By: Amit Patro
The Press in India is regarded as fourth pillar of democracy and it is an institution made for the welfare of the country and its people.
In organized society authority publicly manifest itself in order to maintain and legitimize itself. Every structure of power or authority needs arguments to convince the general public that this specific socio-political order is both natural and independent. Every societal context has its own means of government and organization, its own political structure and history.
The media do not merely have an instrumental function in society, they also shape norms, beliefs and fields of interest in matters such as identity-building, ‘regionalization’, the formation of the multicultural society.
In developing country, especially one with as much widespread poverty and mis-governance as India, media has a special responsibility that perhaps our counterparts in developed countries may not.
What is the biggest force that can help in brining the lost awareness back to the people? It’s the media obviously. What does the media do? It supplies good content to the people via a good communication infrastructure. In other words, there are two requirements: creating content so that people can understand it, and crating the infrastructure so that people can access the content. The media brings awareness to the people, and I believe that awareness triggers thinking. Once the people are more aware, it will automatically make them think of good and better ways to create a good and better functional democracy.
In the words of Marshall McLuhan, the medium is the message because the medium is constituted by the people, and the message (or the content) is also supplied by the same people. The idea is to bring together media and society.
It is about bringing information to the people, bringing people to the information, getting them to think, and getting them to realize their responsibilities towards the nation. This change cannot occur overnight, but it can be initiated overnight for sure. The initiation is through your own hearts and minds, to understand what is missing, and take a determined step towards the belief of a better land, and to learn to dream.
Print media has a wider access to the people; hence it has a strong impact. It plays a vital role in the opinion making process. Now that world has become a global village. Press has the power to turn a dream into reality. It is the need of the hour that press should play its role in the nation building process. Instead of being indulged into the false propagation media should try to optimize the situation.
The role of press in education and health sector is far more important then its role in the election campaigns. It’s the job of the print media to show the true picture of the society. But it is unfortunate the most of the press is biased. They are projecting what they want instead of projecting the reality. Access to people demands a very responsible behavior.
They have to play crucial rule in educating the people and to provide them clear picture of what’s going on in the world because ignorance is a major problem. They should not over proportionate. Factual reporting is the essence of journalism and if the press starts reporting facts there would be a lot of betterment in the society.
(The author is the editor of a English daily Sikkim Express)