Media and Journalism: For the Name or Sake of Nation:


Prof. (Dr). Manish Verma
Director- Amity School of Communication
Deputy Head – Amity TV
Amity University Gurugram

Our democracy is based on four main pillars ;  Judiciary, Executive, Legislature and Media. In this framework of democratic structure, Media or Press is considered to be the fourth pillar of democracy. It has a very important role to play in a healthy democracy .

Primarily, Role of Media or press is to; inform, educate the citizens and also keep a check on the government by acting as a watchdog and questioning its key decisions & policies.

Also, the media is crucial in developing a democratic system .But media can play a positive role in democracy only if there is an ecosystem that allows them to do their duties freely.

In a free and democratic environment Media can make sure that all three systems are working in a transparent manner; Judiciary, Executive and Legislature, which are crucial in the growth of any nation. Media or Journalism is a powerful device to make us aware of different public, political and financial decisions happening in the country. Over the years, it has become one of the most dominant means to battle against socio-political problems and prejudice in our world, along with empowering the citizens and contributing in the development.

Historically , the press or media has evolved across various mediums and have  become more active and relevant . Journalists working in various domains and platforms question governments of its unfulfilled commitments educate people in remote areas through newspapers, television, radio and internet and also uncover the flaws in the system. So for any nation to grow and to have a healthy democracy it is utmost important to have an independent, unbiased and free media. But if you look at the situation of media world over, we can see many issue and challenges faced for journalist today.

Most of the media houses are owned by big corporations , businessmen and politicians. In this scenario it is very difficult to stay unbiased and ask difficult questions to the ruling governments. In many countries there is a very strict control of the government on the press freedom, what they can publish is checked and controlled by the government agencies. In democratic countries like US, UK and India there is huge influence of the ideology of the owners of media organisation . There is clearly a far right or far left press visible in today’s world. So it is a challenge to stay in the middle and give an objective view to the public.  Now that everyone including the politicians and businessmen have realised the power of media in shaping public opinion and creating narrative as per their agenda for their gains, it is almost impossible to expect an unbiased reporting of the facts.

Though role of media has become questionable due to its alliances and associations with various stakeholders but there are still good independent journalists and media houses working in every country to ensure that there are checks and balances for the ruling governments. Every now and then there are exposes of corruptions and malpractices which are keeping governments on the edge and keeping the faith of the citizens intact in the democratic systems. So there is hope that media is still playing an important role in the development of a nation despite the inherent challenges it faces in each country.

Amity School of Communication