Introduction of Media
Media is often termed as fifth pillar of democracy. In a democracy the media is free and fair without any interference from the state. However in non democratic countries, the media is fully controlled by the ruling regime and works like its mouthpiece.
The true role of media is to highlight injustice, anti poor policies of the govt, miss-governance, and social inequalities, raise the voice of poor and deprived classes of society. It acts like a watchdog. The media is a powerful instrument to reflect the aspirations of society.
These instruments are very potent since they have wide outreach. For example the Doordarshan has a network all across the country even in the remotest regions otherwise inaccessible by other means.
The media houses must be free from any prejudice or political leanings. There are multiple factors which are fundamental to media reporting.
The news and events should be reported truthfully without adding any colour or twist. In case the news is distorted or twisted, it will mislead the readers. Any misinformation will lead to rumours and conjectures which can have dangerous consequences.
Free and Fair Reporting
The reporting of events and occurrences must be fair and fearless. We see that some groups or parties use money and muscle power to intimidate journalists and media houses.
A journalist has to be fearless and courageous so that people get fair picture of state of affairs.
In countries like China and Pakistan the voice of media is muzzled by the state. The media actually acts as their mouthpiece. State propaganda is carried out in favour of the ruling class.
The media is used to malign and discredit the opposition parties in the eyes of people. It is said that a lie told hundred times becomes a truth. During World War II, Hitler used state media as a tool of propaganda so effectively that the German public never came to know the truth.
The business houses and Multi National Companies extensively use media to promote their product. As we see in our daily life, a common man is virtually bombarded with carefully designed advertisement campaigns in an attractive manner to sell the merchandise.
Media plays a very significant role in forming public opinion on social, political, cultural, economic issues. It can generate intense debate on multiple subjects among cross sections of society.
With global reach, television studios can conduct discussions on burning issues among panelists sitting in different countries.
These debates and discussions help forming general consensus which in turn reflects the mood of public. The government take vital decisions on the basis of this public mood or public opinion.
Many universities conduct various courses through distance education. Internet, television, mobiles are the tools to conduct these courses and live classes through Skype.
UGC conducts many educational programmes through media for students staying in remote areas. Similarly media is powerful source of entertainment for rich and poor through songs, movies, videos etc.
Media is the backbone and watchdog of democracy in today’s world. Media must be free, fair, fearless and totally independent so that it could reflect the aspiration of people.
Media has great responsibility as fifth pillar of democracy. Therefore it must be mature and balanced while playing its role.