The trial of O J Simpson was broadcast like a soap opera but ended like a football match, with blacks and whites cheering opposing sides. Why did this happen? The racial tension that it generated had something to do with already existing racial divisions and inequalities in American society, but much more to do with the way in which the case was projected and produced by the media. The transformation of a murder trial into a race issue is but one example of the increasing control which the media exerts over the terms of public discourse in the US.
The Economic and Political Weekly, published from Mumbai, is an Indian institution which enjoys a global reputation for excellence in independent scholarship and critical inquiry. First published in 1949 as the Economic Weekly and since 1966 as the Economic and Political Weekly, EPW, as the journal is popularly known, occupies a special place in the intellectual history of independent India. For more than five decades EPW has remained a unique forum that week after week has brought together academics, researchers, policy makers, independent thinkers, members of non-governmental organisations and political activists for debates straddling economics, politics, sociology, culture, the environment and numerous other disciplines.