Essays on Media, Culture and Cinema
This collection of Sashi Kumar's contributions to various journals and magazines for over three decades – from the late 1970s to the present – is informed by his exposure to, quest and passion for, practice in, and contemplation on the media as a broad category of culture and the ecology, and including film, print, television, radio and the net. It is informed too by the author's brief engagement, in between, with advertising across different media, and an entrepreneurial phase of establishing and running a satellite and cable television enterprise at the cusp of the transition from the analogue to the digital. This is broadly a reflective collection of essays on the media, mediated culture and film/cinema that is Indian and international in its scope. It is not, or about, daily retail journalism. It provides perspective to the agency of the media; aspects of freedom of expression and creativity; coercive and persuasive forces at work in the media and in culture; filmic genres and the oeuvre of distinctive filmmakers; the art, craft and aura of cinema; the emerging media ecology; cognitive shifts triggered by technology; the push and pull of convergence and digitization; the rampantly unequal media order and the rise of digital capitalism; and the new mutuality of the writerly, readerly, aural and oral. Sashi Kumar is a journalist, broadcaster, documentary and feature filmmaker, media thinker and initiator. He launched the Asianet satellite television channel and cable network in the early 1990s. Towards the end of that decade he founded, and continues to chair, the Media Development Foundation, which runs the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.