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Is the media of today upholding good journalistic standards?
It is said that media is the fourth pillar of the democracy, because it keeps the people aware about the political turmoil on one hand, and it pressurize the political leaders to show accountability to the people on the other. Today, in India the face of media has changed a lot and in-fact many times it has proved its efficiency. The media is actively involved in the national level affairs relating to the social justice, law and order, constitution and many other things.
Many times the media has played an extremely positive role by creating a public opinion towards a thing. Recently in the campaign of social activist Anna Hazaray, media played a big part in making the campaign a success. There are many other examples when the media played a great role in providing justice to the people as like in the case of Jessica Lal murder, if the media had not given the case so much of hype there were hardly any chances that the culprits would have got the sentence of life. Moreover many times certain scams were uncovered by medic through sting channel operations, although the legality of these operations might be altogether different debate but still they did some social good by it.
But only on these facts we can't conclude that the media of our nation has touched the height of high journalism. Media of nation can only be said to be of high standard when it is aware of its societal responsibilities and it is actively involved in it. But in this regard I would rather say with great sorrow that media of our nation has failed in its duty towards the country. It is correct that the media has been successful in giving itself a professional touch according to the changing conditions of globalization, but on the other hands it could not maintain a fair functioning of its duties towards nation at large.
The truth is that even when the hype of media results in positive yields, those incidents are not a product of the consciousness of media for the society at large but instead a part of their strategy to create reputation and money. As like the case of the death of Jessica Lal was given so much hype by the government, but in rural areas everyday thousands of people are killed , many types entire families are killed but our media hardly take those incidents with that seriousness with which it takes the case of Jessica and alike. In several states many people are dying because of hunger and malnutrition, but such things never get enough attention from the fourth pillar of our democracy. One the one hand at regional level many agitations are taking place, which are even continued from years but they got never justice from the side of media as like Sharmila is agitating from years to improve the plight of the people of North-East, but the media never give it enough attention.
Although in today's time media needs to be professional, because fund raising is very necessary for it to function properly but with the professional touch it has to focus on social issues even if they are not so profitable. In rural India many NGOs are working for the welfare for poor, removal of literacy and many other social causes, and if they would be help through media in their campaign then it can bring drastic change in the plight of the people. When the big projects are created and people are replaced without adequate compensation, media should be actively involved in showing the plight of those people to the public, but it hardly happens. Because ultimately the true goal of the journalism to make good to people, and media should always keep this point in mind.
In this regard there is also a responsibility on the government that it should not unnecessarily interfere in the working of the media. The independence of media is a very necessary aspect of its fair functioning, and moreover it is guaranteed under ar. 19 of the Constitution of India, which ensures freedom to speech and expression. In the past many time the political leader had pressurized the media to achieve their own political ends, and hindered the emergence of high level journalism. Political leader are required to understand the importance of reporting by media, and they must give the journalists and editors sufficient safeguards against the criminal and unsocial elements.
In conclusion I would rather say that to achieve the high level of journalism the media is required to be oriented towards the problems of the people. It is required to impartial and independent in the reporting of political incidents. It is required to be more concentrated on social issues as like suicide by farmers, rural development, social movement, displacement, land acquisition etc. After shameful incidents of bribing in Parliament people are losing faith in the democratic structure of nation, and media can play a great role in bringing back this trust.