MUMBAI: Her tome has become a reference book for students of Indian media courses. Media watcher Vanita Kohli-Khandekar released the fourth edition to her book on the Indian media business earlier this month. It has been titled matter of factly The Indian Media Business (TIMB) like in the past.
She, however, reveals that things are different this time around in the book. Says she: “This edition has three major changes. One, there is a completely new chapter on digital media and I have dropped the chapters on telecom and internet. Two, I have focused a lot on regulation since it is very critical at this stage of the industry's growth. And three, I have tackled a whole lot of the textural issues whether it is falling standards in news or the rising quality of Indian cinema in more detail.”
Vanita believes that this book will do better online as it is not in the realm of fiction and for a very specific audience
TIMB gives a perspective and information to readers on eight segments: print, TV, film, radio, music, digital, outdoor, and events. It presents business history, current dynamics, regulation, economics, technology, valuations, case studies, trends (Indian and global) and a clear sense of how the business operates.
The outstanding feature of the fourth edition is the chapter on digital media - arguably, the first ever serious and in-depth look at digital media from a comprehensive business perspective.
“This is the first time that anyone has focused on the progress of digital media in such detail, as there is no conceptual framework for the same. This chapter took a lot of effort and research,” adds Vanita.
TIMB’s fourth edition tackles regulation in more detail than any of the previous ones. There is one large case study on the quality of regulation in India and several case-lets such as the ones on copyright law, defamation law and how it works for social media. Additionally, there are case-lets on the changes in readership methodology, on the trouble with news broadcasting and on the rising power of Hindi newspapers and the impact of digital on both print and TV among others.
“At this stage of the growth in the industry the focus on good regulation is critical, and that can be seen in television where digitisation has finally been mandated and will have a huge impact on the top-line of the industry. So this time, this edition has a lot of focus on regulation as against earlier editions,” Vanita expounds.
Sage Publications has been publishing TIMB for the past 11 years now. The book is also available on Flipkart.com, Amazon.com and Infibeam.com at a tab of Rs 650. “I believe that this book will do better online as it is not in the realm of fiction. It is non-fiction and for a very specific audience,” says Vanita.
In all 10,000 copies of the previous three editions have been sold thus far.
Journalist, columnist and writer for Business Standard and Mid-Day, Vanita has been tracking the Indian media and entertainment business for over a decade now. Her earlier stints include one at Businessworld and Ernst & Young. A Cambridge University fellow (2000), Vanita teaches at some of the top communication schools in India as well.
“For me professionally, it brings a lot of rigor to my work. Since I do the book every two years it forces me to sit back and read a lot of material which I would not have been able to read on the job, and this enables me to build phenomenal perspective. I ended up getting many story and column ideas while doing the research and analysis so it feels good,” Vanita exults.
Vanita highlights that writing the book disciplines her as far as research and analysis go, and for her the whole idea of the book was that it helps those in the periphery of the media world - whether foreigner or student - get an understanding of it. A noble intent, and which many would agree has helped this generation of media professionals.