Justice Markandey Katju's article “Media and issues of responsibility” (Oct. 22) was thought-provoking and timely. During the pre-Independence period, the media had a sense of nationalism. Leading newspapers played a vital role in educating the masses and inculcating the spirit of nationalism. But in the post-Independent era, the foremost interest of the media has been profit, since most of the leading media houses are owned by corporate houses. Freedom of expression is, no doubt, a fundamental right but we need to act when it is abused.
The deliberate non-exposure and suppression of real issues is as serious as portraying a non-issue as a real issue. Most sections of the media are keen on safeguarding their own interests or the interests of the parties in power, while pretending to be transparent and unbiased. Who are people supposed to turn to in such instances? As Justice Katju has rightly pointed out, no freedom is absolute. It is time for a strong watchdog to ensure that the media exercise their freedom in the true spirit — without distorting it.
A student of journalism, I feel that in the modern era the media have forgotten their functions and responsibilities. Running the media involves the public. Therefore, they are accountable to the community as a whole. By twisting the facts, the media often deny people the right to true information. And by resorting to practices such as paid news, they forget their social responsibility and professional integrity.
M. Ameena Amal,