The Beginning, Expansion, and Impact of Shalom Religious Media: A Case Study

Abstract:

Shalom religious media had a very small beginnings. From the size of a mustard seed it has grown to be a large tree (to use a Biblical imagery) with branches across the world.  This paper would like to focus on the beginnings, expansion and impact of Shalom media. In 1989 a group of young people,in a remote village in north Kerala State of India, began to meet regularly for prayer. They wanted to share with others the peace and joy they experienced. From this desire emerged Shalom Times, a monthly, in 1991. Today it claims to have over 500,000 readers. In 1996 an English version was launched and an international edition was brought out in 2012. Shalom began its internet ministry in 1997. It took to television broadcasting and produced its first programme in 1998 under the banner Shalom Vision. In 1999 Sunday Shalom, a Malayalam weekly magazine, was launched. An initiative known as Shalom Peace Fellowship began in 2003. In the same year Shalom started 24/7 television broadcasting. Another initiative ‘Peace on Wheels’ was rolled out in 2006. Shalom took to book publishing (Sophia Books) in 2008. Shalom Institute of Media Science (SIMS) opened in 2009. In 2010 Sunday Shalom US edition was launched with English and Malayalam features. Shalom media club was inaugurated in 2012. Eight production houses for Shalom World Television was set up across US in 2013. Shalom World Television was launched in 2014. It is a media house run without advertisements. When the general view is that a media house cannot survive without advertisements what keeps the Shalom media afloat? What has contributed to its apparent success in terms of expansion of operations? What has contributed to its impact among the audience? The apparent success of Shalom media house is all the more praiseworthy because it started off with hardly any institutional support. Also the key people associated with its founding belongs to the tiny minority community in India and in the State of Kerala. Shalom seems to have provided the community with an alternative vehicle of expression, albeit religious. An in-depth study of Shalom Media aims to provide answers to these questions.

 

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