Present Day Media And Ethics

Posted on December 7, 2010 in Specials

By Vijaya Poojitha:

Media is an integral part of our life. We live in a society where we get all the knowledge about what is happening in this world from the media -be it print or electronic. The media is playing the role of the mirror which reflects the times and society we live in. Media can make or break one’s image. Because of globalization, a common man is able to know what is happening in the globe sitting at his home. He can understand, analyze, interpret and form an opinion with the help of the media. Thus, media has a tremendous impact on the society.

In such a scenario, the social responsibility of the media becomes much more important. But, these days sensationalising has become a fashion. News channels and newspapers intentionally present information in a way that is intended to excite or shock people. Sensationalising is the biggest drawback of today’s media, a cheap tool to gain TRP. A relatively insignificant news is presented again and again, highlighting not much what actually happened, but what all could happen. Sometimes fake news programs are aired which may be intended as advertising, or comedy and also imaginary, irrelevant and false.

Many people see media today more unethical than ever because of their biased blogs, political lies, appeal to base emotions, one-sided presentations and attack on characters. Electronic media sometimes broadcasts programs which don’t an objective. Also, it’s not the news but their own personal views which are being showed.

Journalism is up for sale in India these days. It is alleged that many media houses in India have started selling news space after some understandings with politicians and corporates. There was a time when people used to raise their eyebrows when they heard about a politician or a political party offering envelope to a reporter. But, these days they shrug their shoulders when one hears anything like this. This has become a common issue after a victorious chief minister openly admitted that he has approached a leading news paper for positive coverage.

Media has to rise above TRPs and monetary benefits and be a true guide to the society. It has the power to change the society and therefore ‘ethics’ becomes very important. The media has to be neutral in certain cases and maintain a balanced approach. This holds true for cases like Kashmir and Naxal problems. Commercials are the source of income for the media. It has to accept these commercials and increase their revenue than following these unethical policies.

Media has changed from small, artisanal, to large, industrial. It’s not just a profitable business but a huge moral responsibility. Whether its politics, crime, business, fashion, education or parenting, media guides us and sets trends. This field thus demands honesty, moral courage, high moral values, discipline and a truly educated and enlightened background. It should guide us towards truth and from darkness towards light.