10th Day (22/01/15)

Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Academic Staff College, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi conducts and organizes every year the University Grants Commission Refresher Course on Media Studies, Culture and Governance for the in-service faculty across the country. The first & second such RCs were organized in February 2013& Jan-Feb 2014.

The 3rd Refresher Course 2014 on Media Studies and Governance started today on 10thJanuary and will continue till 31st January 2015


1st Lecture by Prof. Pradosh Nath on Media Economics

DSC01668Prof Pradosh Nath spoke on economic aspects in media. Media products are nothing but an information and entertainment that people do consume. The media economics explains the influence of the economic forces in shaping media contents. It basically maps market structure and the conduct of media organization influencing media market. Media economy has strong relation with political economy. By defining the issue and challenges remained in the media market, he described the supply side and demand side. The theoretical foundation is based on basics of economic principles like supply, demand and product. Here the supplier is the provider of information and entertainment, consumers, audiences and advertisers constitute “the demand side of the of the media industry. The government is the regulatory body. The industry has to supply the product in terms of information and entertainment complying with the wishes of consumer and market structure.

Defining supply side of media product, he emphasized that media markets in many cases cannot be defined by final products since utility derived by consumer is largely non-uniform. Another important characteristic is dual product market which means the content for audience and content for advertisers at the same time and the same product is being supplied for audience and advertisers. It can be stored in different format for distribution and communication in real time for global audience. Defining demand side, he said that the market is defined by two factors: the product itself and the geography area into which that product is sold. Utilities are derived from media product those are: entertainment, surveillance etc. Another characteristic is cost and price of media products. He says that in economics, cost, price and profits are related through the equation. Profit will be derived when revenue generated minus cost of production of unit sold. Marginal cost is that where price is defined by the cost of producing the last unit but it becomes negligible incase of media product since last unit found is zero, and hence cannot be the reference point for pricing. Cost of minimization is not a problem in case of media product where it becomes a problem in other product.

There is a another term for demand side that is ‘increasing return to scale’ means when input is more, output will be obviously more than that proportionately. Lastly, another demand is market structure and conduct and performance of firm. In economics it is called monopolistic market competition through product differentiation. Mostly, the media firms do not compete on price or/and cost. The competition, therefore, is form resources that can create unique image for media products i.e. ideas, script, photographers, producer, director, editor etc.

2nd Lecture by Prof Pradosh Nath on Media Economics

In his second lecture, by highlighting Market Structure and Media, he spoke on three major issues on media competition, media concentration and content diversity in Indian media. Competition as a situation in which a substitute is available for the product that provides the consumer with similar utilities at a similar price. For media products, utilities derived are different for the same product for different consumers. Classical view of competition does not hold in media industry since there is no uniform utility, which determines the demand. Competition in the media industry is through unique value for the product (content) offered. He said that this is achieved through product differentiation. In economics it is the kind of market structure known as ‘monopolistic competition’, where every firm has monopoly over its differentiated products (content), but compete for the same space of demand.

DSC01671Referring to media market function under a market structure of monopolistic competition, he told that first, a comparison of monopoly and duopoly markets indicates that broadcasters in an industry with a larger number of competitors may provide programs of lower quality compared to broadcasters in an industry with a smaller number. Second, in terms of viewer welfare, having more channels available is not necessarily “better”. This creates competition for the best talent and technology.

Then, he presented the findings from the study conducted by CCMG on Indian Media and said that our own study on Indian media market focusing on news channel shows interesting methodological innovation where discrimination analysis among the channels was adopted to examine what are the factors from mentioned-above create distinctions among channels. The analysis measures the distance among the channels in terms of the chosen parameters. The result shows that ND TV is very close to DD in terms of entertainment of news, but Aaj Tak, Zee News and Star News is going for sensational product or news.  In terms of political news or theme, all the news channels looks very close each other than DD news in terms of plot value. In terms of social news, it was found that Zee News is always better than other news channels. Star News is also better in terms of slot value. Across all English news channels, Times now and NDTV found at the top in terms across all news stories like sports, social, and political etc. By concluding, he said that two things in methodology in social science are important how to choose a proxy so that we can claim proxy as of our innovation.

3rd Lecture on Media Diversity delivered by Vibodh Parthasarathi

DSC01670Mr. Vibodh Parthasarathi carried forward the last lecture on media economics saying that there is strong relation between media diversity and media markets and it’s concentration. He says that greater concentration leads to greater diversity. Therefore, competition and diversity is the fundamental equation around which large amount of media economics as a discipline is located here. He defined the ‘structural diversity’ where different types of structure are located within the media markets. In terms of multiplicity and diversity, India has large and fragmented language media market across different regions.

Like Human Development Index (HDI), Media Diversity Index (MDI) can be measured in terms of content, language, ownership, representation and obviously markets. He said that there is a strong reason to measure MDI is to have diverse opinion, views, ideas and ideologies  which are essential to democracy but it was tried to measure the diverse in terms of the objective sense of measurement. Referring to European media market, he said that more inclusiveness, more participation means that it has greater assume that there is greater diversity in the media. In order to operationalise the valued term like ‘participation’, and ‘inclusiveness’, it is more understand to know the way different kind of access and reach of technology or media markets for production.

To measure MDI, he says that “Risk based Approach” is followed to understand the barriers to the diversity so that we can measure perception of threat in fulfilling three risk based factors. There are different nine risk based domain which is more important and consists of bundled of ideas which themselves pose a threat to media diversities. These are nine risk domain like Patronage, Market Share, Ownership, Access (Market or Non Market Forces due to Risk Factors), Geography (Urban and Rural), Public Service Broadcaster, Cultural (Types of People represented in media), Genres (types of media), Regulation etc.

Risk domain is of two types which are emerged from market and non-market factors. Within the each domain for instance; political ownership, it can be taken the expenditure pattern by political party within which how much money is pumped in to media to understand  the closer relationship between election expenditure and media diversity. He made clear that it is tried to measure the social economic and political forces/system which influence media diversity. He presented the finding of an ongoing study entitled ‘Media markets in India’ being conducted at CCMG over last two years. In terms of diversity, he explained that the more news paper found to be corporate owned, that means there is a higher risk to diversity. Not all the corporate ownership is a threat to diversity only when the corporate news is dominant in nature.  If we consider most 5 dominant, alternatively we will get different picture. It tell us that each domain have different kind of risk. In each risk, we need multiple indicators. Therefore we are moving some form of aggregation and triangulation. The more scene data we have for all indicators, the more robust will we get it. In terms of share of official language newspaper, the lower of share in news paper, there is higher possibility of risk to diversity.