The democratic system is the most widely accepted system because of the fact that it assures people of getting their requirements and needs fulfilled and if not they have the power to select another candidate in the next election. India is the world’s largest democracy, it became a democratic country after getting independence from the British empire in the year 1947. And that’s the reason why freedom of the press becomes very important in a nation like India.
But the recent history has not been very good for the press. Advertising and T.R.P have started polluting media houses which bring down the quality of journalism and news reporting. Out of all these, violence against the journalist has been the scariest reason why the quality of the press is going down. The World Press Freedom Index 2019, finds that there are increased numbers of violent attacks in India leading to at least six Indian journalists being killed in the line of their work last year. This is the reason it becomes very crucial to understand the importance of freedom of the press
Let us explore the idea of the importance of Freedom in the press:
Press Helps in Informing Citizens
Power is power. Was always been the false statement, Knowledge is power has always been the right one. In print, online, or on TV or radio without a free exchange of information, people can’t be fully aware of what’s going on around them and so can’t meaningfully participate in their communities or democracies. Local and national reporters and news outlets can keep people informed about what is happening in the world around them. Freedom of expression is the legal foundation that allows people to access information about current events and matters of public interest whether that’s from large media companies, local newspapers, or from each other through citizen journalism and social media. When freedom of expression is respected and recognized the media are able to freely report on politics, economics, and societal events as they occur.
Media is the Fourth Pillar of Democracy
Media plays an important role in our democracy and makes people aware of various kind of information in the form of news across the world. Media make the population of a country about the social, economic and political activities going around us. Media’s main job is to deliver the unbiased news without tampering and censorship. Which helps in keeping the transparency between authority and people. But in today’s era media in some country is facing a critical and significant crisis. Media houses are now taking a turn to corporatizing to acquire advanced technology and great infrastructure. Nowadays, Media houses are just focusing on making themselves wealthy and earn the highest TRP rather than showing the true reflection of what is going in our society. Which is making that one pillar weak and the fear of democracy falling becoming very real.
Press Holds People Accountable
The Press acts as a crucial instrument for holding the right people accountable. A person can forget the promises made by their leaders but a printed newspaper, video, or audio recording will act as a piece of reminding evidence for both citizens and the government. The people who work in the press must be unafraid. Some brave journalists do perform string operations, do investigations, and find out the reality. It tends to fight against corruption, unfulfilled promises, disloyal behavior or misuse of power in public or private life. Constitution of the nation safeguards every press through which they can hold the responsible people accountable and bring them in front of citizens.
Press Discovers Truth
It becomes crucial for quality journalism to be able to ask difficult questions, follow interesting stories, query inconsistencies, and report precisely on the issues. By dedicating time, energy, and skill to finding out what’s going on in the world around us, a free press is able to bring important information out into the public arena. Forming shared values and influencing policies at local, national, and international levels. Investigative journalism is one of the most public-facing ways of sharing new information. Freedom of expression supports and protects the press’s ability to freely research and report in the public interest.