Media occupies the most vital position in a democratic setup and forms the very bedrock of democracy without which democracy is an aimless, futile exercise and never fulfil the aspirations of the people in real terms. The role of media in a democracy is as crucial as that of the politicians and should never be underestimated. The first and foremost job of the media to bring out before the public nothing but the truth in all matters without twisting the facts and should never be afraid of anyone except God.
If a democracy is to run smoothly in any country, it is a must that the media in all fairness should be given full autonomy and a free hand it deserves in airing its views among the people and no unnecessary restrictions should be imposed on it. The media also on its part should play a very responsible, active and neutral role in discharging its duties without being influenced by any particular political party or few individuals and should treat everyone on a equal footing. If media does not discharge its responsibility independently in any democratic country, the politicians are bound to behave like dictations or even worse than them. As Benito Mussolini had once rightly said, “Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical and destructive than one, if he be a tyrant”. It is the fear of being exposed by the media before the public that most of the politicians keep themselves under control to some extent.
Media has a very big role to play in a democracy and its stature is in no way less than that of politicians. Hence it is rightly called the fourth Pillar of democracy i.e. Fourth Estate. It is through media that people become aware of so many aspects of life of which they are normally ignorant. Democracy is meaningless without a free, neutral and active media. So media carries with it a huge responsibility in a democratic setup which it has to fulfil very carefully without any bias toward anyone by bringing out the real facts before the public.
The media must be free under any circumstances of a democracy is to function smoothly but certainly this freedom should not be misused by it at the cost of the people. The media can be free only if it dares to differ with the Government on such issue on which it strongly feels that Government has taken a wrong stand rather than singing and praising always the stand taken by the Government.
The media should no doubt always show us nothing but the very truth. At the same time it should also care for the sentiments of the people and should take extra precautions to ensure that the news given by it does not create panic among the people or increase the communal tensions.
There is no doubt that media has done a commendable job from time to time in making people aware about the harsh realities of life, in exposing corruption prevalent in our society, in increasing the awareness level among the people and a lot more but I feel that still a lot remains to be done.
Media is becoming increasingly popular among people from all walks of life and it certainly has the potential of influencing the thoughts of its readers/Viewers to a large extent. Media Should, no doubt, be neutral in airing views but it should also strongly desist from airing such views which can adversely affect the communal harmony and give rise to deep suspicion, tension and senseless violence which leads to killing innocent people. The media should make the people aware of the consequences of the various actions of the governments.
It is the media which plays a major role in making a politician hero or Zero. So utmost neutrality is required on the part of media to observe and it must give publicity only to those politicians who are committed to the welfare of the poor and underprivileged and who really deserve it. It is the duty of the media to make sure that it is not partial towards any particular political party or an individual and gives frree and fair opinion to the people without having any bias towards anyone. It should never hesitate is unmasking before public the real faces of corrupt politicians and corrupt people without any fear and in disclosing corrupt practices prevalent in Government machinery but at the same time it should also bring before the pubic the good work done by the Government.
If media is honest and committed in its job, democracy is bound to function more efficiently and the loopholes present in any democratic system can certainly be plugged to the fullest satisfaction of the people. On the contrary, if media is biased, corrupt and favours only a particular party or few individuals, it can prove to be very dangerous for the smooth functioning of democracy. No one can become perfect and one can only strive to become so. The same holds true for our media also. Certainly there is still a lot of scope for improvement by which the media can rise upon the aspirations of the people for which it is primarily meant.