Content Analysis of Magazines in Braille

Abstract:

Bio: Ram Murthi Sharma has worked extensively in the field of education with Eklavya. He prepares educational content and trains teachers and provides consultancy. He has a psotgraduate degree in history from Punjab University, Chandigarh.

31/1/06
hello everyone,

I am Ram a postgraduate in history from Punjab University Chandigarh. I am visually challenged by birth. After completing my Masters in History I worked with Eklavya, (an institute for innovative education and research) in Devas and Hoshangabad (Madya Pradesh). I was part of there social science programme. I was involved in training of teachers and preparation of study material for teacher and students. I conducted research about the conceptual understanding of children as they are evolved in the textbook prepared by Eklavya. Now I am doing my Bachelor in education from Government College of education, Jalandhar where I am being taught what I did for ten years. It is a matter of degree and employment. On my fellowship grant with Sarai I will try to explore certain crucial aspects related with content and subject matter carried by Brail (script that is dotted by owl on thick paper and it can be read by touch of finger.) magazines. Here is the brief of my proposed study.

Like the most tradition-ridden societies, Indian society views visually impaired people as separate section of society. There are lots of illusions and misconceptions among people about visually challenged people. A myth goes that visually impaired persons are specifically created creatures on earth whom God has gifted extra senses (mind, concentration etc.). Such misleading beliefs result in believing that visually impaired people are essentially very talented. On the other hand lot of people believe that visually challenged person are great burden on society, as they can’t contribute in the growth and development of society. People upholding this belief also think that visually impaired people are least bothered about worldly affairs and are least concerned about general tendencies of society. Above kind of illusion can be found profoundly in more or less every society in India irrespective to nature of their social structure.

The deeper ignorance in the societies about these people brought indifferent attitude in media to deal with problems and issues related to visually challenged people. This problem is further compounded by technological backwardness of audio aids available to assist the visually challenged people. Whatever little coverage is given by newspapers or general magazines is basically based on above mentioned misconceptions. These magazines are unable to construct the images of visually challenged people as an image of general persons who are regarded as integral part of society and who respond in a particular socialized manner.

Innovation of the Brail script contributed in a radical manner to make visually impaired person independent up to certain extent in reading and writing. Some amount of literature is being published in Brail even in India, yet its readership and its coverage of contents is quiet limited. This literature includes textbooks, fiction and non-fiction, religious scriptures and periodicals. These magazines have government as well as private publishers and readers from all walks of society.

Present study will try to explore about the construction of image/s of visually impaired person through these magazines. Are they able to expose visually impaired persons to concerns of different sections of society? How the content of these magazines reflect the social misconceptions about visually challenged people or question these misconceptions?

Explosion of knowledge and advancement of technique has shifted the paradigm of academic and non-academic world in a drastic manner. It will be interesting to watch how these magazines are able to catch up with these phenomena. By and large most of the publications (Brail and others) have their target readership and they continuously cater the interest of that particular readership. Some of them do have ideological slant as well.

This study will try to look at this factor as well. In other words it will be explored that what kind of readership these magazines have. Is their any particular attempt on the part of editorial board/editor to sustain the interest of its readership? Do they have particular ideological framework to socialize the visually impaired person, if so what kind of efforts are being made in their publications. Study will also seek to find out that what kind of socio-political, economic and cultural issues are being taken up by these magazines and in which manner they tend to analyze those issues. Are these magazines able to up keep the level of information as compared to other general information based magazines?
comments and suggestions are welcome

regards

ram
10/4/06


Hi everybody,
As I’ve referred in my first posting that I’m aimed to do a content
analysis of some magazines which are published in Braille. For further
persuasion of this objective it was natural to have collection of
those magazines. I undertook the journey of Delhi to collect few of
those magazines. This was very experiential journey. It confirmed
quite predominantly fewer assumptions, which I’d stated in my proposal
for the fellowship. For instance, while I was traveling in Malva
Express some co-passengers talked about me or about visually impaired
people have very strong senses. Their third eye is very sharp and they
are very religious people etc. They were talking in dialect not known
to me. Therefore I couldn’t argue with them. My frequent movements
within compartment were big surprise for them. Getting down at my
destination, Sabzi Mandi Station proved as an uphill task as train got
jam-packed after Ambala Cant.

