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Published on Jul 23, 2012
This is a version of a talk given at a conference in Sydney in 2012. I have not quite worked out how to sync the slides and the audio in the version of movie maker I was using, so they are a bit out of sync.This presentation looks at coverage of Chinese and Asian news stories in Hindi newspapers and contrasts it with coverage in the English language press in India. The question posed was, in its coverage of international news in India, does the Indian English language press focus on stories which reflect policy issues, and the Hindi press focus on stories that centre on personal issues? I argue that multiple linguistic public spheres in India hold distinct, and highly diverse, views on how India relates to Asia. Fieldwork consisted of interviews in 2011 with six editors of significant publications, such as Hindustan and Nav Bharat Times, and journalists from a range of publications. The views expressed in these interviews were then compared with the variations in the coverage of stories in the Hindi and English press. The provisional findings indicate that there are a number of factors influencing Indian press coverage of Asian news and in particular differences between the coverage of Southeast Asian and East Asian news. These included issues such as security, trade, development, news from the Indian Diaspora and the role of coverage of celebrity news. I then examined how these factors impact on Indian press coverage of Chinese and Japanese news in comparison with news about other Asian countries. The conclusion is that Hindi press coverage of stories of Asian news has to be seen in relation to the existence of multiple linguistic public spheres in India which leads Hindi newspapers to cover Asian news in ways which are very different from the Indian English language press.