Journal of Media Studies, Vol 30, No 2 (2015)

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The role of media and social activists: The new stars on board

Parvin Sultana


Stardom and celebrity status is intrinsically related to the kind of spacemedia provides to the concerned individuals. The coverage of media hasbecome a parameter of measuring stardom. But over time, stardom is nolonger limited only to beautiful film stars and dashing male athletes.Intellect is the new glam quotient. Social activists taking up the cause ofthe downtrodden is getting a lot of space in media. Glamour has givenway to asceticism and simplicity. However, while picking up stories,media has its own concern about which issue to highlight and which tooverride. This paper tries to understand the role of media in creatingstars and promoting stardom of unconventional individuals by takingup coverage of two political movements of contemporary times. Media'streatment for these two social activists - Anna Hazare and Irom SharmilaChanu have been different to such an extent that while one becameheadlines, the other continued to be a mere footnote in the media.


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