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Daya Kishan Thussu

Abstract

This article aims to explore how language can play a central role in the process of adapting global media cultures into regional and national contexts. The role of television - as the leading and most international media - is examined, focusing on the emergence of new media languages in countries such as India, one of the world's biggest media markets.


Language has been a key factor in the success or failure of new television channels in India, where the expansion of Western television as a result of media globalisation and availability of new technologies, namely satellite and cable television, have transformed the broadcasting landscape. The article analyses the emergence and steady growth of a new mediated language - Hinglish, a mixture of Hindi, the most widely used language in India, and English, the medium of international communication and global media.


The hybridisation of the national to the global culture is examined with the case study of India's private television networks - such as Zee TV. The article looks at the factors which have been responsible for hybrid television. The cultural economy of the phenomenon is explored and the question is posed - is hybrid language the future of television? If so, who benefits from programming in hybrid languages and who loses out? For centuries, language has defined national, regional or ethnic identity? Will hybridisation lead to blurring of identities? What role will the global image industry have in it?

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