Importance of Freedom of Press and Media
Freedom refers to the state of liberty, or right and privileged to speak and act according to one’s own will. Press and media (print, electronic and online) are the most important medium of expressing opinion of the people in a democratic country that justifies one’s individual right to speech and expression, a coveted right enshrined in the Indian constitution and in the constitution of other countries on the globe.
Press generally refers to the newspaper industry. In modern world, besides newspaper, there are various forms of news-media such as television and radio broadcasting, online news websites and blogs, etc.
India is a democratic country. The Indian constitution guarantees the ‘freedom of speech and expression? as a fundamental right of every citizen of India. The restrictions that apply to the ‘freedom of speech and expression? also apply to the ‘freedom of press and media?.
Freedom of the press and media is very important. A press or news-media enjoys greater freedom in a democratic country. An independent press and news-media acts as an important check on Government and Administrators. The duty of a free press is to raise voice against any social ill or wrong. It has been said that internal vigilance is the price of liberty. They raise voice against any dictatorship, corruption, and malpractices. The press and digital media works day and night to deliver accurate news at the speed of the light. The people of the country are kept informed of what is happening in the country. Thus, freedom of press and media is the necessary pre-condition to the fulfillment of democratic ideologies.
The press and media should work towards strengthening the sovereignty and integrity of a nation. It is the duty of the press and media to build an environment where the people of the country can cultivate unity and harmony.
As compared to democratic countries, press and media enjoys lesser freedom in socialist countries. Even in democratic countries the wrath of the ruling Government against any newspaper may snatch its freedom.
In all democratic countries, a man’s dignity is preserved through the press and media, and hence, there lies the importance of maintaining its freedom. The question of the freedom of the press and media is a debating issue that goes on still unsettled on the point whether press should be allowed to enjoy absolute freedom.
We all agree that too much censorship of press and media is bad. At the same time, new-media should not place partial and biased news that may instigate the people against the Government. So the freedom of the press and media should be best utilized through publishing impartial news and creating public opinion against wrong.
We are living in an age when people are much more conscious than the past. For the actualization of national principles and ideologies, people should be given the freedom of speech and expression. But there should be a co-ordination between the Government policies and the people’s vision. Only then, the people of a free country must enjoy the spirit of self-assertion through this right.