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Is Indian media misusing its freedom of expression?

Role and rights of media

Freedom of expressionis very important to protect fundamental human rights and support the values of justice, liberty and equality.The major role of media is to highlight the problems of society, publicize political parties’ policies, spread awareness among citizens and make them aware of their rights and government schemes etc.

During independence, the Indian media have played a vital role to unite people together for a common agenda, to mobilize the masses and remove the social evil and raise the issues of the national importance. It has evoked the spirit of nationalism to boost the freedom movement and also brought a number of reforms by emphasizing the evils of society. This way it maintained the collaborative flow of means of communication.

Do you think currently Indian media misusing its freedom? More than being a responsible journalism, it has turned into a money-making business?

If we talk about ethics, it’s about the media’s responsibility towards nation and society. It covers issues like truth vs. privacy, conflict with law and sensibility. The news must be of public interest not in the interest of companies and not even politically motivated.

But with the rapid growth of media houses, the role of media has completely changed and has taken a form of the glamour industry, to attract audiences. Journalism is becoming a profit-driven business. Media is considered as a mouthpiece of the nation or society, but it’s losing its main goal and becoming a news making industry. It has turned into paid news channels and blackmailing people for money. The journalists are wrongly using their freedom of expression. They are only using it for their personal interest and making profit out it.

Do media realize their responsibility, their limitations? The most important fact is they are misusing their freedom and misguiding and misreporting vital issues. Without any accurate information and investigation, they just create defamatory and controversial issues to raise the fury of the public. And if it is related to religion, caste and culture, then it would be more profitable for them and they go on broadcasting it. We usually watch on news channels about Terrorist. They used to show video clips of a terrorist camp, what is their planning, their secret location? How they trained youngsters for terrorism? The simple question comes in mind, Are terrorist allowed journalist to take video clips of their secret locations and training camp? Every day we watch news about an actor and actress or other celebrities. Who is getting married to whom? Which actor or actress went for a medical check-up? Do you think this kind of news coverage will benefit audiences?

Nowadays aggressive and exaggerating coverage is the new trend of selling news, as it boosts Target Rating Point (TRP) and business profit. They use different tactics to increase TRP and frame news in such a way where an innocent person becomes a criminal. A recent case GodmanAsaramBapu, who is arrested under the rape case, media has created such a big issue on this and gave non-sense comments on his character and life. Definitely, media has a freedom of expression but it does not mean you start commenting on someone’s character. The question arises, is it proved in the court yet? How confidently can you say that he has done this crime? Do you have any proof? The answer will be big “NO.”Journalism is not about being judgmental about the people or the issues of public importance but it’s about putting the facts truthfully and honestly. The truth is in such cases they don’t have any proof and answer, they only know to create false stories and fake news headlines to make news crispy.

In another way, if we say media has become one kind of mental torture for people, for example- their irritating way of pointing out the victim again and again. They have brought the culture of Breaking News, the worst thing because the news they show as breaking news is half-baked and un-investigated. Sometimes these breaking news have been proved harmful for many sections of the population.

Media has a freedom of expression, which can be used as a weapon. In spite of misusing this freedom for spreading shameful content or stories for the monetary benefits, they can use it for showing concern about society, highlighting the improvement required in nation and society. Media’s role is to expose the truth for the sake of national interest not the interference into person’s personal life. They need to bring transparency in the government machinery.

To make our nation a universal power the media must adopt the way of principled journalism then only it will become a driver of social revolution and bring a strong independent society.