At the 17th Asia Media Summit, via video conferencing, the I&B Minister said that Indian media ensured that COVID awareness messages, important government guidelines and free consultations with doctors reached everyone in the country.
Importance of media:
Awareness: During COVID, the Indian media played a very important role in educating the people about the benefit of being vaccinated against coronavirus.
One of the foremost challenges was vaccine hesitancy. That was broken by the media through right messages and education.
Imparting Education: The young generation is becoming more aware of the sacrifices that our freedom fighters made for Independence.
Tool of empowerment: knowledge empowers people to take best decisions.
Accessibility and Internet growth: The growth of the Internet through affordable mobile devices has re-ignited the industry. 5G technology would further enhance user experience, with increase in the speed of delivery and improvement in the quality of media content.
Soft Power: Indian cinema ruled the hearts of millions across the world and had created an identity for India. This was evident in the way India’s films got tremendous applause from film lovers in the festival.
Authenticity of content would always remain at the core, whatever be the technological progress. And with rising fake news it is becoming tougher to discriminate fake news from real ones.
There are cases seen which lack accountability to the public and their ethical and professional standards are questionable.
Media independence is under the radar of questions as it is influenced by the ruling Governments, most of the time.
The financial viability of media houses makes them more prone to seeking favours from Governments.
Section 124a of IPC under which sedition is punishable by life imprisonment endangers the freedom of journalists. This leads to fear among journalists to work freely.
- Media independence can be guaranteed if media organisations are financially viable, free from intervention of media owners and the state, and operate in a competitive environment.
- Efforts to help the media should be directed toward: the protection of press rights, enhancing media accountability, building media capacity and democratising media access.
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