National Press Day is celebrated on November 16 every year to celebrate the foundation day of the Press Council of India. The importance of having a free press in the country is also highlighted on National Press Day.
Independent press is often considered as the voice of the voiceless as it serves as the connecting link between the powerful rulers and those who are being ruled. It also brings out the ills of the system and helps the government in finding solutions to these problems. Hence, it is called the fourth pillar of a strong democracy in which the general public can directly participate.
However, in the recent times, the media industry in India is confronted with several challenges that jeopardize its very own function. On the occasion of National Press Day, lets take a look at some of the challenges faced by the media industry in our country.
This is one of the most serious challenge faced by the Indian media houses. Many media houses or journalists propagate one-sided views and do not identify the major issues as they are being paid by powerful organisations or individuals to narrate their side of the story. However, paid news can be identified easily by way of targeted advertisements or sponsorships or targeting any specific community of the society.
Media Trails are similar to a court of law where the media houses declare an individual guilty or innocent based on debates and discussions, before the court’s judgement. Media trail results in the formation of beliefs in the minds of the viewers, thus impacting the case’s meritocracy. The perfect example of media trail can be visible in the Sushant Singh Rajput drug case and Jessica Lal murder case, among others.
Lack of Diversity in Reportage
While there are about 800 different news channels in India, apart from daily newspapers and weekly magazines, many remote areas, such as the northeast, south India, and tier-3 cities, receive little coverage in the national media. Their focus is mainly on news related to mainland India.
Handful Ownership of Media:
The majority of Indian media houses are owned by politically connected individuals or businessman having their political influence inclined towards one political party. For instance, the Zee Network, which includes channels like Zee News, Wion and others is owned by Subhash Chandra, a BJP Member of Parliament.
Attack on Journalists
One of the serious problems faced by the journalists in our country is getting threat calls. Especially after the death of news reporter Gauri Lankesh, it is becoming extremely difficult for journalists to provide fair reporting in any subject matter without the fear of receiving a death threat.
Media, which is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy plays an important role in the country’s growth and governance. While there are numerous problems facing the media industry currently, there are some media houses that are doing admirable work by disseminating true and reliable facts to the populace. On this National Press Day, we should celebrate those news portal which are providing news without fear and biases.
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