Every year, 16th November I celebrated as National Press Day. The Press Council of India was set up on this very day, in 1966, to establish a value for freedom of the press and journalism.
At present, the Press Council is established in more than 50 countries around the world to guide the profession. While looking forward to the journey of press from the pre-Independence time till date, it won’t be wrong to say that a major evolution has been spotted in this sector.
The media is no longer limited to paper and pen; rather it has travelled long and stepped into the field of digitalised publication, reaching to the mass with one click.
Accompanying to this major change, the trend says loud about pocket news and MOJO (Mobile Journalism), which allows the journalists or media persons to reach out to their audience with an ease and simultaneously become an active participant in collecting the views of the audience by going through the comments on posts as well as answering to all the questions.
With the expansion in the modes of disseminating news, there has also been a rise of fraudulent practices or fake news practices in media; pushing a large part of audience into dark well of falsehood.
Earlier, there used to be limited sources of getting information and news but now on typing of a particular term in the search box, a varsity of content appears, all related to the same subject, leading one to confusion in choosing the appropriate one.
It is true that the definition of the media has changed, but the media still stands as a disciplined worker in the fight for policy and ethics. “Every day, new problems arise in the media, and fighting all they need to build a healthy society.”
Press or media, is now on the verge of becoming a sensation and a commission.
Even in the most challenging time of nationwide lockdown and shutdown to contain the spread of deadly virus, the media persons did not turn their backs; rather chose to become Covid-19 warriors and without failure, reached out to the people, providing them with the ground zero report on Covid -19 situation, spreading awareness and motivating them to fight with deadly virus by staying indoors safely, coping up with the new normal.
Apart from this, Press has also played a major role in becoming the messenger of Central government by helping them out in reaching the crowd with an ease. It was after so long when the power of media could be seen clearly allowing the media to become the voice of all.
But all these struggles seems futile, after coming across the reports of more than 25 journalists being arrested or put behind the bars either for standing firm towards journalism ethics or refusing from manipulating the truth and bringing to the fore the dark hidden fact.
Reports say, there is a big list giving facts of media persons punished for their fearlessness, let’s look upon to some:
Republic TV’s editor-in-chief, Arnab Goswami was arrested on November 4, 2020. Goswami was arrested for his alleged role in the death of Anvay Naik, who committed suicide in 2018. Yet his imprisonment stirred a lot of protests about “press freedom” and “political vendetta”.
Similarly on May 1 2020, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) detained three youths, including a journalist, on the charges of having links with the Maoists in Kerela. Among the three youths included Kozhikode native Abhilash Padachery, an online journalist.
A 30-year-old web journalist, Pawan Choudhary was arrested on April 6, 2020, in Munger in Bihar on the charges of spreading misinformation about the death of a Covid-19 patient.
On 27 April 2020, Zubair Ahmed, a freelance journalist, was arrested by the police in Andaman & Nicobar for posting a tweet questioning why families were placed under home quarantine for merely speaking over the phone with Coronavirus patients.
Further, On 15 April 2020, the Mumbai Police arrested ABP News correspondent Rahul Kulkarni over his claim that the Railways would restart operations which the police alleged may have prompted the gathering of hundreds of migrants outside the Bandra station in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Maharashtra on 14 April.
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