Traveling in Delhi Metro was a novel experience for me. Since I was to
go to Sec.11, Rohini at my friend’s place it was the most convenient
way.

Around 7.30 pm I reached Naresh’s house. We had a long but informal
chat on many things including the project and in the discussion
various new points came-People’s aversion from Braille, the role of
modern technology, governmental policies regarding
Braille-publications, life and durability of publications, factors
responsible behind vanishing of some popular magazines etc. There I
came to know about a magazine ‘Vishwadarshan’ from Sir J. Dagan
Braille Press, Mumbai, which specifically catered the needs of women
readers. Chandamama from the same publisher was for the children.
Braille Bharati was the other general magazine published by AICB,
Delhi and printed at CFBI, Madras. I think, I must write to the Bombay
press to find out the latest status and archive of these magazines.
Next day, I went to NFB Braille Press, Bahadurgarh, adjacent to Delhi.
The Official there responded with normal curt icy and telling them
about my project didn’t generate any enthusiasm among them. I tried to
find out some basic documents pertaining to their magazines such as
ones related to the aims and objectives behind the publication,
history of publications etc. But I could manage to acquire the
addresses and phone numbers of some persons in the editorial board.
They have also promised to provide me the list of the subscribers,
which will make later work easy. I got all the back issues of Sparsh
Setu, which came in 2004. Carrying the bulky bundles and taking them
in bus and train was really Herculean task. It examined my patience
and mobility several times. The slippery nature of plastic roap
unwound the bundles at least thrice.

Abbreviations:-
NFB-National Federation of the Blind.
AICB-All India Confedration of the Blind.
CFBI-Christian Foundation of the Blind in India.
Good Bye till the next posting
Ram.

30/3/06

Third Posting (Content Analysis of Braille Magazine)

Dear Friend have a great time.

In my last posting I reported that how did I manage to get the magazine (Sprashsettu) from NFB (Brial Press) at Bhadurgarh.

In this posting I am presenting brought classification of the content of this magazine. Before going to elaborate content classification it will be useful to give a brief history of this publication.
Magazine (Sprashsettu) was started in 1988 by the federation. Ever since its beginning it is been continuously published. At this movement this magazine have readership of nearly 300 person & it is widely circulated across the various states.

The nature of this magazine is in general of current affairs magazine. This it contain information, news and reports about various activities which are undertaken particularly by central office of the federation along with some coverage of activities of state & afflictive branches.

Classification of contents: – I went through all the issues of this magazine or said period of my proposal after looking at all aspect of the contents this can be classified in following categories.

1. Politics/Political.

2. Social Issues

3. Scientific information

4. Information about current economic issues

5. Cultural & Musical affairs with particular reference to bollywood film industry.

6. General knowledge

7. Literature (Poetry, Stories & Stairs)

8. Sports (Largely Cricket with passing reference or other games).

9. Health & Hygiene

10. Issued related to women

11. Information related to carrer & employment approached

12. Current Affairs (National & International Issues)

13. Environment

Generally most of the content can be looked at by those above categories how ever there are some coverage to those kind of issues which are overlapped & can go to some alternative categories. They cannot be put into mutually exclusive category.

Organization has appointed an editorial board which is comprised of four people. Editorial board writes an editorial in each issue of the magazine which seem to based on an opinion of individual particularly editor in chief (whose name is not mentioned specifically). Editorial contain generally views on spirituality, religion & other metaphysical aspect of life with some inspirational statements and comments in between.

This magazine borrows it contents from various magazine which are regarded popular magazine. These magazines are generally red by lower middle class people who do not have an advance exposure to academic world. This magazine include among other

1. SARITA

2. GARHIH SHOBHA

3. MUKKTA

4. NIROGDHAN

5. AROGGYADHAM

6. PRATIYOGAYITA-DARPANH

7. OUTLOOK /INDIA TODAY

8. KALYAN

9. VIGYAN PRAGTI ETC.

In additional it borrow material from daily newspaper such as Dainik Jagran, Navbharat Times etc. Apart from first issue of Jan.2004 (where there is no mention of any author of any article and no mentioning of source of material) rest of all other issues, I did not find any article which has not been borrowed from any of above sources.

