“Freedom is the oxygen of soul”
apoorva srivastava | 10 Mar 2008

In today’s world (at least in India) media’s role and responsibility that it has contributed in the success of nation is commendable. “When liberty is gone life become insipid and lost its relish”, the case is same with media. If the government will restr

??????>?? 79????6???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????M ???-bjbj?=?= "6?W?W?)??????l????????DDDD P?y?pppppppp/ O??ppppp^??pp3^^^pj?p?p^p^?^??pd 0dQ?Y???D?FI0y?: >1^??????? Need of regulation for press As said, ?Freedom is the oxygen of soul? in a same way, freedom of media is the oxygen of this independent nation. In today?s world (at least in India) media?s role and responsibility that it has contributed in the success of nation is commendable. ?When liberty is gone life become insipid and lost its relish?, the case is same with media. If the government will restrict media then it will become insipid and will become extinct in coming years. Mass media systems of the world vary with economy, politics, religion and culture of the societies. In countries like the former USSR and China where communalism and totalitarism form of governance prevails, media is enforced or chained with many limitations. This limitation clearly shows their governance fear of revolution through the power of media. On contrary, in countries like USA that have bourgeois democracy media is not imposed with limitations. Indeed, in a democracy, which India has, the freedom of press should be ensured at all cost. Mahatma Gandhi in this context once said ? Democracy of press or Press for democracy?. India had witnessed the power of press during pre-independent era and also acknowledged its role that it had played. But unfortunately, in today?s prospect where government system is wrecking yet the government demands to hold its control over media content through its imperious and inane broadcasting bill. History had also witnessed such limitations on media during pre-independent era also. When Britishers, who feared that it might be proved as an effective and propitious tool to achieve independence, tried to impose some restriction on it. At that time also there was a huge uproar in media organizations, all were set to wrestle the administration. The earliest regulatory measure can be traced back to 1799, when Lord Wellesley formulated the Press Regulatory Act that had the effect of imposing pre-censorship on than newly formed publishing houses. On 18th June 1857, when revolt clouds were hovering over Britishers administration, at that time also to check press freedom they promulgated the Gagging Act, under which every small or big publishing house had to have a compulsory license of owing the press. It also banned the publication of that news story, editorials which might stir the furore against the government. All newspapers and publishing houses condemned the government act but only some had wimped out to protest against it. Thereafter in 1878,than General Lord Lytton proposed the Vernacular Press Act that had given power to government to seize; distroy and clamped down the circulation of any media and publishing house. To protest against the Act there was the vast uproar inside media organizations. To show their protest many news organization had left their editorial column blank. And now the time has again come when history is repeating itself and this time its not colonial policy preacher Britishers but it?s our own free India government. Which is in its full swing to take over charge on freedom of press through its draconian Broadcasting Bill-2007. This bill would give enormous power to government to ?shift goalposts? on content and non-content issues. The recent proposed Broadcasting Bill will give the ?central government the power to control and manage broadcasting services, or even suspend their operations, in instance like war or natural calamity of national magnitude?. In short it will empowers the government to choose the content of the news that it please or reject that story which might repels it. The bill also has the provision to impose a fine up to 25 lakh on any media group. If this would be the restriction which government intends to impose on media than how will it ensure to save guard the press freedom? If any restriction has to be imposed it should come within the media groups not from government side. We have to understand that for press there are many existent and effective limitations and restrictions. Those have been imposed by our constitution. Our constitution had realized the crucial significance of ?Freedom of Press? and there by on 26th January 1950, it declared under Article19 (1)(a) that it empowers the press to disser the knowledge to the masses, The Constitution thus decides to safeguard the freedom of press. It also mentioned under it ? It is however mention that, such freedom is not absolute but is qualified with some limitations? (under Article19 (2) interest of public). Media therefore does not need any further restrictions from any Government whether Central or state or any other form of governance. It needs some restriction but it should be within media organizations not from any government?s intervention. Media needs to build its own code of conduct based on moral ethics and which must also goes straight with journalism ethics. We should also need to focus on, that in country like India where still sixty percent news comes from politics such laws will render a monopolistic approach to the government and media will be barred to cover issues which reveals government failure or its negligence. The entire debate on ?Should media need to be