Convergence and Dynamics in Alternative Media in the Digital Age: Emergence of a Participatory Virtual Public Sphere

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Anamika Halder


India as a country with its vast socio cultural diasporahas always beena flourishing ground for the growth of alternative media. The countless social stigmas attached with class, caste and religious segregation and social inequalityhas essentially lead to ademand of unbiased and free media sources. Structural reforms in a country as vivid as India is complicated and demands time, specially when the enormous population and the diversityis taken into consideration. This makes it way more difficult to bring the masses on common grounds and direct them to take actions regarding their welfare and development. However, various types of traditional media, folk media and other sources of alternative media have made the task of social reformation easier than it otherwise would have been. With the advent of information technology and digitization, the sources of traditional and folk media has merged and taken a very evolved avatar which is more interactive and stands in itself true to the Bullet Theory of communication. The messages now conveyed reach the masses immediately and the respective response is generated thorugh digital means. This response can be measured in terms of impressions, subscribtions, likes, support or reactions. The feedback mechanism and introduction to a'Call to Action' system of response has changed the paradigm of social development completely. This study aims to analyze how conventional form of alternative media has evolved with changing times and has been shaped with technological advancements, challenging the existing cultural hegemony. The study is directed towards analyzing the media convergences in digital age alternative media and find out how it has facilitated social change in twenty first century. It also aims to study the content consumption patterns and the popular culture that has been created. The study will focus on understanding the leading trends, mediums and channels and how they helps in directing mass actions. It shall also focus on finding out the factors that led to the development and growth of alternative media in India.

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