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Negotiating Communication Rights

Negotiating Communication Rights
Case Studies from India

First Edition
  • Pradip Ninan Thomas - Associate Professor, School of Communication and Arts (SCA), University of Queensland
Critical Acclaim

June 2011 | 276 pages | SAGE India
Communication Rights is a key issue in contemporary societies, especially in a country like India, which faces major communication deficits. Negotiating Communication Rights explores some of the most important aspects of communication rights movements in India.

Beginning with the theoretical aspects of communication rights, the book deals with five case studies related to significant movements of our times, namely, the Right to Information, Free and Open Source Software, Women and Media, Community Radio, and Citizen Journalism. It also analyses the complexity of specific rights issues in India, such as women’s rights, citizen activism and the role of media.

The book explores the processes through which ordinary citizens have developed spaces for self-expression—a concept synonymous with media democratisation. The author argues for the need for streamlining of communication rights movements in India and for an India-specific framework for communication rights. 
Foreword Prof Cees Hamelink


Part 1 : Theory
A Brief History of Communication Rights

A Philosophy of Communication Rights

Observations on the Theorising of Communication Rights in India

The Communication Rights of Refugees and Displaced People

Part 2 : Case Studies in India
The Right to Information Movement

The Community Radio Movement

The Women and Media Movement

The Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Movement

The Citizen Journalism Movement

Postscript: On the Operationalisation of Communication Rights in India Today




Pradip Thomas’s analysis of the relationship between various forms of globalised and local media and the proliferferation of Christian fundamentalist religion in India is not for the faint-hearted. Not only does this book cover a wide spectrum of socio-politico-religious issues within the vast and varied historical landscape of a cosmopolitan and multi-faith nation, but is a blueprint for a truly communal inter-faith India…The book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a survey of current scholarship in the field.

Media International Australia

Negotiating Communicating Rights by Pradip Nina Thomas is a useful introduction to the topical subject of democratizing communication, and a critique of existing paradigms within media and communications theories…The value of Thomas’ book lies in its ability to shift the debates around CR out of just the ‘media and communications’ discipline into larger domains of culture. It is therefore also a ‘Cultural Studies of Media’ book. The case studies and the smooth jargon-free theorization make it eminently readable by people from a cross-section of society. [The book] is an important, topical and relevant book for all of those interested in questions beyond tired ones like ‘Press freedom’ or censorship.


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