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 elseís game. - Evita Ochel.
Today itís 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 oneís 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 todayís 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, Itís Sold.
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