‘Media is a two-faced sword. It’s positive and negative, depending on how you use it.’
The correlation between media and the environment irrefutably affects every individual. In today’s time, the best suggestion is to do a fact check before building any opinion or sharing any information further. We sure have the right to raise our voices and share our views under Article 19 of the Indian constitution, that is, right to freedom of speech and expression, which is a fundamental right given to every individual with reasonable restrictions according to the constitution.
The four major responsibilities that are contractual responsibility, social responsibility, the responsibility to comply with the law, and responsibility towards the international community seems missing in today’s time.
What we see nowadays by most media houses is the use of dangerous speech, a form of expression that can increase the risk that its audience will condone or participate in violence against members of another group.
The characteristics and consequences of dangerous speech are vast. The division is created in the minds of people based on class, sex, ethnicity, etc. According to Dr Kamna Chibber, a leading psychologist in India, sometimes, pre-existing thought processes act as a deterrent in accepting what’s true in people’s minds over a period of time. To this, the media adds fuel simultaneously. A few examples are when media houses teach that to be loyal to your own country, or how you’re supposed to hate other countries or when fear is deliberately created in the minds of people with the logic that the majority has a threat from minorities that often leads to violence.
Media is supposed to be impartial and unprejudiced when covering any news. That is what most countries such as Norway, Denmark, Finland believe, that is why they rank on the top three countries in the Press Freedom Index. The essentials to minimize the negative influence of media is constructive criticism based on clarity, information that is relevant and is from a good source, completeness of the information is required. The information that we give out must change the receiver’s behaviour while maintaining consistency and following a pattern of authenticity.
There are many platforms such as The Quint, Indiatimes, The Wire, and, most importantly, the sources that all the articles mention. Google is the fact-checkers best friend. Every minor detail plays a vital role in today’s time, such as the date when the article was published, information about the author and their work background, as to how they’ve worked over the past years in providing credible information. One should always check the about page of the organization or any website they’re collecting information from as well.
Fake news and blind trust depend on strong reactions to facilitate its spread. The best we can do is come out of this vicious cycle, step by step, by not falling into the cycle of emotions and think in a rationalized manner. Moreover, due to political polarization in our society, people have neatly parquetry themselves into ideological groupings. Hence during these situations, the focus should be put on what is right and what is wrong because the motive is to develop and grow by the truth.