Mains Daily Question
March 5, 2021

  1. “All aspects of good governance are facilitated by a strong and independent mediascape within a society”. In this regard, discuss the role played by media in facilitating good governance. What are the challenges presently faced by media? Suggest some steps to overcome these challenges.

Approach:

  • Introduce with relating media and good governance.

  • Discuss the key roles played by the media in facilitating good governance

  • Highlight the challenges presently faced by the media.

  • Suggest some steps to overcome the challenges.

  • Conclude Appropriately.

Model Answer

Media is called the fourth estate of democracy. Presently the trinity of print, television and social media have a close relationship with the welfare of people and facilitating good governance.

Role of Media:

  1. Participation: Media reports on the decision-making process and gives voice to the people in this process. The citizens can express assent and dissent through media or explore aspects that are not possible through official channels. E.g., news debates prior to the presentation of budget in the Parliament.

  2. Protection of Rights: A free and open media increases awareness among citizens about their rights and act as a reliable source of information on the basis of which the incidences of arbitrary abuse of rights can be brought down.

  3. Rule of Law: Media promotes vigilance towards the rule of law, especially through fostering investigative journalism, promoting the openness of court, legislative and administrative proceedings, access to officials and to public documents. E.g. exposing the Commonwealth scam.

  4. Access to Information: Media coverage of government schemes, legislation, election campaigns etc. ensures greater citizen participation in governance.

Challenges Faced by Media:

  1. Fake News: Seen as a worldwide problem, the dissemination of unverified and false information to people especially through social media is reducing the credibility of the media.

  2. Yellow Journalism: Sensationalisation of news items and ignoring the key issues like poverty and employment have dented the role of media in good governance.

  3. Paid News: The media houses are alleged to favour a particular political party/person/organisation in exchange for some considerations.

  4. Local Language Media: It is alleged that more masala news is promoted in the local media compared to the national media. Local correspondents often lack formal training and their sole qualification is their place of residence.

Suggestions:

  1. Media Houses should follow the Media ethics in their functioning. The guidelines given by News Broadcasters Associations can be made mandatory in this regard.

  2. Awareness generation among citizens to verify the information received from credible sources like the Press Information Bureau.

  3. Promoting innovative tools like WhatsApp have restricted the number of forwards at one time for a particular message to curb spreading of fake news.

If the media are to function in the public interest, governments have to protect the independent functioning of the media and allow various viewpoints to flourish in society.

 

 

Subjects : Current Affairs
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