Perspectives on New Media as an Emergent Threat to Democratic Institutions in India

  • Pratima Mutyala
Keywords: democracy, new media, threats to democratic institutions, filter bubbles, echo chambers


Democracy as a political system of governance is widely accepted as the foundation of a free and progressive society. It is recognized by most international institutions as one of the essential conditions for equitable economic growth and human development in modern times. Communication networks and mass media have always played an important role as the ‘fourth pillar’ of democracy in India. However, there are concerns and apprehensions regarding   New media as a vehicle for promoting values of a democratic society. Unlike other forms of media, regulation and monitoring of content, particularly user generated content on the internet is neither feasible nor desirable in the context of freedom of expression. But there are potential harms that an unregulated and diverse medium of communication can cause to a society.   This paper highlights the dichotomies, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to new media technologies in the context of Indian democracy. Using the methodology of conceptual analysis, the paper points out the potential threats posed by new media forms to the functioning of a healthy democracy. The paper proposes a new concept linking the formation of ‘filter bubbles’ and ‘echo chambers’ in the context of social media and presents its implications.  It concludes with suggested approaches to using new media to strengthen democracy and advocates media literacy campaigns as one of the effective ways to counter and proposes a few strategies to counter these negative effects. 

How to Cite
Mutyala, P. (2024). Perspectives on New Media as an Emergent Threat to Democratic Institutions in India. The Journal of Development Communication, 35(1), 12-20. Retrieved from