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Media Trails

Is The Mic Heavier Than The Gavel?
Until you realize how easy it is for your mind to be manipulated, you remain the puppet of someone else�s game. - Evita Ochel.
Today it�s usually said, The one who controls the media, controls the truth and the public. The media plays a key role in shaping and changing the opinions of society. However, it is pertinent to look at its professionalism and ethics considering that media trials are often conducted in various mediums. There have been many cases where the media had taken cases into its own hands and declared an accused guilty even before the court has given its decision.

While a media shackled by government regulations is unhealthy for our democracy, the implications of continued unaccountability are even more horrifying. Media is regarded as one of the four pillars of democracy and under article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, it has a fundamental right. But do the media have the power to cross the reasonable restrictions in the name of this fundamental right? Media plays an important role in molding the opinion of society and it is capable of changing the whole viewpoint through which people perceive various events according to the media. Media has the power for starting a trend where it plays an active role in bringing the accused to the hook.

The existence of having a free, independent, and powerful media is the cornerstone of our Indian democracy with mixed cultures. Media is not only a medium to express one�s feelings, opinions, and views, but it is also responsible for building opinions and views on various topics of regional, national as well as international aspects. And now the time has come to legislate and control the unfettered power of the media.

Let all of us travel back into the time when we first heard about the infamous cases of Jessica Lal murder or Arushi Talwar murder case which led to widespread coverage of the guilt of the accused and also led to a certain perception about the accused. Not only it created hysteria among viewers in high-profile cases, making it nearly impossible for the trial to result in a fair judgment, and now with two Bollywood movies depicting the case.

Recently coronavirus developments were least interesting than the trending hashtag #sorrybabu and #mujhedrugsdo. The case from being an abetment to suicide went to drug dealing in Mumbai, where the entire population has convicted Rhea as the murderer who is a black magician. The media trials in these cases have caused wrongful portrayal of the accused and helped in destroying many careers.

The history of media trials goes back to the 20th century. In the case of American silent movie star Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle (1921), who was charged with the death of a woman, he was acquitted by the court but lost his public reputation and his job after the media declared him guilty before the courts could. And also in the case of former National Football League player, OJ Simpson who was charged with murder.

Effects of media trails on society at large are when the society starts to lose the logical sense of reasoning and critical thinking. They forget to focus on the real issues thus the growth and development come at stake. Media instigate the public in creating riots by adding communalism or casteism, by such famous headlines reading, Hindu girl shot by Muslim man for denying to marry, Dalit girl raped by Thakurs, Love Jihad, Muslim man beheaded for eating biryani with beef, etc. just imagine, if today�s generation children get such news headlines in the morning how do you expect the society to grow?

To develop? To accept every community, every race? Such headlines not only affect society by also the judicial system. They make us lose our hope in judicial power by taking all the trials into their own hands. Medial trials affect the mental health of an individual along with public defamation. They lose their career, family and friends are affected as well.

The media has a special power, it is called a manipulation. What we have is a series of medical trials failing to be humane and true to their nature. Instead of heading on with the positive role of media, it is mostly now used to spread propaganda, false news, targeted people, and destroyed many lives for their TRP and politics. This is now an ever-growing profession in India, where news is equivalent to entertainment.

Today A Story Is Not Told, It�s Sold.

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