caste-community profile

  Brahmin Kayastha Vaishya/

Jain

Rajput Khatri Non dwija upper caste OBC
Print Hindi 59 % 9 % 11 % 8 % 5 % 0 % 8 %
Print English 44 % 18 % 5 % 1 % 17 % 5 % 1 %
Electronic Hindi 49 % 13 % 8 % 14 % 4 % 0% 4 %
Electronic English 52 % 13 % 2 % 4 % 4 % 4 % 4 %
All 49 % 14 % 7 % 7 % 9 % 2 % 4 %

Caste-Community profile compared to population share

Caste/community group Share in India’s population Share in key media personnel
     
‘Twice born’ Hindus (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, others) 16 % 85 %
‘Intermediary’ Hindu castes (Jat, Reddy, Maratha, Patel, etc.) 8 % 3 %
Hindu OBC 34 % 4 %
Muslim 13 % 4 %
Christian 2 % 3 %
Sikhs 2 % 1 %
SC 16 % 0 %
ST   8 % 0 %

Note: Figures for population share are based on Census of India 2001 and estimates generated by National Election Study 2004 of CSDS.

Share of Hindu upper caste men

Share in population 8 %
Share in key decision makers in the media 71 %

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