We are living in a century where communication is very fast and is bringing the world closer with better understanding. In our daily life, we use various forms of communication such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, documentary movies, public meetings and most important internet.
Media is a mode to communicate to the public. It is the plural of medium. The growth of electronic media has brought lots of changes in the quality of images and sounds. It has also become a popular method of expression of public opinion. It reaches the public faster and even the illiterate people get a lot of benefit out of this media. The media is able to bring forth the truth to public.
In democracy, public opinion plays an important role since people are given the freedom to express their opinions and also raise objection to certain policies. Any ruling party can remain in power as long as it retains the public opinion in its favour. It is the media through which strong or balanced public opinions are given. The government cannot ignore the opinions of the public. It must take the views of people and modify its policies or else it may lose its power. However, all media must follow certain rules and regulations set by the government vide Broadcasting Code in 1962 in order to regulate the functioning of media.
The main aim of media is to work for public interest. Hence, it should not be controlled by few people. If it covers only partial news then it becomes biased information which will not serve the purpose. Public also must be careful to see that information are not manipulated and affect the thoughts and feelings of anyone.
The media also acts as a check on the elected representatives and it also helps in the proper administration by bringing in light the corrupt activities of the people in power. It also welcomes the participation of citizens in policy making.
In October 2005, the RTI (Right to Information ACT) was passed and that has given the people the right to information. Through this act people could learn and know on demand the happenings in government.
The government has to give the needful information to public within 30 days or at times within 24 hours in case the matter is serious. This act has made the department and government offices more accountable to public. RTI is applicable all over except Jammu & Kashmir (India).
Need for Media
The media must have a free hand and should not be curbed. An uncensored media has the responsibility of providing unbiased information. In case of elections, the media should project candidates of all parties and must also cover all issues that come before the elections.