More than a belated Gutenberg Age: Daily Newspapers in India

An Overview of the Print Media Development since the 1980s, Key Issues and Current Perspectives


  • Nadja-Christina Schneider Humboldt University Berlin


India, newspaper boom, media globalization, problems in categorization, cultural imperialism, De-Westernization


While TV may still be the dominant medium in India today, and the internet and mobile phone industry are currently growing at a tremendous speed, ‘old’ media such as the press don’t seem to be losing ground as yet. In times of a recurrent debate about the crisis of print media in Europe and the US, the Indian newspaper market still keeps growing and has attracted the interest of multinational corporations. One reason for this is that India is presently one of the largest markets for English-language newspapers and magazines in the world. Notwithstanding the continued growth of the English-language press, it is above all daily newspapers in the major Indian languages which form the motor of this unprecedented press boom. The article shows that in the wake of economic liberalization and the enforcement of the consumption-oriented market economy, the newspaper market in India can be said to be changing from a linguistically ‘split public’, which was characterized by many asymmetries for decades, to an integrated multilingual ‘consumer sphere’. It can thus be argued that in this new consumer sphere, the old existing and imaginary boundaries between ‘English-language’, ‘Indian-language’ or ‘regional newspapers’ are becoming increasingly fuzzy, whereas the new geographies of the ‘regional’ are now very important for the expansion and consolidation of daily newspapers. In order to de-westernize the current debate about the ‘newspaper crisis’, it would thus be important to look at different historical as well as contemporary trajectories of newspaper developments in the framework of changing media configurations in the so-called global South, which may differ significantly from the European or North American context.

Author Biography

Nadja-Christina Schneider, Humboldt University Berlin

Nadja-Christina Schneider is a Junior Professor for Mediality and Intermediality in Asian and African Societies at Humboldt University Berlin. Her areas of research include processes of medialisation and sociocultural change in South Asia and debates on Islam and Gender. Her recent publications include an edited volume titled “Social Dynamics 2.0: Researching Change in Times of Media Convergence” (2011, with Bettina Gräf), and an edited special issue of ASIEN - the German Journal on Contemporary Asia titled “Islam, Youth and Gender in India and Pakistan: Current Research Perspectives” (2013). Her forthcoming publications include „Medialised Delhi: Youth, Protest, and an Emerging Genre of Urban Films” in: Südasien-Chronik/South Asia Chronicle, No. 3, 2013.




How to Cite

Schneider, N.-C. (2013). More than a belated Gutenberg Age: Daily Newspapers in India: An Overview of the Print Media Development since the 1980s, Key Issues and Current Perspectives. Global Media Journal - German Edition, 3(2). Retrieved from



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