ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Beyond Acquiescence and Surveillance: New Directions for Media Regulation

The increasingly complex and elusive media landscape has thrown fresh challenges to an unsettled ecosystem of media policy in India. This paper traces some of the challenges posed by the new communications technologies and the variegated field of media practices to argue that the fragmented media policy framework requires a complete makeover in terms of its regulatory objectives, strategies and public media obligations. Emphasising the need for incorporating anthropological and technologically informed perspectives on the nature and implications of current media expansion, the paper proposes that the policy framework should include a modular and unbundled approach to media regulation. Policymakers should also invest research energy into the exercise of mapping the diversity of media practices and multiple logics driving rapid proliferation of media across the country. In the context of growing state practices of surveillance and staggered acquiescence to corporate interests, policy interventions should move beyond the contradictory impulses of "policing" the media and media-enabled development to craft innovative ways of leveraging the benefits of current media architecture as well as several recent legal provisions aimed at enhancing the capacity of public information.

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