In today's world, media is a great source of information to people within and
outside the defined boundaries. It has always acted as an interface between the
government and people of the country. It helps people at both the ends to get
the information and opinions of the other side, thus building a bridge between
people and government. Media is the basic source of information. It is in
different forms like print, virtual, social etc.
With the help of technology and
easy access, media has defined a great role especially in a democratic country
where it is expected of the media to be free from any biases. It is termed as
fourth pillar of the democracy. It creates opinion in minds of people and is one
of the most reliable source of information as it is expected that media always
provides correct and authentic information. But the belief of people has
somewhere started to dwindlein the present era. Questions of free media,
justification of the acts media does is somewhere countered down.
All the forms of media are equally important and have significant impact on the
people. Social media is one of the greatest used forms of media in the present
time. We will be discussing all the forms of media and their influence in a
democratic state. Other questions like is media regulated from governing body or
it is absolute free. If it is absolutely free then is there a need to have check
on its acts as the information provided in the media is used by people not only
from the country but also outside the country.
Every information provided bythe
media of a country is somewhere used by the media and people of other countries
also. It is somewhere representing the image of a country and the way it
reflects is perceived by other. In such a scenario where we are so global and
media is freely accessed and had influence the misappropriate information can
lead to a wrong message in the mass.
Then the question arises that how far
regulating the media by government is justified?
It is well known that to the world that media in some countries is totally
under control of government but in a democratic form of government where every
body govern and is accountable to each other and where people and law is
supreme, can media be regulated by government?
We have seen that during the time
of emergency how the government of that time has used media as its puppet and
how much it has harmed the values of democracy so in a country like India it
cannot be made under control of government otherwise who will make the
government accountable for the grievances of the people? The correct way to deal
with it is by having reasonable restrictions on media. But here a problem again
arises who will decide which act of media is reasonably justified or not. We
will be discussing further that what is the present role of media and how can
the acts be justified.
Evolution Of Media:
Media ,since a long time, has been a source of information and a system that
upholds the values of the democracy. It is used to make people aware about the
acts of the government, the rights of the people and has the time to control
the wrong acts of the government by making them accountable and standing with
the group of people whose interests are affected. At the early stages with less
technology advancement, the only form of media was print and a little developed
version of it was the news on the radio.
With the passage of time, the virtual
media evolved and involved a lot of people in the system. Then further
advancement and most used form of media in present era is social media where
people are having information on their palms using mobile phones. It helps in
changing the way of communication and now even a single man can use the platform
to question the government.
Media has now become easily accessible and more direct and fastest form of
information transmission on just a click. This has helped in raising different
issues involved in the present society. The way the print media and the virtual
media provide information has also been changed they try to be more attractive
and catchier to have maximum viewers and readers. The media is now looking not
for news but for views and has now turned from news channels to views channel.
The race of getting breaking news first has changes the way of presentation of
Having headlines just with some catchy words and the way they are
presented sometimes deviates the news. All this evolved media phase has its own
advantages and disadvantages but one thing that cannot be overlooked is that it
is an integral part of the democratic society and has a duty and responsibility
towards the society.
Role Of Media In Present Society:
With the advancement of technology and its wider reach, a large part of society
is connected to a virtual mode of media either through their televisions or with
their mobile phones and other devices. In the present time when the world is
moving with such a rapid speed there is a lot of information that is available
to be delivered to the people in the society. Different incidents within and
outside the country reported, surveys done, debates concluded, interviews
conducted, provide a lot of information to the people.
Interviews and debates
provide people a platform to listen to their representatives and their stand on
the issues, thus building a great interface between the government and the
people. Different surveys done made authorities accountable for their acts and
different incidents reported help in getting information about what is happening
in the world. Now the way these things are presented is equally important that
makes the opinion of the people of the country.
Recently, different cases are being reported by the media that made people aware
and people have reacted to it well. Some of the examples of it are Nirbhaya case
which was led as movement by the people, the Asaram Bapu Case, Ram Rahim Case
and many others. These were the incidents where reporting by the media plays a
Media And Justice:
Media being a very active part of the society has played a vital role in
protecting public interest. In different cases media pressure has made the
investigation much faster and fair. It has also helped in the times of Covid-19
outbreak when people were going through hard times ,media was the one providing
information to the people by the authorities and vice versa as well. There are
instances of migrant workers moving a long distance to reach their home which
has made government accountable for its acts. Because of media, the judiciary
also gets to know certain issues among the society and has taken suo- moto
cognizance for ensuring justice to people.
The instance where people were not
taken proper care in hospitals and are losing their lives, the Apex Court taking
matter suo- moto directed authorities to make proper arrangements and thus
making governments accountable and ensuring justice. So, in such situation it is
the media which provides the information to the authorities and helps in
ensuring justice to all. There were many other instances where media played a
vital role in ensuring justice and stating the problems of the people at large.
This is the role of media and it is playing its role well. But,is there another
aspect to it? The other side of the coin provides some loopholes in the system.
In some cases media is playing an overwhelming role and is deviating from its
object. The very well known term is media trial
This was recently seen in
Sanjay Dutt case, Sushant Singh Rajput Case and other well-known cases. Media
trial is simply media doing a pre trial of the person accused based on the facts
the news channels have , which may be authentic or not. The basic harm it does
is that it creates an opinion in the minds of people which damages the image of
the person so accused. Here the fact that a person is accused until he/she is
convicted by the court is being neglected by the media.
There are various cases
where the courts have commented on the working of the media. Some of them are:
- Delhi High Court in a plea by Shashi Tharoor seeking injunction
against defamatory Broadcasting directs News Anchor Arnab Goswami to exercise
restraint and stated that “Media Cannot run parallel trial”.
- In a plea by Rakul Preet Singh against broadcasting of maligning
campaign against her by media Delhi High Court stated that “Media should
exercise restraint, follow programme code”.
- It sometimes also does provide such news or in such manner that it
creates hate among the communities in the country.
One of the basic instances of
this is where a channel named Sudharshan TV in a programme Bindass Bol, a
particular community was targeted and was stated that Muslims joining civil
services is a deep-rooted conspiracy. While dealing with this issue SC held that
media cannot attack a community. Justice KM Joseph stated that “Media promoting
communal attitude is against diversity and harmony of our country.
Chandrachud stated that:
“As a Supreme Court of the nation we cannot allow you to
say that Muslims are infiltrating civil services. You cannot say that the
journalist has absolute freedom doing this”.
So, though the media helps in ensuring justice ,it sometimes deviates from =its
major goal and does some acts that are against the spirit of democracy. At this
point there is a need to regulate the media. It has to understand its duty and
has to work within the defined limits.
Media, as discussed above, is a great source of information. But in the present
time the role of media has increased a lot. It is necessary to have a free and
fair media in a democratic country as it is necessary for upholding the spirit
of democracy. It should not be under pressure of any of the institutions. But
somewhere a part of media is deviating from the actual object and its fairness
and using its right of freedom of speech and expression that affects a part of
the society in a negative way.
This is the point where some reasonable
restrictions or regulations are needed to govern them. It is for the media also
to understand that people believe them and it is their duty to provide proper,
reliable and authentic information, and if it is not done people will lose the
faith in media and that would be the worst situation for a country like India to
deal with. The government should also not try to influence media for their own
benefits and media should not try to put pressure of on judiciary. All the
pillars of democratic country should be free from external and undue pressure so
that the country can run properly and the spirit of democracy can be upheld. All
should be secular in nature and should work for social welfare.