Media exposure can result in large welfare gains  and generate greater sensitivity to deprivation suggested by a study.

Current scenario:

  • No clarity about the 75th round of the National Sample Survey Organization expenditure survey for 2018 as  it has been junked.
  • Fall in per capita expenditure is associated with a rise in poverty.
  • Rise in inequality: Sharp surge in income of top 1 % of the population.
  • Economy is still recovering from hardships resulting from the shocks of demonetization and good and services tax.
  • Employment and investments have suffered not only in the informal sector but also in the formal sector.
  • People in rural India face grim prospects and unrelenting  hardships: Budget 2020-21 has missed some opportunities to provide social security net to these people.

The issue: 

  • Less significance given poverty related news : Media mostly covers political/economic news, followed by acts of crime, including terrorist activities, and have very limited and patchy coverage of poverty. 
  • Poverty is not considered as “newsy” until some extreme incidents happen.
  • Biases in reporting is one of the major issues mass media is facing.for instance, misreporting of starvation deaths as suicides.
  • Mass media vehicles in rural areas have been disaggregated into radio, newspaper and television. Listening, reading and watching are also broken up by gender.

Role of Mass media in promoting upward income mobility.:

  • Portray abject poverty: Abject poverty is the lowest, most hopeless form of poverty that exists.
  • Mass Media can influence income mobility from extreme poverty to affluence.
  • The mass media can influence expenditure on social security schemes and Corporate social responsibility etc..
  • Voice to the poor: Mass media can highlight the policy failures.
  • Enhance the accountability of policies designed for social welfare: By generating awareness among the poor and vulnerable of remunerative employment opportunities. 
  • Eradicate inequality: Media can help overcome restrictive gender norms (e.g.: the promotion of female literacy and the employment of women outside their homes, and, more broadly, of women’s empowerment). 

Also readWays To Measure Poverty In India

Impact Of Illiteracy, Poverty And Gender Discrimination On Democracy


Image Source: Wall street journal