Role of Media in Democracy
Media has emerged as a powerful tool in our democratic societies, not only as a medium to disseminate information and shape public opinion on issues that confront our society, but also as a giant force, which influences policy making of the government. There are two important components of our media world: one is the print media or the newspapers, tabloids or magazines; and the other that in effect is ruling the roost in shaping our views on the emerging trends, in diverse spheres of our social, economic and political life is the electronic media popularly known as the television channels and the internet.
Media has become an interface between the Citizens and the Government. With media playing so pivotal and powerful role, it can truly be said as the fourth pillar of our democratic system, which undeniably is factual and true. With media playing to the public gallery, public perception about the world changes very fast. Opinions are built against or in favour of something and someone instantly, and the very next moment, they are with full glare of electronic images and force of argumentativeness on TV screens, to which we are habitually glued to be broken. The phenomenon of social media has emerged very fast and has occupied the space of personal life as well. So, it would not be an exaggerated statement that social media, coupled with electronic and print media are virtually dominating our world psychologically, mentally and emotionally.
The effect of media is so subtle, on the one hand, we feel compelled to fall in line with what the news papers writings and electronic channels are offering to us and on the other hand, in this age of information we are so absorbed in media driven phenomena and media-created make-believe world around us, that we at the end of the day are left with no choice but to turn over a new leaf in our opinions in compliance with the trends in politics, national security, social norms, fashion world and so forth, which actually gets reflected in our day to day style, attitude and behaviour; thanks to the ubiquitous media effect . So powerful is the influence on our soul and mind that we tend to find ourselves to the side with such fresh opinions, by abandoning conservative views that have all along been kept etched to in our psyche and that we, though belatedly, feel were in effect, a block in our advancement as citizens of the nation and as a member of our vast and diverse society. All this is made possible on the sheer strength of media, particularly the electronic media, aired round the clock through a variety of channels, on wide range of subjects. Every nook and corner of our life is touched and engulfed by this wave of media savvy world. The force of media can swing perception in any way right or wrong, if it is intended to do so. More often, media propagation becomes an emphatic point in our political and social discourse- media esa bol raha hai, media mei esa aaraha hai.
The major issue before the global peaceful forces is terrorism and as we know media has performed a significant role in consolidating global position, by repeatedly reminding the gravity of existential threat it poses to humanity. It was made possible by this powerful media that people across the length and the breadth of the Earth began to realize, that this demon is going to gobble down each and everyone, without any discrimination. The emotions that can be evoked against or in favour of something in today’s world can only be by none other than the media itself.
The revolutionary agents in the world of communication and information technology – the mobile and internet – have catapulted us into connection-hungry beings. These phenomenons have given birth to the unquenched thirst for connectivity in the ever growing and ever advancing world. They have turned out to be the real agents for eradicating poverty and hunger from the Earth, as for instance in India, the government is ensuring that the subsidy related to its welfare schemes, percolates down to the bottom level –to the poorest of the poor- the real targeted beneficiaries, by applying JAM (Jandhan Aadhaar and Mobile) trinity.
If anyone, whether positioned on the higher echelon or in the lower strata of society, is reluctant to recognize importance of the powerful tools of media is either a recluse absorbed in spiritual life or arrogant who does not want to share his taste, experiences and reflections as a human being because in the end it is the sheer force of human spirit that is restless to express itself and this gives recognition to the force of media.