Over the centuries, every nation has endeavoured to reach higher levels of human progress by adopting various measures of transformation of the society based on economic and social development, cultural changes, political policies and educational improvements. It is recognized that the social transformation process is mostly gradual except in some situations where revolutionary changes occur.

     The critique of media intervention in development of any kind premised that the overall change of social structure is the fundamental prerequisite for the attainment of genuinely human and demographic development. In the classic study, The passing of traditional society Daniel Lerner showed that there was a strong correlation between the indices of the mass media and socio-economic and political development of a nation. In other words, he showed that the mass media were both an index and agent of modernization in societies. In the recent past, communication research has given increasing attention to the role of larger social-structural and economic factors in a particular society rather than individual factors in development. The influence of social-structured variables as mediating factors in communication and change has led to a re-conceptualization of the role of communication in social development. What is apparent from the results of research in rural development over the past two decades, is the need to consider communication not as a simple independent variable but as both a dependent and independent variable in a complex set of relationships with social, economic and political structures and processes.


Social development can be summarily described as the process of organizing human energies and activities at higher levels to achieve greater results. Development increases the utilization of human potential. James Midgley(1995) has defined social development as a 'process of planned social change designed to promote the well-being of the population as a whole in conjuction with a dynamic process of economic development(Midgley 1995,p.25).


     The vastly changed media scenario calls for a recasting of the role of media in promoting pro social change. The economic reform has resulted in the democratization of media facilitating local governance as a stepping stone for empowerment of communities facilitating social development. Media convergence has the immense potential to create media, i.e. media with concern for development to provide alternative to commercial mainstream media. Today there are several initiates to provide alternative media tools to realize the goals of development.

     At the heart of the issue is communication is the capacity to demand that political leaders meet their obligations and keep their promises-to demand accountability and to challenge impunity. Arnold Toynbee said that 'the twentieth century will be chiefly remembered in future centuries not as an age of political conflicts or technical inventions, but as an age in which human society dared to think of the welfare of the whole human race as a practical objective'. This might seem hard to accept as we look around us, but it implies that, for the first time in history, we, as communicators for development, regard it as normal that the world order should be organized for the benefit of the many rather than for the benefit of the select few.

The study is based on following premises:
There are four important premises in which Media's interface with social development has been much debated. First important premise is that sensitized media would make the State to respond to the larger problems afflicting society. Amartya Sen in his study on famine once argued that the famine although is "man made", can be contained when media become over cautious about the issues. This is very apparent in the context of Karnataka too. Coastal Karnataka for example has not seen famine in its history as it is one region known for literacy , human development as well as higher exposure to print media. Wherever the media has not intervened, the social development remained marginal Second premise is that social development across the region is not uniform. It differs with each region. The development paradigm has given rise to multiple "mini India" within India. Similarly there are multiple Karnataka - social development of categories in each region differ from other one, depending upon the accessibility, level of economic development etc Third premise is that the same indices cannot be universally applied given the fact that cultural specifities about the social categories require different indexes. This is the reason why social development of dalits, minorities, women require different indices. Fourth premise is that we can create a new "Karnataka Model of Social Development" on line with Kerala Model of Development. In the absence of heavy industrial and agricultural developments Kerala has created greater social spaces than other States.


     What is the role of communication for development and social change, if not to examine the causes as well as the drama; to report on the events but also to look at the process behind them? The challenges of communication are constantly evolving, as new possibilities and new needs emerge. Today's information and communication capacity can mobilize a vast array of actors to promote development for the many but not for the powerful minority-communication for social change and equity.

  • How media has facilitated conscientization of marginalized classes on the extremely unequal social, political and spatial structures in their societies.
  • To understand how media is a vehicle for liberation from mental and psychological shackles that bound marginalized people to their existing situations.
  • The study focuses on impediments to social change
  • The study focuses on understanding the themes of social development viz., gender and sustainable development, social dimensions of infrastructure, local governance, participation and civic engagements, social analysis and social policy, social sustainability and safeguards.
  • The study makes innovative endeavour to examine the existing indices of social development in the context of measuring the social development of highly marginalized sections of the society.