A government may often start by discrediting the news media and what is being reported. It may stridently reinforce the notion that the media cannot be trusted by undermining the news and facts that media presents to the public. This is when the media begins to exercise self-censorship to avoid outrage manufactured by the government.
As time passes, this self-censorship may become more ingrained or such distrust for the news media may develop among the people that they call for the government to intervene. Of course, once the media is muzzled, there is no one to report truths. In the absence of those truths, the citizenry has no power to affect the necessary changes and the government reigns supreme.
No right is absolute. This is true even for the right to freedom of speech or expression. However, the right does exist and as long as it does, the power lies in the hands of the people. Since the freedom of the press also falls under this right, it is clear that the press is the tool that indirectly protects all other rights that a people may enjoy. Curbing the freedom of the press is, thus, curbing the freedom of the people. The press has a powerful role to play in any setting.
Nowhere can this be seen better than in the reporting done in the 20 th and 21 st centuries across the globe. This is the time that reporting of facts became widespread and print media came into its own. The theory of social responsibility of the press lies between total authoritarianism and libertarianism. As per the theory, a free press should be allowed without any censorship but the content should be self-regulated and open to discussion in public panels.
It helps establish guidelines for professionalism in reporting and insists upon high standards of quality in terms of truth, accuracy and information. The fact is that media without any fetters can be dangerous. It can report anything, twist any facts or even present outright lies in order to maintain its influence. It can be manipulated quite easily and, in turn, can manipulate the very public opinion it is supposed to shape. It also means placing those facts in context and, under certain circumstances, even refraining from reporting facts or expressing opinions that can cause harm.
The perfect example of this situation is the Mumbai attacks on November Thanks to minute-by-minute updates, the terrorists knew exactly what was going on outside and were able to plan their defence accordingly. The job of the commandos became infinitely more difficult as they tried to subdue the terrorists and rescue hostages. After the event, the Supreme Court ruled that the media had been extremely irresponsible and endangered the lives of not only the rescue teams but also the hostages.
In their bid to increase their ratings, various TV channels cast aside all common sense and carelessly and ceaselessly released updates that helped the terrorists while hindering security forces. There can be no doubt that a strong and free press is crucial to the functioning of any democracy.
However, like any other right, the right to freedom of expression must be exercised with caution lest it does more harm than good. Unfortunately, news media depends on ratings to generate revenue and has demonstrated time and again that it will cross many moral lines to get both.
In order to be truly effective, the press needs to remember that it has a responsibility to its audience and to society as a whole to be rational and conscientious in its reporting. This freedom is considered one of the cornerstones of democracy. In order to keep checks and balances on the government and its activities, the public must be adequately informed.
This information is supposed to be dispensed by the press. The Indian press is deeply rooted in Indian history and had its beginnings under the aegis of the British Raj. During the Indian struggle for freedom, various acts were enacted by the British government to censor press coverage of parties such as the Congress which were in the forefront of the independence movement.
With the advent of independence, Indian leaders laid out the Constitution of India which guaranteed certain rights to all its citizens as part of being a democracy. While there is no specific Act in the constitution regarding the freedom of the press, Article 19 1 a guarantees the right of freedom of speech and expression to all citizens.
The freedom of the press is deemed to be part of this right. However, there are limitations to this freedom — limitations that apply to both private citizens and member of the press. The limitations are listed in Article 19 2 and restrict freedom of speech and expression if said freedom interferes with the following:.
The offence of sedition as laid out in Article A is also something that can be used to curb the freedom of the media. Although India is considered the largest democracy in the world, the freedom of the press is declining in the country. This has slipped down two points from in The highest position the country achieved was in when it was ranked at Since then there has been an alarming decline.
Reporter without Borders, the organization that releases the index, cites growing intolerance and the murders of journalists as the reasons behind this decline. Unfortunately, in recent years, this right has been increasingly curbed. This oppression of the press is an alarming trend as it does not allow for proper checks and balances on the government and its activities.
The Indian people need to remember that in order to have a strong democracy they need a strong and free press. Essay on Democracy in India. Essay on Fundamental Rights. Essay on Freedom of Speech. Slogans on Newspaper. Essay on Social Media. Shailja is one of those who is lucky to have turned her passion into her profession. A post graduate in English Literature, writing comes naturally to her and she is doing what she does best - writing and editing. An avid reader, a fashion junkie, nature lover, adventure freak and a travel enthusiast are some of the other terms that describe her.
Find all. Please Help us to improve, Contact us. Freedom of the Press Essay. Freedom of speech is taken a couple of ways, some of these are positive some may not have the same positive spin. Some people think we can say anything we like, no matter how controversial it maybe, without fear of punishment. Some think that…. What is the purpose of the bill of rights? The main purpose of the U. S Constitution, the bill was introduced to guarantee the protection of the basic rights that the American citizens continue to enjoy today.
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