An attempt has been made to make list of the article or item according to above categories of classification which will be used later on for content analysis. Which will be presented in subsequent postings with best wishes and regards

Ram Murti.
28.5.06
Fourth Posting (Content Analysis of Braille Magazine)
Dear Friend wish you a relief form tiring heat of May 16, 2006
In my last posting I tried to have a classification of contents of Sparshsetu in different category. In this posting I will try to analysis the content of the topic which are related to quality.

The nothing is free from politics any idea, though fact or assumption have direct or indirect political wearing. We need to point them or along with there proper context. However I have categoriesed on the those topic in the category of politics which are directly related to expedient polity and Generally followed by media or people as political issues. Here is the lift of the topic.

Issue Name of the topic Author Source of Article

120 Jan. 2004 Rehearsal of Legislature assembly election. Not Mentioned Not Mentioned

120 Jan. 2004 Bihari’s are targeted in Asam Not Mentioned Not Mentioned

120 Jan. 2004 Police Officer & Politician helped telgi in stamp scan Not Mentioned Not Mentioned

120 Jan. 2004 Amidst the trivial Not Mentioned Not Mentioned

120 Jan. 2004 Women power, a decisive wave. Not Mentioned Not Mentioned

121 Feb. 2004 Sikhs are threating to stop the study of their children in the school of France Not Mentioned Out Look

121 Feb. 2004 Struggle for control on Prime Institution of Education Not Mentioned Out Look

121 Feb. 2004 Warior are at front Not Mentioned India Today

122/123 (Combined Issue Mar./April 2004) Popularity is not like earlier Ajit Kumar Jha India Today

122/123 (Combined Issue Mar./April 2004) Obstinacy of General Indranhi Bagchi India Today

122/123 (Combined Issue Mar./April 2004) Star of Crown Shankar Ayyar & Frajand Ahmad India Today

124 May 2004 Indo Genius/Foreigner Not Mentioned Sarita

124 May 2004 Wind of change from small wholes in Saudi Arabia Romyshiraj, Muddraraqks Sarita

124 May 2004 Youth caught in Syndrome of Election Vireandar Briyarjayoti Sarita

124 May 2004 But is the job of starts in the courtyard of Politics Pratinidhi Sarita

125 June 2004 Who is responsible for dynistialsim in India. Not Mentioned Griha Shobha

126 July 2004 A profit of piece Harivarana Sarita

126 July 2004 The sardar of Sonia Prabhu Chawla India Today

127 August 2004 America falls desert of Iraq Arun Wajhpeye Sarita

127 August 2004 The Ill-fated world of Ishart Udaay Mahoorkar & Shila Ravla India Today

128 Sept. 2004 The consistent growth, legacy corrupt politician & Video operates Jagdish Pawar Sarita

128 Sept. 2004 Anarchy in Iraq Not Mentioned Sarita

128 Sept. 2004 Tiered Drill by tired leadership Priya Sehgal India Today

129 Oct. 2004 Designation of Governor, Internal conflict of Legislative & constitutional sanities Dr. Ashok Kumar Avasthi Sarita

129 Oct. 2004 Again the game of duplicity Raj Cengappa India Today

129 Oct. 2004 100 Days of Tug of war completed Bhavdeep Kang & Priya Sehgal India Today

130 Nov. 2004 People are disturbed form Atrocities of Paks Army in occupied Kashmir Usha S. Duggar Sarita

130 Nov. 2004 Some Pertinent question arose on presidential power of grant pardon Dr. Ashok Kumar Avasthi Sariata

131 Dec. 2004 Welcome by roses in the ways Raj Cengappa & Anil Padamnamm India Today

131 Dec. 2004 Happiness on the victory of Bush Rohit Saran & Ramesh Vinayak India Today

131 Dec. 2004 Way is not easy for Urhi – Mujaffarabad Usha S. Duggar Sarita

131 Dec. 2004 Me And my Family Bhavdeep Kang India Today

Above table reveal that in the whole year related of our study total 32 articles were published in this magazine directly on polity out of which two were taken form Outlook, one was borrowed from GrihShobha, 12 from India Today and 17 were borrowed from Sarita.