restricted? lies only on one prime factor that is String operation?. We also need to inculcate that string operations (As said-in journalism-text) is a last tool that a journalist can use to bring out the truth to public. ?We need to admit that string operation belong to the muddy & murky back water of journalism, water you should venture into only if you are well guarded in tall booth and only when there are real crocodile to catch?, quotes Barkha Dutt- Managing Editor NDTV. We also need to realize that string operations are the last tool for a journalist that should be used in rare cases to bring forth the truth. It?s not the case that string operations are always a fake. It is worth mentioning that foundation of any media organization lies in its creditability. Creditability of the news is a major factor that differentiates between bad and good journalism, expose and entrapment, fake / fabricated and authentic news story. If media were restricted then the chance of survival of string operations will become totally nil. Most string operations are done with consent of higher ombudsman of media group and most string operations are carried in the general public interest. We have an endless number of string operations, which had been carried for a social welfare cause. For example Tehelka exposed of political donations operate on a dangerous quid pro quo, the scam, which had revealed how many money matters to ask a question inside parliament or the latest BMW expose which, had brought out collusions between the defense and the prosecution in an high profile hit and run race. Some fake string operations that had tarnished the media ethics are the only outcome of hurry and race amongst media groups to bring out the ?breaking news? first. This negligent behavior of some media groups is the only attributed that they don?t check and double-check their story before putting it on AIR. Indian electronic media is still in its very nascent stage in comparison with other countries? media. We need to give or grant them with some more time to electronic media to firm its base and formulates its own code of ethics and code of conduct. But this does not give liability to the government to intervene in the freedom of press. It is worth writing here what a veteran journalist cum anchor Debang has to say in this context. ?When a child is admitted to a new course for a very first time than some are totally workaholic while some others choose to follow on pervert path?. The same is the situation with electronic media some channels are working worth appreciating and seriously while some has farcical desks. Comparing Indian media with foreign media where media has quite established itself, the only difference between us is, that the foreign media (in course of time) has evolved its creditability as a main factor in selection of news while in India, it is the TRP fight amongst some news organizations which prompts them in rather silly selection of news story. Foreign veteran journalist Peter Jainig,Tom Grother and Don Broco writes in magazine Hans that in foreign, news anchors have maintained and established their creditability in the general audience mind and after 9/11 gruesome incident instead of politics 3-D feature that is Technology, Health and Sports have taken an edge. While in India it is still the three C- cricket, crime and cinema that conquer thousands of footage of camera reel. As it is in its nascent stage,Indian media has to yet realize its role in promoting developmental issues of the nation. Indian electronic media might need some Laskman Rekha but that should not be imposed from outside media organizations. Government should have no role to play within media organizations, as it will defame it in years ahead. Media had brought out and revealed some of India government debacle through its investigative stories. It has also given a ray of hope to a rural India to address its plight to the government through them. Indigent child like prince could be saved only when media showed the case to public. We also have to acknowledged the role of media which it played in rendering justices to cases like Priyadarshi Matoo ,Jessica lal and Prof.Sabarwal . The justice could be only rendered to them when media campaigned for it. When it condemned the government failure in denouncing justice to them. It?s the media?s role that a veteran cricketer like Ricky Pointing had to beg pardon to national leader whom he insulted in front of cameras during some function. If media were to restrict than we could not witnessed some of brilliant case of success of Indian media. Media should be granted some more time to develop and evolve its own code of conduct. Hopefully this will yield some desired and fruitful results but government is no way entitled to draw a Lakhman Rekha for media and if it would have to draw than, as said by Franklin D Roosevelt ? We would rather die on our feet than die on our knees? APOORVA SRIVASTAVA B.J.M.C-3RD Semester Department of Journalism And Mass communication, Lucknow University #@AKLij<xz-;V?? ? Y[B???+?+?+:,?,?,?-??????????????????5?6?H*\?]?H*6?]? 5?6?\?]?5?\? 5?CJ \?>*@AB? ? vwcd45E???"?"J&K&?*?*?+?+?+M,?,A-????????????????????????????$a$?-?A-?-?$a$ 1?h??/ ??=!??"??#??$??%? i8@??8 NormalCJ_HaJmH sH tH 6`6 Heading 1$@& 5?CJ \?T@T Heading 2$???<@& 5?6?CJOJQJ\?]?^JaJN@N Heading 3$???<@&5?CJOJQJ\?^JaJ<A@???< Default Paragraph Font,B`?, Body Text$a$?)6,????@AB??vwcd45E????J"K"?&?&?'?'?'M(?(A)?)0???0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??0??-A-?-?-!'(,xjp7 A B I S X ?!?!?)I J ??= A ?!?!?$?$?)33333""???{{?????no??? ? ? ? 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