Breaking News or Breaking Democracy?

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“He who controls the media controls the minds of the public.”
~ Noam Chomsky

Free and fair media is the gateway to a nourished democracy. Paradoxically, the world’s largest democracy, India, ranks 140 out of 180 on the World Press Freedom Index 2019.The index ranking is a blot on India’s journalistic freedom.

Indian media, a hotbed of vested interests, biases, TRP struggles, is being name-called as ‘Godi Media’. ‘Godi media’ is a terminology given to news-houses that are pro-government. This happens due to the lack of courage to speak against the state and/or for profit-making. Such news-houses end up painting a picture that is incoherent with the dreadful reality of the state. This tends to misguide the audience.

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Such bogus information gives the citizens a false sense of tranquillity and growth.Moreover, it also robs them off their right to cast informed votes, in a way, making them puppets in the hands of state that is supposed to be their representative.

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While conventional media is already struggling in the clenches of the lawmakers, it is the new media platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook and other forms of social media that are the root cause of faux information hoarding the world.

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False news and information in such platforms come from misinformed and mislead citizens. Political parties nowadays hire sophisticated IT cells that harbour information pieces that promote its agenda which may or may not be based on facts. Such pieces of information are usually leaked through social media platforms instead of conventional media houses. This is done to alter a citizen’s opinion at ground level, at a place he spends most time on.

Media, the ‘fourth estate’ of democracy, today is choking on the blood of legitimate reporters and sucking the true essence of democracy behind the curtains.

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Utkarsha Bansal
Utkarsha is a B.A. (Honours) Political Science student at Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, who has worked for various organizations as a freelance writer and/or editor. She is often found with her nose dug in a book. Other times she is out, exploring the world.

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