The source of original material suggest that generally material has been selected from those magazine which are read generally by middle class people and these magazine have very little concern with rural folk. Above table indicates that most of the articles are related to main stream politics which is often not followed by common people particularly in rural areas. That’s why this analysis in a way is comment upon above magazine themselves. Question arises in the context of Sparshsetu that why the editorial board of this magazine selected material from these magazine only where as lot of other magazine were available to serve this purpose such as EPW, Frontline, Seminar, Main Stream etc. The problem with the magazine like Sarita or GrihShobha is that they just try to catch up the popular feelings of middle class people specially youth & Women and they don’t bother about real concerns of people. There were so many crucial political events or occurrence which should have been covered by these magazines. Submergence of historical town Harsood in Khandwa Distt. Of M.P., people struggle of land rights in various states in India, suicide by farmers etc. are an illustration of those issues which should have been covered. Sparshsetu is any how deserved to be credited to provide some basic information about Indian polity to visually impure people, otherwise many of them might have been deprived even from this kind of information. However the label and standard to analysis of these article invites certain question which can be addressed after knowing the policy and criterion of selection of material by the editorial board of this magazine. This will be done later on in the next Posting.

Date: 16-5-06

Fifth Posting (Content Analysis of Braille Magazine)
Dear Friends have a good time. In last posting I did analysis the contents related to polity of this magazine. Which suggested that before analysing content further we need to investigate the policy of magazine from its editorial board & owner. In addition to its study design also required to have interviews of reader of this magazine. Therefore in this posting I am sending Questionere editorial Board or owner of the magazine & questionere for readers to whom I shall interview little later.

Questionere for Editorial Board or owner of the magazine :-
1. Why did you keep this very name (sprashsetu To this magazine) what it signifies?

2. What are the aims & objective of this magazine?

3. What is the target readership of this magazine?

4. Do you aim to follow any particular Ideology?

5. Do you want to cover some particular area by this magazine?

6. How do you select the content?

7. How do you received the contents?

8. How do you approach to author?

9. Do you need to follow any specific norms to borrow material from various magazine?

10. What is the process of editing the article or other write up?

11. Do you give any honorarium to author?

12. Do you have any specific circulation drive?

13. What shortcomings do you see in this magazine?

1.

2.

3.

14. What do you see the most strongest point of this magazine?

1

2

3

15. Are you satisfied with standard of article if yes why and if not why?

16. Which kind of initiative do you plan to take to improve the standard of magazine ?

17. What plans do you have to increase its readership?

18. What are your ideal to achieve for this publication?

19. What kind of problem do you face while publishing this magazine?

20. What contribution do you want to get from your reader?

21. Do you have any plan to increase your resource pool of author if yes what is that?

22. How do you visualize support from NFB readership?

23. Do you have sufficient working autonomy?

24. What if the process of the decision making specifically in regard to contents selection?
Questioner for Reader:-
Particulars of Reader

Name of the reader :

Correspondence Address :

Age :

Sex :

Occupation :
1. How did you come to know about this magazine (Sparshsetu)?

2. Are you subscriber or borrower of this magazine, if borrower where from where do you borrow?

3. Why did you began to subscribe this magazine?

4. From What time you are subscribing this magazine?

5. Can you afford to pay the subscription, if not how do you manage the subscription?

6. What do you like most in this magazine?

1.

2.

3.

7. What do you dislike most in this magazine?

1.

2.

3.

8. What improvement do you want to see in this magazine?

1.

2.

3.

9. What can you contribute for enrichment of this magazine?

10. Are you able to follow the language and structure of this magazine? If no, why?

11. How does it help you in your occupation?

12. Do you have any thing to learn from this magazine?

13. What are the shortcomings in this magazine in general?

14. Is there any area which is not been covered by this magazine?

15. Does it reach at time to you?

16. Any comments to offer?