For some time now, electronic media, particularly TV News Channels are misusing the freedom of the press to further their interests.
The race for TRP among the channels is changing the meaning of freedom of the press. One should appreciate the way these channels report on various aspects of an event is to be. Still, in doing so, it is not fair to bring many established personalities into the wrong discussion without any sound basis.
The suicide of film actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Hathras rape case and burning of a priest in Rajasthan are some of the cases which are being broadcasted widely on TV News Channels. Names of several film personalities were released in the drug case involving the case of Sushant Singh Rajput, who took it seriously. Many of them now started approaching the court for this. These cases are under investigation now as we speak. But some TV channels are running media trials of their own. Naturally, when TV channels present the facts in their own way, it affects the ongoing investigation of the agencies.
This is one aspect of the picture, while the other aspect is related to creating an atmosphere of hate in the country. The programs broadcasted by channels on the debate of spokespersons of different parties are, of course, informative, yet the way in which the participant speakers verbally attack each other they constantly try to incite hatred in between communities. We do not want to name any community, but TV channels openly name these communities and question their patriotism.
The Dalit community is made to feel that it is playing an important role in spoiling the environment of the country. The manner in which channels circulated the statement of Farooq Abdullah, patron and veteran leader of the National Conference Party of Jammu and Kashmir, showing that Farooq is the biggest traitor in the country. He referred to China’s displeasure over the removal of Article 370 in Kashmir. He also said that there is anger among the people of Kashmir for removing Article 370. To what extent is it correct to repeal Article 370 and divide Jammu and Kashmir into two parts? The question is, do the Kashmiri people agree with this decision?
Saying that some TV channels want to be the first choice of people with their programs. This is right thinking, but is it necessary that such news and reports are shown which raise questions on the characters of celebrities and pose a threat to the communal harmony of the country? Media is the fourth pillar of democracy. Newspaper or tv Channels have the same role. In today’s era, TV channels dominate the newspapers, because they deliver reports every moment. Perhaps this is the reason why many channels want to set new milestones in their popularity by launching media trials of certain events.
The extent to which the freedom of the press is maintained today is a different matter, yet it can be said that if the government is more compassionate towards some media houses, it would be easy to imagine how free their voices will be. Freedom of the press means to present the truth to the people. If the media decides on its own in various cases, whether it brings the fact to us or not, it will definitely get a unilateral picture and build a wall of mutual hatred.