Bridging the gap: Democratizing Media Access
The fundamental right of free speech and expression during post independent India was the first step towards a new phase of creating accessible open platforms for citizens to express and contribute. But for those who do not have media access, this could mean their complete exclusion from debates on their own community and its concerns. Without fair media policies to protect the needs of the public and due to the lack of affordable media, millions of people still remain underrepresented and excluded from important opportunities to connect and contribute.
PUKAR- Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research conducted a Media Access Survey of 4000 individuals belonging to different socio-economic backgrounds in Mumbai. They collected and evaluated information regarding their access to television, radio, mobile, newspaper, internet, and tracked the cost effectiveness of these different forms of media, economic relationship of media access, flow of information, different viewing patterns amongst age, gender, background etc.
The questions this raises are - Can affordable technology bridge this media access inequality? Can we make media more democratic and accessible to all? Can media policies help bring about these changes and transform the media access story?