On 14 November 2022, the very first news channel in the world was broadcasted on the radio by a company called BBC. Since then it become a popular source of providing information to the audience. Also, print Media in the last century played a crucial role in the development of humans. As technology evolved so do media channels now people are showing interest in watching the news on digital channels such as youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and many more. In the past media have done a tremendous job for society but as social media, money, and competition come into the market. The role of media in society become questionable.
In today fast moving era for most of the channels it’s not about benefiting society it’s all about gaining TRP or audience. In the race of becoming the first, some media channels have forgotten the core value and true power of media houses. Sometimes some media houses seem like a puppet who is running on the instructions of someone. Let’s find out more about the role of media in society
Why Role of Media in Society is Questionable?
Allegation of Influence
Many media houses and digital influencers are continuously criticized for spreading information as per some powerful men or parties. Media channels kept on praising them and instead of questioning them, they start defending their favorites. According to some veteran journalists, almost 70% of news channels are working under the influence of big people or political parties. The reason being these media houses are funded by these so-called businessmen and politicians.
Biased Media Channels
In the last decade, media channels have faced huge criticism for presenting biased information to the audience. Its become normal nowadays, especially after the entry of social media. Sometimes media supports an openly and sometimes they backlash against a person brutally. For example, recently Aryan Khan s/o Shahrukh Khan was detained at a drug party but the media shows a soft corner towards him and criticise the NCB officer for arresting him. These channels declared a person a criminal even before the verdict. This immature behavior of media costs some people their reputation.
Fake News Propganada
Earlier the media kept on looking for the issues which need to be fixed for the betterment of humans. Now everything is spinning in the wrong direction now the media makes news from rubbish things also. People spread information that does not have any sense. Indian channels ask people from two different religions to come on a show together and trap them in a situation where they insult the other religion. And this sparked controversy and news for them but along with it also spark communal dispute. In the month of June, Kaniyalal trailer was killed brutally at his shop because of the same situation.
Social Media Impact
As soon the social media enters the information-sharing domain things start going wrong. Ease of access and freedom of speech made people present fake news as the real one. It’s a place where people ask for justice for a terrorist Afzal guru and claimed he is a martyr. Nowadays social media become a place for cleaning the bad image. People pay money for trending hashtags and emotional posts. According to some reports, 85% of the news we consume over social media is fake. In tense situations where two communal groups have violence the amount of fake communal hate post increase to 95%. With each day passing the impact of social media kept on increasing negatively on us.
Hunger of TRP & Viwership
It’s more about the Monetary terms these days. Social media influencers or broadcasting channels are not interested in presenting things which has a lower ROI. In other words, they only attract to the information which acquires more and more viewership. As per the amount of viewership their channel will be rated from best to worst and they earn money from the advertisement and sponsor accordingly. In this era of cutthroat competition, the hunger of acquiring more and more audiences is developing rapidly which is a threat to media power.
Negalance of Social Issues
Many social activists have claimed that current media channels are working as the core value of news channels. They argue the role of media in social issues such as unemployment, education, liberty, and eliminating religious hate. Instead of educating people they seed the plant of jealousy and hate among the communities. In 2022, almost 75% of shows are on other things rather than focusing on societal problems.
Positive Role of Media in Society
Ask Questions to the government
Media find out the flaws in the system and raise questions about it. The core value behind the establishment of media is to find out the problems which need to address for the betterment of people. Many times media channels started a campaign against the ruling party reason being laws or policies against people.
Educate the People
All of us admit the fact that media have an impact on people’s thinking. People start believing in the things which are presented by media channels. In a country where the literacy rate is low in the ’90s, its media channels educate the people. Indian government runs many campaigns for educating society such as “School Chale Hum – For Education, Bacchae Do hi achhe – For Controlling Population, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao – For Educating Girls, and many more”. This step turned out to be a masterstroke and develop the thinking of people.
Cross Culture Development
Before the arrival of media, the world was very conservative and people only understand their culture. Its television channels introduce people to the culture of other nations. From there people start adapting to the good things from other cultures which turned out to be helpful for them. Like people in Germany started worshiping lord Krishna and reading Bhagwat Geeta as they found it touching and beneficial for their development. Similarly, Indian people learn science and technology from western countries.
Voice of People
The official representative of the people’s voice is the politician which they have chosen by casting their vote. But when politicians start neglecting the people’s problems the media play a major role. It listens to the words of people and delivers them to the government in terms of the question. It’s in a true sense a platform of people for the people by the people.
High Influence & Reach
As we already discuss the reach of media. But after the arrival of the internet, it become 100x. In a few moments, the news of one country spread across the globe. Its media which is responsible for the world’s fight against the covid-10 becomes impactful. People believe in the news and trust all the information broadcasted on air is true which makes media more impactful.
The situation of Indian Media Channels
It’s very complicated to say anything about the situation of media channels. On one hand, Indian media such as news channels, and digital channels (Social media or web) are capitalizing the freedom of speech to the fullest. On another side, India ranked 150 out of 180 countries on World Press Freedom Index. Indian government faces huge criticism for influencing the media channels and reporting. Yes, the reporting level of Indian media is going lower and they kept on broadcasting some rubbish debate.
In India, some channels are so desperate for the audience that they create controversy. A controversy starts on a tv debate and ends up with religious tension and the murder of an innocent man in Udaipur. Sometimes it seems like they have no other stories to cover other than Hindu vs Muslim. It is the media’s role to educate people so that they respect each other religion but sadly they make fools out of us by keeping heating the fire between religions. Similarly, cheap tactics did by some media channels and so-called celebrity influencers to getting fame and an audience after the sudden death of the Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
In 2022 the Indian channels show only 3% of total shows that talk or debate about unemployment in India. Only 4% of the total shows are on poverty, 7% show are on women’s safety, and 1.5% shows are on infrastructure or development which shows the poor level of journalism. Almost 50% of shows broadcasted on news channels prime time are about Hindus versus Muslims. So definitely Indian channels are not doing their jobs properly and this makes their role of media in society questionable.