Someone recently stated in their criticism against media that “instead of doing its job as the watchdog, the media, nowadays, has transformed into a lapdog of the government.”
When we look into the role of the media in a democracy, it plays a vital role, which is why it is considered as the fourth pillar of a democracy. In a democratic setting, the media acts as a watchdog in between the government and the public. The freedom of the press comes under the constitutional right to freedom of expression, under Article 19.
When we look into the current situation, however, the media is no more a watchdog but a lapdog. There is a lot of human rights violations that have been happening, and people have been imprisoned just for utilizing their freedom of speech.
A lot of migrants died during the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown period when they had to return home by walking miles and miles. Many become unemployed, but the government doesn’t have any data regarding it, and the media doesn’t seem interested in reporting it.
The media doesn’t even get the time to report any of these issues because all of them are behind a film actor’s death and the involvement of his girlfriend in it. ‘Cheap’, ‘yellow journalism’ is prominent in the media sector. No one is ready to raise their voice against the government because it seems like anyone raising their voice will be imprisoned and labelled as a ‘terrorist,’ or get killed. India is increasingly becoming an intolerant country. In the latest World Press Freedom Index, India stands at 142 out of 180 countries.