Neoliberal Media Making the Public Interest and Public Choice Theory Obsolete: Need for a New Theory

© Media Watch 10 (3) 568-574, 2019
ISSN 0976-0911 E-ISSN 2249-8818
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i3/49692

Neoliberal Media Making the Public Interest and Public Choice Theory Obsolete: Need for a New Theory

Vasupradha Srikrishna
Madras Christian College, India


This discussion paper argues for the need of a new theory, moving away from the binary applications of public interest or Pigouvian theory and public choice theory. The growth of media is outlined, and the complexity of the Indian mediascape is presented as part of the discussion. The cross-media ownership patterns, political ownership or affiliation and access to capital are making it imperative to consider critical questions on regulation and media ethics. The need for a new theory and practice may be the need of the hour. However, this deliberation hints how it may not be formulated effectively with the arrangement within the geopolitical context being abrasive. It calls for initiating dialogues in public spaces, particularly among the scholars and practitioners. It also questions if bridging the gaps between public administrators’ potential and action could make a difference, as it is a challenge in itself.

Keywords:   Cross-media ownership, media regulation, public choice theory, public interest theory, neoliberal media


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Vasupradha Srikrishna (Ph.D., MICA (formerly Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad), 2015) is an assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Madras Christian College,, Chennai, India. She is an interdisciplinary researcher and has established Research CultureTM (, a research start-up that provides customized, research based, data-driven solutions to both industry and academia. Her research interests include media and communication theory, sensemaking, ethnography, and critical theory.