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Freedom of Press is Real Democracy” :Kashmir Tribune

Freedom of Press is Real Democracy”

   108 Views  |     |   Friday, September, 24, 2021

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By: Dar showkat Budkoot Handwara can reached@darshowkat41@gmail.com

 

 

 

Freedom of the press protects the right to obtain and publish information or opinions without government censorship or fear of punishment. Censorship occurs when the government examines publications and productions and prohibits the use of material it finds offensive. Freedom of press applies to all types of printed and broadcast material, including books, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, films and radio and television programs. The Constitution’s framers provided the press with broad freedom.
This freedom was considered necessary to the establishment of a strong, independent press sometimes called “the fourth branch” of the government. An independent press can provide citizens with a variety of information and opinions on matters of public importance. However, freedom of press sometimes collides with other rights, such as a defendant’s right to a fair trial or a citizen’s right to privacy. In recent years, there has been increasing concern about extremely aggressive journalism, including stories about people’s sexual lives and photographs of people when they were in a private setting.
Democracy is a system of the government in which the people of the state or the citizens have the power to directly select their representatives amongst themselves and form a governing body such as a parliament, senate or a body that can be called by other names. Democracy is a system where the eligible members of the state select the government. It is of many kinds but the main motive of the democracy is to work for the people and to make sure that they are being governed by the members selected by them, through a proper voting system. 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. Our country has its Constitution which gives its citizens fundamental rights, the right to vote irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, race or gender. No matter what kind of democracy a country works on, be it presidential or parliamentary, the power is in the hands of the people. India functions on the basis of the parliamentary democratic system in which the people of different states/areas vote for their desired candidates. But the citizens do not elect their presidents directly.

Media And Free Press:

Democracy came much later after the press came to India. The Press is the voice of people, it is considered to be the voice of the voiceless. The Press existed even before independence and it certainly proves that any sort of media or press is by the people of the state not by the ruling body. Democracy may be very powerful in its own terms and conditions but is not fully efficient in working without media, especially the free press. The media acts as a bridge between the government and the people as it tends to inform people about the functions performed by the government. It also informs the government officials about the problems faced by people in their respective constituency. Hence, the democratic system is only fully efficient when the state enjoys a free press, though the Indian constitution doesn’t have a separate article for freedom of the press in the Constitution like the united States.
Because the freedom of the press means freedom from interference from the authority which would have the effect of interference with content and circulation of newspapers. But under freedom of expression, it is inferred that the press, not only newspapers but all sorts of media have the right to inform and educate people. In the democratic aspect,Bonly people of the state or citizens can enjoy the freedom of speech and expression to a great extent.
The free press is a term used for the media which is not controlled or restricted by the government for propagating political agendas or ideological matters among the masses. May 3rd is celebrated as world press day or world press freedom day. India, the largest democracy in the world, slipped two points on the world press freedom index ranking compiled by reporters without borders. India ranked 140 amongst 180 countries. It measures the level of freedom givenvto the journalists of a country.
Why Freedom Of The Press Is Necessary
For A Democracy To Work
“The press is the only tocsin of a nation, when it is completely silenced, all means of general effort are taken away.”

-Thomas Jefferson

The press acts as a medium of communication between the government and the people. Freedom of the press is so necessary that multiple times in India it has been controlled, even during the British rule, the press worked so vigorously in promoting the idea of freedom that they had to bring Indian press Act 1910 and then again implemented later in 1931-1932.

Indira Gandhi controlled the press during the Emergency but stopped giving advertisements and funds to the national newspaper while the radio and television were under the government as a result of which they could be easily controlled. The Press is considered the fourth pillar of democracy, that works independently, outside the government. The fact that makes it the most specialised institution is that common people can participate in it freely and can share their problems, opinions, fact and figures.

It stands for the civic rights, political rights and religious rights of the people. Media plays a vital role in forming opinions and influencing decision making by the people, comparing present and past experiences, actions, works etc. done by different governing bodies. It also helps in giving feedback, exposure and conduit mechanisms by the people to the government, so that the representatives can work according to their needs and requirements.
Citizens receive the information about the new policies, projects, schemes, laws, amendments etc. through media, by which they can assess the working of the government and analyse if the deeds are beneficial for them or not.
The Press also acts as a crucial instrument for accounting. 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 behaviour or misuse of power in public or private life.
Factors which threaten the freedom of the press are:
1) Corporate Sector: Not only does the government try to control the press but sometimes, even the corporate sector tries to control it in order to increase their business sales or other personal users may control the press by paying the editors, writers and reporters.
2 The killing of Reporters And Journalists: Many a time, reporters and journalists are killed for presenting a piece of news or covering a story by the supporters of a particular group, organisation or political party.
3 Targeting: Press workers are often targets of hate campaigns, trolling, character assassination etc.
Though journalists have the choice to publish or not publish names with their reporting, choosing to remain anonymous depicts a sense of fear in one’s own nation.

India has the world’s largest democracy, and it is absolutely necessary that the press is not controlled by the government or any other sector of society. The Press is the voice of the voiceless and should promote the rights of the minority; it is the duty of the press of any country to ensure that the government is functioning properly and no section of the society is left behind or is not treated well. It ensures the proper functioning of the executive Legislature and the judiciary because it raises questions!

“Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you’re at it.”
— Horace Greeley

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