It is appropriately stated that, ‘media is the mirror of the society’. What media depicts today becomes a public opinion tomorrow. In the modern times, especially in the context of modern democratic governments media has a pivotal role to play. In a democracy like ours, the values of democracy like mutual tolerance, religious amity, mutual respect and brotherhood among the countrymen to name a few in this regard are ushered and promoted by media. May be that is why in India media is called as the fourth pillar of democracy. Therefore, if we make an introspection and analysis on the role of media in building a reputation of a nation, we find that media has an important role to play in this regard.
Role of media during the times of peace as well as calamity: –
Media has a role in building a reputation of nation both in the times of peace as well as that of calamity. In times of peaceful situation of a nation, it is the role of the media to act as a medium which helps in creating an atmosphere where peace last and last long enough. On the contrary, in the times of calamity like floods, earthquakes, epidemics or any other natural disasters, it is the role of the media to guide the nationals of a nation to fight back with such disastrous situations and in this way, help the masses of a country to march ahead in the life of the nationals of a nation. Thus, in this way media can build both its reputation and in the larger perspective the reputation of the nation.
Role of media in promoting democratic norms: –
It is rightly said that what media depicts today can certainly become a democratic norm in a democracy like us in the times to come. In this perspective, it is worthwhile for the media to promote such norms and values via its platform as the ‘fourth pillar of democracy’, in the context of a country like India, so that serenity and probity are promoted among the countrymen. If media can act and bring in positive values like morality, honesty and promoting discipline among the masses then it can in the long run bring positive changes among the masses.
The role of media from a down to earth perspective: –
In this regard, it is worthwhile pondering whether at the present times, media has been able to promote the positive values of life or it has been just working in the contrary way. Even a layman, who has little idea about media and its activities today would admit that, media in whatever form or manifestation like print, visual or electronic is full of gossips and fake news. Today, media it is seen mostly after the advent off the process of privatisation has been controlled by the rich and the influential of the society. In this way, these wealthy and power mongers of the society have in the long run used media to promote their selfish interest and in simpler terms to blow their own trumpet.
How far media has been able to maintain its political neutrality? –
The spread of fake news is just a corollary to this trend, which may be termed mostly as degeneration in media. Today media after the advent of the process of the privatisation of the media has been under the grip of what in common parlance is termed as yellow journalism. Today news can be made, opinions can be formed in a make-shift way and in this way, it would be not be wrong to say that the values on which the very edifice of media is erect is itself crumbling. At present, especially the media barons are lured by the political heavyweights to make positive comments in favour of them, so that positive results can be attained during election times. This trend which is popularly known as ‘paid news’, has wiped the very basic tenet of media, that is, of maintaining political neutrality in its day to day activities.
The way out for creating a value-based media: –
What is the way out of this mess, so that, media can uphold the reputation in the true sense of the term? Media should act impartially in its day to day conduct. Rules on which the very basic tenets of media are based upon, in the case of a multi- cultural democracy like India is to maintain political neutrality and usher and uphold the very cosmopolitan nature of our society, and, in this way, it should be the guiding role of its conduct. Media should maintain a ‘lakshman-rekha’ while dealing with the high and the influential. Media to uphold the reputation of a nation should firstly respect the very ethos and norms of the respective nations for which its countrymen has ushered in and has fought for.
In a nutshell, reputation of a nation and the reputation of that particular nation’s media are the two sides of the same coin. It is simply because media is like the mirror of the society. What activities and on what values the people of a country indulge in, certainly should be depicted by the media properly in an impartial way. Media cannot shy away from this task. On the contrary, we the world being and as far as its values, ethos, principles on which each of our lives thrives for will be in doldrums. In the long run, we will be in a situation where we will be compelled to throw the baby with the bath water as far as these values, ethos and principles of the world beings are concerned.
Writer Bio : Jnandeep Bora, Guwahati, Assam. Secure First position in Monthly International Essay Contest, September,2019 (Above 18 Years).