This article has been written by Lakshay Bansal, a student of the Geeta Institute of Law.
Human beings live in a community because of its social nature and this social nature demands one to reside in society. Human Being is the only animal that is capable to communicate by language. With the advancement of science and technology communication techniques also changed and with continuous development, journalism also comes into the picture. India is a democratic country and democracy is based on the idea that every person should have his/her say in the government. Journalism is an art by which one can distribute reports on various events. Journalistic media include print, television, and the internet. Today people want to stay updated with all news and issues in society and journalism has played a great role to share information with them.
Journalism and Right to Speech and Expression
Article 19(1) (A) of the constitution grants the right to speech and expression. Supreme Court of India has given a wide and expansive interpretation of the Right to Speech and Expression so that one can freely express his thoughts and opinions without any hesitation. Supreme Court also said in the judgment of Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India that democracy is essentially based on free debate and open discussion. If democracy means the government of the people, for the people and by the people then every citizen must be permitted to participate in a democratic process and also enable one to exercise the rights of making choice, free and general discussion of public matters. Right to Speech and Expression clearly provide us the right to express their own ideas and thoughts but on the other hand it ambit is also restricted by the Supreme Court
Journalism on the other hand plays an important role in shaping the thoughts of the citizens. The fundamental objective of journalism is to serve the people with news, views, and other information on the matters of public interest in the accurate, unbiased, and decent matter. But the objective is twisted where instead of showing correct and useful information, reporters are molding the facts for the personal profits not even realizing how the information is going to impact the viewers. We have a very current example of Arnab Goswami’s who is the editor in chief and the owner of the news channel Republic Bharat. Recently various FIRs has been filed against him stating that the statements used by him in one of his debate on his channel were highly provocative and he made vicious comments against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and communalized the whole Palghar Lynching Incident. Udhav Thackrey also said that the mob lynching incident has no communal angel. Those Hindus who were killed not because of the reason that they are Hindus it was suspected that they were thieves but Arnab Goswami has completely changed the fact and correlated the whole matter with religion. During the hearing of his petition in the Supreme Court, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal termed the petition as based on “Fake Freedom of Speech”. He also argued that Arnab is trying to ignite the communal violence by putting Hindus against the minority. Later on, when Arnab was attacked by two bikers and The Press Council of India said that Violence is not the answer to bad journalism. Gandhi Ji believed that journalism should be founded on truth and non-violence and should be used as a weapon for social transformation. Journalism has a great impact on society because it has the power to change people’s views and thoughts on any issue. It is the duty of every journalist to see that their speech should not be turned into Dangerous speech which can influence and promote the people for any kind of violence. In a democratic country press and the media is one of the corrective forms but unfortunately today this corrective form has turned into a destructive and corruptive form because of the political interference and because of the TRP circus. The reason behind it is the urge to earn money by hook and crook is tarnishing the very image of journalism and press.