In Pursuit of a Healthy Public Sphere: A News Frame Analysis of the Farmer Suicide Phenomenon in Daily English-language Indian Newspapers
Abstract: Author: Julie Jacobson Title: In Pursuit of a Healthy Public Sphere: A News Frame Analysis of the Farmer Suicide Phenomenon in Daily English-language Indian Newspapers Supervisor: Annette Hill Examiner: Yiannis Mylonas The motivation behind this thesis is to better understand the role of the media in the construction of the farmer suicide phenomenon in India. Through theories of communication and participation, particularly Dahlgren’s civic cultures framework, I shed light on the ways in which English-language daily newspapers in India seem to be promoting civic engagement and disengagement in its framing of the farmer suicide phenomenon. I also discuss the potential impacts of this enabled or disabled sense of the political self in terms of development and democracy. The following research questions will be addressed: 1) How do English-language Indian dailies frame the farmer suicide phenomenon during the month of October 2009? 2) Who has voice in defining the social problem and suggesting suitable courses of action to resolve the problem during this time? 3) How can Dahlgren’s discussion of civic cultures enhance our understanding of the farmer suicide coverage in English-language Indian dailies in terms of its impact on development and democracy? I rely on data that I gathered during a qualitative news frame analysis of three English-language Indian newspapers from varying political orientations, analyzing 157 articles in total.
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