A Study on Alternative MEDIA Promoting Intracultural Communication through News Websites

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Hörsaal 23 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Padma RANI, School of communication,Manipal University,Manipal,Karnataka, India
Alternative media’s rise has been facilitated by growth in Internet and other digital technologies. “Alternative media is a range of media projects, interventions and networks that work against, or seek to develop different forms of, the dominant, expected ways of doing media.”(Chris Atton:2004).The characteristics of alternative media according to Atton are:-radical content ,be it political or cultural; strong aesthetic form; employ ’reproductive innovations/adaptations’ taking full advantage of the available and cutting-edge technology; alternative means of distribution and anti-copyright ethos; transformation of social roles and relations into collective organisations and de-professionalism and transformation of communication processes-‘horizontal linkages’(Kate Coyer etal:2009). The two main characteristics that differentiate alternate media from dominant media are in the content and in the mode of production which is more democratic and participatory.

The emergence of alternative media on the internet has led to changes in journalism and media. PeaceNet in the US and Green Net in the UK were the earliest internet based media projects which helped in bringing about social change. The internet has been used by social movements like Zapatistas in the Chiapas region of Mexico and the Arab Spring. Popular culture is also shared and promoted with the help of internet .The emergence of news websites is one such phenomenon.

This paper seeks to study two websites from India UthTime.in and citizenMatters.in. The content of the two website will be analysed for a month in order to understand the profile of the contributors to the site. It will also enable the researcher to understand the consumption and distribution pattern of the news stories. The organisational theory of peer production will be used to examine the dynamics of growth and sustainability of the new news media. Based on the observations conclusions will be drawn as how the websites aid in intracultural communication.