Posted on July 16, 2014
I have recently been working on a paper focussing on legacy media storytelling via social media during the last Lok Shaba election in India (2014) with Colin Agur. This chapter will be published in a special edited collection focussing on the Indian election. The publication will be available online and in print by the end of this calendar year. The objective of this collection is to contribute to the post-election debate from an academic and practical perspective.
We interviewed a handful of Indian journalists in English-speaking legacy media in the weeks immediately following the vote. Our questions focused on the ways that political parties and other actors in the campaign used social media to contribute to discussions, and the ways that journalists used social media to cover the campaign. Here are a few preliminary remarks that I would like to share with you:
- Journalists in India used social media as news beat. Twitter was the most important social media tool for journalists.
- Social media provided a space for activists, intellectuals, reporters, politicians, and citizens (including expats residing in India and Indians living abroad).
- The institutionalization and greater inclusivity of social media in this election allow for a meta-narrative of a networked India that has, in a short amount of time, integrated social media into its political narrative.
- There was a rise of global and national interests for newcomers as opposed to old families reigning India.
- This election has shown that the concept of social media space in India is shaped by larger questions of access to technology, and by social, economic, and linguistic divisions within the country.
I will post the link to the full paper here soon.