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Digital Watching in the Time of Covid-19 India
Individual Paper Presenter(s)
University of British Columbia, Canada
This paper will present research conducted on the consumption of digital entertainment in India during (and around) the national lockdown (March 22, 2020-May 30, 2020). It will analyze the Indian digital viewer's interaction with the media for empirical representation of the experience of the lockdown. There has been a sharp increase in digital watching time in India since the Covid-19 lockdown period was announced in late March. This paper uses this watching activity to understand the the response of the Indian "digital watcher" to the lockdown. It will first study news reports on digital video demand during Covid-19 (India). A specific YouTube video that revolves around the "Experience of the Lockdown" as a topic will be analysed. The heart of the paper will be one such video and the comments on it. The comments will be analyzed for how viewers respond to the representation of the lockdown experience, what aspects they do or do not relate to and what this says about the lived experience of the lockdown in India. The paper seeks to answer the following research questions: if there has been an increase in digital watching time in India, what social and cultural insights can this account on change in the activity give us? What nodes of resonance does Covid-19 based“relatable/experiential content” on YouTube employ and how do viewers respond to these?