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This includes perpetrating fraud or engaging in corruption in order to divert and personally benefit from public funds or other public resources.This ‘press as defective’ role is evidenced when the press is able to engage in fairly long-term, detailed, in-depth investigative journalism – the kind that is able to report to the public on large-scale systematic wrongdoing by public (or indeed private) officials, which may include nepotism, corruption, fraud or other kinds of criminality.There is no doubt that media has done a commendable job from time to time in making people aware about the harsh realities of life, in exposing corruption prevalent in our society, in increasing the awareness level among the people and a lot more but I feel that still a lot remains to be done.
Enabling independent media to perform the crucial roles of being a watchdog over government and educating people about the issues that affect their lives also requires supporting organizations such as trade unions and professional associations for journalists, and a public educated about these roles and responsibilities of media and their function in a democratic and open society.
If a democracy is to run smoothly in any country, it is a must that the media in all fairness should be given full autonomy and a free hand it deserves in airing its views among the people and no unnecessary restrictions should be imposed on it.
Media is vital in generating a democratic culture that extends beyond the political system and becomes engrained in the public consciousness over time.
The role of media in a democracy is as crucial as that of the politicians and should never be underestimated.
Media independence is guaranteed if media organizations are financially viable, free from intervention of media owners and the state, and operate in a competitive environment.
The media should also be accessible to as wide a segment of society as possible.
Amartya Sen sees the media as a watchdog not just against corruption but also against disaster. “There has never been a famine in a functioning multiparty democracy .
A free press and the practice of democracy contribute greatly to bringing out information that can have an enormous impact on policies for famine prevention…
If there is no freedom of expression – if people are not free to share information and express a range of ideas, opinions and political views; and, the corollary to that, if people are not free to receive information in the form of a range of ideas, opinions and political views – they will not be sufficiently well informed to make appropriate and meaningful political choices, whether at the ballot box or in their interactions with government more generally.
The media can play a positive role in democracy only if there is an enabling environment that allows them to do so.