Dichotomy Between Media’s Right To Expression Vis-À-Vis Fundamental Rights Of An Individual In India

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Navin Pal Singh


“Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forego. But if there is, as there should be, no legislative check save that of the mildest character, an internal, check such as I have suggested should not be impossible and ought not to be resented.”-M. K. Gandhi. In a vibrant democracy like India, the media is considered as fourth pillar of democracy. The primary objective of media is to make the people aware about the society and the issue prevalent in it. Therefore, it becomes extremely important that media should conduct their activities in a more responsible manner and they should avoid presenting biased opinions. It is also the responsibility of media to avoid the practice of yellow journalism. In order to make media as an independent body, the concept of self-regulation is being adopted in India. However, present scenario clearly shows that the self-regulation has failed to make any significant mark and to avoid the misuse of media. With the emergence of technology, the face of media has changed significantly with the time. Today is an era of technology and media being not untouched from the impact of technological advancement that led to the new vertical of media i.e. Digital Media Platforms. Digital Media Platforms has enormous power to influence the mind of millions of people as these platforms can share the content instantly. Instances of fake news inciting communal violence are very common. Hence, there is a demand for controlling the media. However, the advocates of free media feel that an independent media is a sine qua non for a sustainable democracy whereas others feels that any institution with unbridled freedom will lead to the creation of a Frankenstein monster. Thus, a combination of statutory and self-regulating bodies is the best way to protect the freedom of the content across all media, where India has made a start and still has a long way to go. This paper attempts to examine the existing legal framework that applies to various broadcast technologies that are currently in use in India and presents a critique of existing legal framework.

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