Impact of Modern Media in Rural Society and Culture: a Study in the Village.

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Impact of modern media in rural society and culture: A study in the village. New media is a broad term in media studies that emerged in the latter part of the 20th century. For example, new media holds out a possibility of on-demand access to content any time, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, creative participation and community formation around the media content. Another important promise of new media is the "democratization" of the creation, publishing, distribution and consumption of media content. What distinguishes new media from traditional media is the digitizing of content into bits. There is also a dynamic aspect of content production which can be done in real time, but these offerings lack standards and have yet to gain traction. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is an example, combining Internet accessible digital text, images and video with web-links, creative participation of contributors, interactive feedback of users and formation of a participant community of editors and donors for the benefit of non-community readers. Facebook is an example of the social media model, in which most users are also participants. Most technologies described as "new media" are digital, often having characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, and interactive.[1] Some examples may be the Internet, websites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMS, and DVDs. New media does not include television programs, feature films, magazines, books, or paper-based publications – unless they contain technologies that enable digital interactivity.[2] In rural India, carrying around a $44 mobile phone can be something of a status symbol. Or at least it has been for Pandurang Narayan Shelke, a 55-year-old farmer in Latur, a village in the west Indian state of Maharashtra. Last January his son, who works as a porter at Bombay's Victoria Terminus railway station, bought him a low-end Nokia 1100 handset. Shelke had coveted one for years. And, now, "my stock has gone up considerably with my poor relatives, as I can talk to my son whenever I want," he says. Shelke's small step into the world of wireless communications is part of a much larger drama unfolding in the Indian telecom market, once a backwater but now the world's fastest-growing after China. The number of fixed and wireless telephone connections has doubled in the past two years, to about 150 million, and Indians are signing up for mobile-phone service at an extraordinary five million new wireless connections a month. The Ministry of Telecom has set a target for India to have 250 million connections and mobile coverage for 85% of the country—from about 30% today— some time in 2007. MASSIVE BUILD-OUT.

This is explosive growth, no question. And there could be much more to come if New Delhi is serious about improving the lot of rural India, home to two-thirds of the country's one billion-plus population but with precious few workable phone lines. Most analysts believe that wireless mobile networks and affordable handsets could quickly change all that. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government has rolled out the welcome mat to global wireless operators and handset manufacturers to invest in the country's massive telecom build-out, and domestic companies are expanding rapidly, too. "India has reached a take-off point in telecom," says Ashim Ghosh, managing director of Hutchison Essar, a joint venture between India's Essar Group and Hutchison Telecom, based in Hong Kong. While India has a very long way to go in establishing a nationwide network of landline telecom networks, let alone high-speed broadband service, paradoxically, the country could overtake China in the next several years in terms of mobile-phone subscription growth. Rolling out towers and base stations to support wireless networks certainly isn't cheap. But it likely will be wireless networks—not copper-wire fixed lines—that do most to pull India out...
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