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An analysis of the amount and kind of coverage

2016 provided to the rural tribal regions of Udaipur,
Rajasthan in the mainstream print media.
- Sheetal Banchariya
Action research ‘Aawaaz’


India is the world's largest democratic nation, as well as a nation to grow rapidly towards development. The
strength of India's democracy and economy has attracted the whole world over time. Indian media’s
contribution plays a major role in strengthening the democracy in our nation.

India’s 68% population, in exact numbers, 800 million people still lives in the rural areas. Every 13th
individual is a tribal. Media, which is considered to be the fourth pillar of the democracy, is expected to voice
of the opinions of the masses.

The present study attempts to put light on the fact about how the rural areas are being covered by the far
reaching newspapers. The content analysis of India’s Rajasthan Patrika’s Udaipur Edition, examines how the
different areas of Udaipur district are being covered and represented in the mainstream print media.


Out of several blocks in the tribal belt of Udaipur, the study aims only at the Sarada block. Sarada has a
populace of more than 2.5 Lakhs and comprises of 219 tribal villages, significantly receiving just two daily
papers, Dainik Bhaskar and Rajasthan Patrika, transported from Udaipur city every day.
Over the month of December 2016, data was collected from Rajasthan Patrika Udaipur Edition, which is
found to be the most accessible newspaper in majority of the areas of Sarada block. Every news item was
treated as a separate unit within the newspaper and its accompanying visuals, boxes or graphic elements
were also included in the mapping exercise.
Following are the categories each of which is divided into multiple subcategories: (1) Front page, (2) Total
News Items, (3) News items belonging to Udaipur, (4) News items belonging to Sarada block, (5) Story type
and (6) Overall remarks. These 6 heads of the coding sheet contained quantitative as well as qualitative
information about the news items studied.


A total of 3,492 news items were recorded over the period of 31 days, out of which only 456 news items
belonged to Udaipur in the Udaipur Edition of Rajasthan Patrika. The front page of the broadsheet
newspaper carried full page advertisements for 10 days, ranging from Utkarsh Coaching classes to Airtel 4G

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to Dabur Amla hair oil. A miniscule proportion of the total coverage i.e. only 55 news items were published
that belonged to the villages of Sarada block. Majority of these news items were about politics, accidents,
tragedy and mishaps. 7 news items were dedicated to the sports championships going on in various villages
of Sarada. A very small amount of coverage of merely 1.57% is dedicated to the Sarada block of Udaipur.

Total Udaipur Sarada Average per day

news percentage (Sarada)
Total Accidents Sports Politics
& Crime Tournaments
3,492 456 55 14 7 10 1.57%


‘आवाज़’ is an initiative with prime focus upon training the tribal youth with journalistic skills and builds a
network of independent rural journalists in the tribal villages of Sarada Block in Udaipur, Rajasthan, with the
aim of digging out the stories from the
grass-root levels. As an extension, it
published a monthly story letter that
contains the stories framed and written by
these young volunteers.
The idea initiated after observing the need
for adequate representation of stories
belonging to the tribal section of our
society. There have been various attempts
to cover the tribal regions through external
lens, but the initiative aims at igniting the
journalist within the tribal youth in a region
where the school going kids are the first
generation learners for institutional
The expenditure for publishing the story letters and stationary was covered through online crowd funding. The
decision of crowd funding fulfils an agenda of using the urban economy for the development of rural areas
where financial stability and resources are limited.
Four ‘public reading corners’ were set up with cardboard bulletin boards. The story letters were put up at
these corners and also provided to every household in the community. There were several people who were

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unable to read the story letters, and public reading sessions were conducted in which one literate person read
the stories from the letter in order to make the stories reach every individual.


In Udpuriya village of Sarada block, a sample set of 50 people, men and women together was taken to
record and analyse the effects of the story letter. The pulse-check was conducted over four feelings only,

 Excited
 Hopeful
 Confused
 No feeling.

It was noted that 30 out of 50 people were confused about the whole process before reading the story letter,
but after reading it, the numbers surprisingly shifted. After reading, 37 out of 50 felt hopeful regarding
possibility of change through the story letter as a medium, while 10 were excited to have such an initiative
taking place in their village.

Below is the graphical representation of the data analysis:

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There has been a keen focus upon

the development of various skills in
the volunteers belonging to the
tribal regions for better
understanding of the world to
flourish and utilize maximum
opportunities available.

A graphical representation of the

skills developed in the volunteers,
over a period of three months.


As of now, the project has trained a group of youngsters of Udpuriya

village and the story letter is circulated among 96 households,
impacting the lives of 550 tribal adults. The project will expand to
other tribal villages of Sarada block, Udaipur and in the near future,
will be focusing at impacting 2.5 lakh tribal lives.