A STUDY ON THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN PROTECTING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
By Sumit Sharma & Amanat Kahlon
(Assistant Professors of Law, University Institute of Legal Studies, Chandigarh University, Punjab)
For a democracy to function properly, a free press is essential. Furthermore, free press has been viewed as a critical part of democracy; it is not possible to have democracy without a free press. Also, since independence, and in particular over the last decade or so, a free and vigilant press has become increasingly necessary to be able to rouse public opinion through press investigation and coverage. Press freedom provides a powerful antidote to abuses of government power and ensures that elected officials remain accountable to the people they represent. Today, the degree to which the press can operate freely in a state determines its democratic credentials. As our country approaches the sixth decade of its freedom, it is important that we keep in mind the importance of press freedom, considered the fourth pillar of the democratic process. Due to the fact that mass society has mainstream media such as the Press and broadcasting, those citizens can only communicate with each other through such media. Compared to the direct influence, both technical and, especially in India, the Press is more important. In a democratic society, the press plays a pivotal role in educating and mobilizing public opinion and can be used as a powerful tool for social change; in fact, the freedom of the press is regarded as “the mother of all other liberties”. Government officials use the press to achieve power and to remain accountable to their constituencies. Free press is one of the most important bridges that connect the Government with the people. In this regard, it is imperative to protect the freedom of the press, while also protecting the rights of individuals in the press and against any interference with this freedom.
Freedom of press, fundamental rights, media, democracy.
|Information||Lex Humanitariae: Journal for a Change, Volume III Issue I, Pages 323-331|
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