V.Ratnamala Ph.D Assistant ProfessorDept of Mass Communication Mizoram University
Introduction Six Dalits were shot dead at the Police firing on Sep 11, 2011 in Paramakudi. The Dalits were assembled to pay homage to Immanuel Sekaran, a Dalit leader on his death anniversary which turned violent following the arrest of their leader John Pandian.
Review of literature Media coverage of Dalits Under representation Stereotyping The positive qualities, their demands and the background of the Dalit’s problems are often absent in the media
Media coverage of violence on Dalits Khairlanji Issue - Proximity Tirunelveli Massacre – Media rationalize Tsunduru Massacre – Glorifying Dalits violence Media & Minorities Islamophobia Wolsfeld et al study on the coverage of land day protest by Arab minorities
Media & Paramakudi firing Parthasarathi Anand Teldumde Kuffir V.Geetha
Purpose of the study What is the extent of the coverage of Paramakudi firing in newspapers? What are the various types of the Dalit news being covered and neglected? What are the various themes of news on the Paramakudi firing was reported? How are the vocabulary and lexical choice used in the text?
Methodology Content analysis Universe - Print Medium The Tamil dailies namely Dinamalar, Dina Thanthi, Dinakaran and the English dailies namely The Hindu, The Times of India and The New Indian Express were chosen for the study. A one week samples of the selected dailies from sep11- 17, 2011
Results Frequency of the news occurrencesSl.No Name of the newspaper Total No of news1. Dinamalar 452. Dina Thanthi 393. Dinakaran 644. The Hindu 285. The New Indian 30 Express6. The Times of India 21
Frequency of the themes of the news itemsSl.No Name of the Violence of Dalits filed Violence of Police – Politicians & Special articles newspaper by reporters statements by NGOs & Bureaucrats Dalit politicians1. Dinamalar 22 4 19 02. Dina Thanthi 18 6 13 23. Dinakaran 36 11 17 04. The Hindu 10 10 7 15. The New 14 12 8 0 Indian Express6. The Times of 7 2 6 5 India
Sources Only official views are present Victims views absent Second sourcing
Vocabulary or Lexical choices New Indian Express - Rampaging mob, violent mob, Miscreants The Hindu - stone pelting mob The Times of India – angry dalit mobs In Dinakaran and Dina Thanthi, they called them as supporters until the violence started. After that they called them as mob
Findings More space and more news reports Not followed two source rule Second sourcing Stereotyping as violent Dalit violence glorified & Police violence downplayed
Conclusion The coverage of Paramakudi firing could be compared with the coverage of Islam in western media. The post 9/11 coverage in American media leads to Islamophobia. The post 9/11 coverage i.e. the Paramakudi firing and also the previous incidents of violence on Dalits coverage in media is biased and branded. The coverage leads to the fear or dread of Dalits in Tamil Nadu. So it could also be termed as Dalitophobia.