Thomas Carlyle said, “Media is the fourth pillar of democracy”. But is it the truth in today’s times?
Media mainly consists of different modes of communication like newspaper, television, radio, magazines, online internet websites, and much more.
Media was established to bridge the gap between the government and the people. But instead of bridging the gap, it has further made it wider. News channels are today spreading rumors’, fake news is being telecasted to gain as many viewers as possible and to double the channel’s income at any cost. But is it true journalism?
Media today is taking an authoritative role in passing judgments on their own. Recently when Sidharth Shukla died, even before the reports came from doctors media channels took the role of detectives and Judges and concluded that either this is either a suicide case or depression attack and even created a plausible theory of murder. The fact was that he died due to a heart attack.
The media must play the role of a mediator without taking any sides to present authentic and verified news to the viewers. But this is not the case major publishing houses and media channels are just blindly following the orders of either the private stakeholder’s stakeholders or the government in power to appease them and curry their favours.
The media has to be fierce, savage, and attacking without being biased against any party. For a nation to progress as a whole there must be clarity between what is being said, told and what is being understood to the viewers. As the reach of media is worldwide and impacts everyone’s thoughts, feeling, inclination and trust.
The essence of any democracy is the Right to Speech and if it is curtained the voices of people are suppressed the country no longer remains democratic. This is what is happening today there are a few media channels and newspapers that try to present the ground reality with facts and figures of any situation but these are often either criticized for being an ally of the opposition party or are threatened and ultimately set to silence forever. An example of such a news channel is WION, which was banned last year in China.
Pressure on media:
1. It wants to cover the news, facts, truth but its voice is suppressed.
2. Due to pressure of stakeholders, private estates, the ruling party, pressure from bosses; they can’t show what they want and to appease their bosses above they have to show support to them and agree to their demands.
3. Media job doesn’t pay well so to meet targets and cover news they have to cook up stories and this leads to fake news spreading like wildfire and make matters even worse.
4. Cutthroat competition within media to get that particular celebrity, or politician to their show. And for that news to be covered by them and internal politics within media houses, the use of bribery to do so leads to malfunctioning.
Today each person is educated and aware enough to understand which news is fake or real and what is being projected and what is the reality. And to verify this we must check the sources while reading an article or news. Someone has rightly said each situation has two sides same is the case with technology and media.
Due to worldwide, easy and cheap access of the internet, it is easier to spread anything on the internet just while using mobile phones and shatter someone’s life. All you have to do is press a button, tag it to them either through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp and the whole world gets to know about your news.
Ways to improve media:
1. Undue pressure on media must be removed.
2. There should be transparency in what is shown and happening at the actual place.
3. Verification of facts is a must before presenting it to the general public.
4. Critical analysis and one’s viewpoint are important but they should not overshadow the actual news.
5. Need of more aware and informed youth who can join journalism and bring in a change.
For media to function properly and efficiently we must all do our bit and that is by becoming more aware citizens and for this, we must analyze and critically evaluate any piece of information provided to us. And media must realize that its role is to provide accurate information and not become judges by passing judgments on their own theories, rather stick to the facts and provide relevant news to the common people in laymen language so that they can easily understand it.