ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India's 'Bully Pulpit'

Media in a Time of Digital Revolution

India today is in the midst of a "media revolution". The formative phase of the digital revolution is a great time to be a journalist. It is a moment when there is the opportunity to build a "bully pulpit" - a new and effective platform. Whether India's digital revolution produces a "golden age of journalism" is something that the young journalists of today will play a large part in determining.

This article is a slightly modifi ed version of the text of the convocation lecture delivered at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, in May 2014.

Soon after he became president of the United States (US) in 1901 ­after the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt was testing a speech on a few trusted newspaper editors. He read aloud to them an especially preachy, moralising sentence, then said: “I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit.”

“Bully” was a good word in those days.1 He was saying, “Being President at this time is wonderful, because it gives me such a terrific platform to preach from.” As president, he commanded attention; but, more importantly, he recognised that he was living in a media revolution that gave him an opportunity – a platform – to reach out to the people in ways never before possible.

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