Media in India: Access, Practices, Concerns and Effects


This report presents the results of a study conducted by Lokniti - Centre for the Study Developing Societies which analysed consumption trends in Indian media. The report also addresses emerging concerns and levels of access.

The survey of 7,463 Indian citizens was conducted who were 15 years of age and above. The survey was conducted in January 2022 across 19 states and union territories. Sources of media include television, newspapers, magazine, mobile phone, computer and more.

This 201-page document is divided into seven sections: Mapping media presence at the household level (Section 1); Media consumption patterns: starting with the basics (Section 2); Social media: engagement and participation (Section 3); New media: emerging concerns and challenges (Section 4); News media engagement & preferences (Section 5); Perception about and trust in news media (Section 6); Media consumption and political choices (Section 7).


  1. TV ownership in Indian households witnessed continuous growth over almost two decades, rising from one-third of the households in 1996 to nearly half in 2004. By 2014, three-fourths of the households in the country owned a TV set. 

  2. Since 2014, the proportion of TV ownership has stagnated across Indian household, with around three-fourths of the households owning a TV set.

  3. About one-third of all Indians (15 years and above) watch TV daily.

  4. A significant 59 per cent of daily TV viewers expressed they would feel restless if deprived of TV for a day. Among those watching five or more hours daily, this sentiment was found among 72 per cent. A discernible pattern emerges: the more hours spent watching, the greater the likelihood of restlessness without TV.

  5. The survey revealed that 52 per cent of the respondents did not read newspapers. Among readers, regularity is scarce, with only 14 per cent reading daily and nine per cent multiple times a week. Only one-fourth of Indian households get a newspaper at home either daily or often, the report adds.

  6. Based on responses to 14 questions about social media usage, a social media usage index was created as part of the survey. The findings indicate that slightly over 50 per cent of India's population does not use any social media or messaging platforms. Among those with internet access, a quarter do not use any social media.

  7. People living in urban areas, especially in bigger cities, are more likely to use social media platforms than those living in rural areas. Residents of small cities, however, are more likely to use many different types of social media platforms than those residing in big cities.

  8. Opposition to government phone surveillance outweighs support, regardless of phone ownership. Disapproval for monitoring calls exceeds disapproval for social media tracking. Still, around one-third of mobile users endorse government phone monitoring.

  9. Approximately 27 per cent of the respondents used all three sources for news – news channels, newspapers, and news websites. About 17 per cent relied on news channels and newspapers, seven per cent on news channels and websites, and one per cent on newspapers and websites. Roughly 19 per cent solely depended on news channels, three per cent on newspapers, and two per cent entirely on news websites. A quarter (24 per cent) of citizens do not use these sources, either due to disinterest or reliance on other sources for information.

  10. More than 40 per cent of news consumers believe that Indian news media can convey the truth freely (33 per cent think it is freer than before, and 10 per cent believe it has remained the same over years). 

  11. In general, more people on social media (51 per cent of the respondents) are against expressing offensive ideas compared to those in favor (34 per cent).

    Focus and factoids by Yaajushi Hulgundi.


Lokniti - Centre for the Study Developing Societies (CSDS) 


Lokniti - Centre for the Study Developing Societies (CSDS)