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How Television Changed India

  • Amrita Shah - Renowned journalist and writer, and the award-winning author, Ahmedabad: A City in the World (2015)

June 2019 | 304 pages | SAGE Select

Fist-fights in television studios, dwindling media autonomy, sensationalism, fake news, religious hate, abusive trolls, political spin … How did we get here? Three decades ago, before economic liberalization, came the expansion and privatization of Indian television. Technological innovation and easing of government controls offered the prospect of journalistic independence, artistic creativity and an empowered citizenry. This was rendered illusory by runaway growth and untrammelled commercialization. In that thwarted promise of the late 20th century lie the seeds of Indian democracy’s current crisis. Telly-Guillotined: How Television Changed India tells the story of how technology was usurped, first by propagandists, then by the market. Going behind the scenes of the world's greatest media explosion, this book describes the impact of consumerism on the newsroom, the shaping of a new cultural politics and the rise of a new politics of seduction. In a landscape of technological innovation, blurred boundaries and sensory overload, Amrita Shah paints a picture of the Fourth Estate's challenging future.

Coming Soon…
The Big Leap
The Middle Class Strikes Back
The New Guerrillas
Star Trek
The Rath Yatra
Everything Must Go
Love for Sale
Let’s Play Life
The Backlash
Indians in Blue Jeans
The Age of Infotainment
Angry and Addicted

Hype, Hypocrisy & Television in Urban India was a book way ahead of its time. Too many likely users who would benefit from it are deprived simply because it is such an old publication now. Nobody has done a comparable book on politics and sociology of Indian television. It would find an audience among journalists and television viewers bewildered by the fast evolving scenario. Media is now a huge industry and punches above its weight in terms of impact on our minds. There are too few serious books on the subject, barring the odd personalised memoir.

Shekhar Gupta,
Founder and Editor-in-Chief, ThePrint

Shah is that rare writer who combines the topical energy of journalism with the reflective depth and breadth of scholarship. Her television book is, by the same token, that exceedingly rare approach to the subject that is neither superficial nor ponderous. This is a text that navigates seamlessly between reportage, social analysis, and personal memoir. It brings policy debates alive and mines everyday experience for its structural significance.

William Mazzarella,
Neukom Family Professor and Department Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago

Amrita Shah

Amrita Shah is the author of the award-winning book Ahmedabad: A City in the World (2015) and a biography Vikram Sarabhai: A Life (2007).  She has been a journalist and a writer for several decades. She has worked for Time magazine, edited features magazines Debonair and Elle and has been a contributing editor with The Indian Express. Ms Shah has received fellowships from the New India Foundation, the Homi Bhabha Fellowships Council and the Fulbright Program. She is an alumna of the Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University and has been Visiting Faculty at the Centre for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute of Science,... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789353286057