he word “Media” encompasses television, radio and newspapers which are used as means of communication. Sometimes media is used with a singular verb although it is a plural noun. According to the Oxford dictionary, Newspaper is a large folded pieces of paper printed with news, advertisements and articles on various subjects. News papers, magazines and periodicals come under the name of “printed media” and the television, radio, camera, telephone, computer etc. are categorised as “electronic media”. News papers and the journalists who work for them are called “The Press”. Media provides news for the public, including the rulers and the ruled. News is what or the amount that is written about somebody or something in news papers or what is disseminated through printed and electronic media.
Rights - Secured and guaranteed conditions
These secured and guaranteed conditions are called by the name of rights. When it has framed a scheme of such rights and proceeds to determine the distribution of the rights contained in the scheme the state will act by general principles which are generally and evenly applicable. These principles have been called by the names of liberty, equality and fraternity.
Liberty, equality and fraternity
Liberty means that the State shall treat each and every moral person, capable of developing his own capabilities in his own way and therefore capable of enjoying and exercising the rights which are conditions of such development. Accordingly, it vests each and every person who had reached the age of discretion with a recognized power of thinking and acting for himself /herself at his own discretion and therefore, on his own responsibility in respect of the enjoyment and exercise of rights. One has the liberty to exercise the right but he is at the same time responsible for what he does because liberty is also responsibility. It is the media that ensures the perfection of the right for liberty of the citizen.
Equality means that the State treats all legal persons as equal in its presence or in the eye of the law. It will not assign higher or lower grades of legal personality. The rule of equality as recognized and applied by the State means equality only within the state and therefore only with respect to the standing of legal persons in and under its scheme. It does not involve or mean equality in the social or extra-legal sphere.
Fraternity is the principle which leads to the distribution of common equipment for the common enjoyment. This is the principle of providing for all and distributing all the common equipment, material and mental (ranging from roads and sewers to libraries and museums) which are needed by all as the common background and common basis of their individual lives.
Functions of the Media
Sometimes politicians make promises to do what is not possible practically. However, after elections, very often they forget or pretend to forget what they promised during the elections. Instead of fulfilling the pledges made they enjoy the fruits leaving the people to tighten their belts. Only the media comes to safeguard the interests of the people. Media lived in the past, lives at present and will live in the future. Hence no one can cheat the media. They have the statements made by various persons in the past either in black and white or tape recorded, or filmed with signatures in proof. Those who have made utterances cannot reject or refuse them. They have to accept the truth. Consequently, those who had made pledges will either have to act upon them or go to the bad books of the media and the General Public as a whole by rejecting them.
Various ways of communicating news
There are various ways of communicating news. News is communicated to the public in various forms such as editorials, news items, advertisements, features, pictures with captions, cartoons and bulletins, the Government gazette, posters etc. News is disseminated also through the electronic media, i.e. the television and the radio in addition to the computer.
Genuineness of the news disseminated through the media
News disseminated through the media should be genuine and true. The general public should not be misled and the rulers should not be embarrassed through the dissemination of wrong information. Media institutions adopt precautionary measures to avoid wrong information being disseminated. In media institutions there are news editors who examine the news furnished by the journalists before being disseminated. Competent authorities are appointed by the Government to cut down, curtail, or change the news items which they think would adversely affect the well being of the people or would embarrass the rulers. There are occasions when even the correct news should not be published to avoid public unrest and to maintain peace and order.
Inconvenience faced by journalists
The genuine effort of the media is to place the actual truth of any situation before the people. Journalists make genuine efforts to perform their duty sometimes at the risk of their lives. They go to dangerous sites and locations and even to the battlefield with the intention of recording situations to provide first hand news to the public. They face such risks on their own with the genuine intention of serving the public and institutions they represent. A large number of journalists lost their lives, injured having been shot at or assaulted. Such instances cannot be avoided. However, in addition to such situations there are instances in which media personnel are harassed and for reasons unknown. A number of reputed journalists have disappeared but the circumstances under which they have got disappeared are not known to their spouses, parents and blood relatives However, the fact that they have got disappeared during the course of finding facts on controversial cases is well known.
UNESCO has declared May 3 as the Media freedom day. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right of every citizen in the world as articulated by the United Nations. Hence the freedom of the media- the press which works for the preservation of the people in the Universe should be guaranteed invariably. UNESCO marks the World freedom Day each year by bringing together media professionals. Press Freedom Organizations and UN Agencies to assess the state of press freedom worldwide and discuss solutions for addressing challenges. Each conference is centred on a theme related to press freedom including Good Governance, Media coverage of terrorism, impunity, and the role of the media in post-conflict countries. Let us also contribute to the efforts made for the preservation of media freedom.