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MITRAS WEEKLY ESSAY CHALLENGE

May 29 to June 04, 2017

 
Write an essay on the following topic in not more than 1000-1200 words:
 

Responsibility of Media in a Democracy

  • Deepak Tomar

    Media has a big role to play in a democratic set up. A government of the people, for the people and by the people is not all that easy to be followed. To have a strong democratic set up, the government and people need to go hand-in-hand. This definitely requires a bridge, which is the media. The very first responsibility of media is to reduce the gap between the government and its citizens. In a democracy the government is run by representatives of public, who are elected by the public, for the public and from the public. Such representatives take decisions which may prove to be right or wrong, and as they assume public office & inherit power some may use this position for their own benefit or benefit of others by exercising undue influence.
    Media came into existence around the 1780s with the introduction of newspapers, and since then it has matured by leaps and bounds. It has played a very important role in shaping human minds. Media, especially the social media has spread its wings worldwide with the emergence of e-age. The era is ruled by the Internet and has a supreme authority to turn things upside down. There is hardly any field left out from the reach of media.
    The right to freedom of expression enshrined therein gives the media not only a primary role but also a paramount responsibility of expressing public opinion through a written word. The media has been made the essential instrument for ensuring openness in society in an attempt to polish, develop and civilize it by the process of analysis, discussion and synthesis.
    Press is more than a media of information. The news may be colored with views and the comments upon the news generally would challenge our options. That is why press plays an important role in democratic country. It can make or break the governments. It can calm down the people or play up their passions, it can help the party in power to strengthen its Position or make the opposition to get the upper hand. Press not only leaves its impact on political life but also affects our social and economic life. It can help in tracing out the criminals. It can give expression to the grievance of the people and it can help the people to attain heir ends.
    In a democratic society the main task of the pool is to watch the democratic character of the political organization. There are many dangers to the democratic set up. The people in power try to encroach upon the rights of the common man. The people may not be able to enjoy their rights because of the interference of some. The press puts a check upon these types of tendencies by pin pointing the lapses of the party in power. The press can change the opinions of the people and the party becomes unpopular.

    The press can cultivate political outlook of the people and can help them in consolidating public opinion. Till the people are politically conscious and the people know their own rights and duties, the working of democracy will be chaste. Press can often play negative roles. It may start instigating people against one or the other leader or against the party in power. Under such circumstance the security of the country may be in danger. In such cases people shall not allow the press to have its own way. There should be a more code for the press to follow.
    As a matter of fact, a bold media is the most important prerequisite of a country with a democratic set up. Its importance is not altered with the fact whether the country is developed or developing. People elect their representatives, in a democracy, who make policies for a balanced socio-economic growth of the country. They also implement various policies for the benefit of the country. They also implement various policies for the benefit of the citizens. It is only through media that people come to know about the programmes of different political parties so that the candidates who are best suited to rule the country are elected. After the formation of governments and allocation of ministries, the media presents an assessment of working of all the ministries at various levels in their respective fields.
    The impact of media is really noteworthy. Excessive coverage or hype of sensitive news has led to communal riots at times. The illiterates are more prone to provocations than the literates. News repetition, especially sensational news, breeds apathy and insensitivity amongst the public. For instance, in Dato’ Seri Anwar’s case, the sodomy case was repeatedly shown on most of the T.V. news channels and has now been known globally just because of their repetitions. There is a plethora of such negative impacts. The media should take utmost care in airing or publishing such sensational news frequently.
    Commercialisation has created stiff competition for the media. In order to outdo each other, print media has often gone one step further in publishing articles, cover stories, etc. Media experts say that this is one of the means, which has cropped up swiftly in the recent past, to attract readers who are glued to T.V. news channels. They believe that this is a cheap form of journalism.
    No one is perfect in this world and neither is the media. I am not degrading the media, but I would say that there is still a lot of scope for improvement by which the media can raise up to the aspirations of the people for whom it is meant. An Independent Media is therefore essential for a democracy, to show the general public what the ruling party & opposition are doing, both good & bad. This is essential so as to ensure that individuals in public can form their opinions about how the government is functioning and wisely cast their vote in the next election. An efficient media can thus yield a big, strong and powerful democratic set up.