India’s Newspaper Revolution

Capitalism, Politics and the Indian-language Press 1977-1999

Robin Jeffrey

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India’s Newspaper Revolution Paperback
April 2000£18.99
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From the late 1970s a revolution in Indian-language newspapers, driven by a marriage of capitalism and technology, has carried the experience of print to millions of new readers in small-town and rural India. This volume analyses the role of capitalism and technology in shaping identity, ‘national’ or otherwise, and seeks to explain the inner workings of one of the most complex newspaper industry in the world. It pinpoints the role of advertising in propelling a multilingual print boom, and throws light on questions of literacy and the standardisation of languages. The India of the 1990s is revealed here from perhaps an unfamiliar angle, and in addition the text seeks to illustrate the global transformation of media, of which India is seen to play a key part.


Robin Jeffrey is Emeritus Professor, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.



‘What makes Jeffery’s work so distinguished is not simply the telling of an exciting and moving tale: the growth and development of India’s regional print media, but its presentation in a rigorous theoretical framework and on the most relevant historical canvas.’ — India Weekly

‘Robin Jeffrey’s masterly and comprehensive analysis of India’s “newspaper revolution” will itself revolutionise our own understanding of the role of the print media in India’s evolving democracy. This book will serve as a benchmark study for years to come.’ — Dipesh Chakrabarty, Professor of History and South Asian Studies, University of Chicago