The recent instance of regional language news channels depicting Nalsar University students returning from a party, as “drunk” and “half-naked”, has again brought into focus the media’s role and responsibility.

Did the news channels play an intrusive role and had gone overboard by showing in poor light a group of students who had not violated any law? After all, these students had merely attended a party and were returning home, much before the pub’s closure. The channels also debated about the dress worn by some of the girls. Can they do this? Does it not amount to moral policing?

A quick survey of how students in various city colleges felt about the incident showed that most of them were quite disappointed with the “insensitive” role played by the media.

With great power, comes great responsibility, they say. Manpreet Kaur Mann, a student of St. Francis Degree College for Women, feels that the media misused its power to create a culture shock among protective families. “Nothing illegal had happened. If getting a drink makes one drunk and immoral, aren’t they still entitled to their lifestyle choices? It was all a gimmick for TRPs,” she says.

In the debate of moralistic stances, students of Villa Marie College are of the opinion that the media should be the last to point fingers in a situation where the government allows pubs and decides their timings. Though they do laud the media for the way it raises awareness, they now find its standards at an unexpected low. Since the Nirbhaya incident, the media has earned great reputation for its positive support for women’s liberation and justice. But last Friday’s incident had many young women rethink their confidence in regional media, pointing out its double standards in the portrayal of women.

Youngsters disappointed with the ‘insensitive’ role of the media; keeping freedom of expression and the public in good harmony the need of the hour