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News, Public Policy, and Social Justice

  • Kumar, Sunil (Centre for Culture, Media & Governance (CCMG), Jamia Millia Islamia)
  • Received : 2016.12.16
  • Published : 2017.05.31

Abstract

In this paper, we look at mediation of public policies in different areas of governance. Editorials appearing in an Indian English language newspaper during the period of an intense public debate on the issue of affirmative action in favor of a section of the population, the Other Backward Classes (OBC) - a popular reference to the socially and educationally backward classes of citizens under India's constitution constitute the sample for the study. Apart from editorials on the public policy of reservation of seats in admission to higher education institutions for the OBC, editorials on three other areas of governance, namely, development, economy, and public administration appearing in the same newspaper, are also consulted to understand media framing of social issues and more specifically, issues of social justice. Inductively identifying the various frames used in its editorials by the newspaper, I detect predominant use of 'personalized' frame in respect of editorials pertaining to the policy area of social justice; and distinguish it from the 'generic' frame of 'characterization' found in theory. The study concludes that the sample editorials in respect of other public policies did not use the personalized frame found in editorials on social justice.

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