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ROLE OF MEDIA AND PRESS IN THE PANDEMIC COVID -19: A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE

Author: Vaishnavi Nimje, III year of B.B.A.,LL.B from Symbiosis Law School, Nagpur.


INTRODUCTION

Media and society are the units which are closely related to each other. The in-depth impact of media on society can be simply be seen. Media reflects our society, how it works and what it constitutes. With the advancement in technological space, our society has conjointly discovered the enlargement within the thoughts and ideas of individuals. Each single invention ranging from the machine to the most recent smartphones our society has accepted it. Earlier individuals used to communicate things with the assistance of sketch and print forms however as time passes the medium became a lot of advanced. Nowadays individuals are just simply a click far from any and each info that's out there on the web. There are numerous sorts of media that facilitate to tell, educate and entertain our society. Media are often in print kind that's through newspapers, books, magazines etc.


Media includes an electronic kind for spreading information that is one amongst the foremost used media of mass communication. With the assistance of radio and television, listeners and viewers not only get updated however it conjointly creates an understanding of current happenings. Radio being an audio medium helps in distributive information to each nook and corner of our country. Radio has conjointly contended a significant role in making a platform for imagination. The reach of this audio medium isn't solely restricted to urban areas however it's lined a large vary even to the remote areas of our country. Initially, TV in our country was introduced for education purpose. However later as time passed the objective of educating people turned into imparting information and entertaining masses. Nowadays TV has become a very important part of our existence. It covers a massive section of programs like daily soaps, news, movies, reality shows, sports, forecast, non secular programs, music etc.


Social media is turning into one amongst the foremost standard and most accessed media of communication of late. The social media act as an umbrella that constitutes a range of fascinating options that have our life terribly easier. options of tagging friends, location sharing, pic and video uploads, message chatting, video vocation, looking out friends etc have created our life a lot of participating.


CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS FOR MEDIA

Media of mass communication are an important part of the fashionable society. They're conjointly terribly powerful systems that influence the society. At a particular level media influences this and may conjointly influence the longer term of the society. Mass media have the ability to form or undo governments. Thus it's clear that mass media are quite powerful.


However the exercise of power by the media gets regulated and controlled by the assorted laws and rules enacted from time to time. In an authoritarian type of governance, the operating of the media is restricted and controlled to a good extent. Mass media get pleasure from sure freedom. However the Constitution imposes sure cheap restrictions. There are unit laws that regulate the functioning of mass media in Asian country. Media laws in Asian country have an extended history right from British rule. The govt enacted many rules and laws in Asian country to preserve in rule. After independence, a lot of laws are enacted and therefore the recent ones amended became the advantage for the society. The Indian Constitution doesn't give freedom for media one by one.


However there's an indirect provision for media freedom. It gets derived from Article 19(1) (a). This text guarantees freedom of speech and expression. the liberty of mass media comes indirectly from this text. Our Constitution conjointly lays down some restrictions within the type of Article 19(2). concerning the problem of freedom of speech, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar explained the position as follows:


"The press (or the mass media) has no special right that don't seem to be to be to or that don't seem to be to be exercised by the national in his individual capability. “The editor of a Press or the manager square measure all voters and, therefore, once they favour to represent any newspapers, they simply sweat their right of expression and in my judgement no special mention is important of the liberty of Press the least bit." Article nineteen of the Indian constitution lays down, " Justice Mudholkar, a Supreme Court choose same throughout Emergency (1975-77), "Pre-censorship, prohibition on import of written and revealed material, inserting a ban on printing and commercial enterprise material of a mere nature, tight security from the press or restriction which might quantity to an indirect curb on free circulation of a newspaper or category of newspaper ought to confine itself have all been command to be unhealthy in law."


Only few countries just like the USA have ensured freedom of media in a very direct manner. In India, abundant legislation has been enacted during this direction. Most governments feel that they need the correct to enact such Acts and Laws with a read towards limiting the liberty of expression within the interest if the state, with relevance friendly relations with foreign states, with relevance public order, with relevance decency or morality, or in reference to contempt of court, defamation, or incitement of offence.


PRESENT SCENARIO - COVID 19

Now talking regarding this scenario, The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting each trade. For the media sector, coronavirus creates each opportunities and challenges. On one hand, social distancing has diode to a spike in at-home media consumption, and growing numbers square measure turning to news suppliers for timely and trustworthy info on the crisis. At constant time, a number of the foremost valuable broadcast content—such as live sports—is being deferred or off, resulting in outlay reallocations by advertisers and a resultant come by financial gain for media firms. this disruption is also unprecedent, however the media trade has been perpendicular persistently before.


Since the flip of the century, conversion of content, the increase of social media and acceleration in mobile consumption have all forced changes to the manner media firms legalise content. The several considerations related to the COVID-19 crisis: unequipped public health systems, policies to combat the pandemic, and therefore the lack of designing and support to the vulnerable sections. These problems demand serious examination, however the thought of media, exclusion some valiant exceptions, looks to be forgetting its democratic role.


The vilification of migrant labourers and a minority community while failing to critique the dearth of measures to assist these sections influence the crisis is a vital such indicator. The media, however, has worries associated with its own economic scenario. Medium, especially, is handling a resource crunch, dwindling advertisements, and worries of reduction in circulation and audience. With considerations of job security, inadequate resource support, and abuses sweet-faced by the police, several journalists square measure swing their health at stake to hide the COVID-19 scenario. Some media homes have already begun cutting wages; extension within the imprisonment will produce a replacement crisis in Indian journalism.


The role of larger media as determined throughout the pandemic, however, isn't Associate in Nursing nightlong shift. it's been visible currently. The media has seen extraordinary growth throughout the last 3 decades, and Asian nation has become one amongst the most important media markets within the world. The media has become a tool of information and sensationalism. Some newscast channels see a Chinese conspiracy within the unfold of COVID-19. In such a “positive” atmosphere, the news associated with labourers’ mass exodus and therefore the markaz was largely given thanks to its sensational price. truth scenario wouldn't have gained attention within the initial place, if not for the ground-level reports by the committed journalists and social media coverage. The Janata curfew declared on 22nd March was unsuccessful as folks came out on the streets within the evening, clapping, banging utensils, shouting non secular slogans, and processing univalve shells, as if they may defeat COVID-19 with a show of such masculinity. Social distancing was forgotten.


Later, folks were once more asked to change off residential lights for 9 minutes and lightweight a candle or diya in their balconies. will the virus extremely be eradicated by chants of “go corona?” However, the media became a locality of this “festivity”. These exercises were lapped up by a majority of the fourth estate, because it sells the massive spectacle—a hyper real experience—and accepts the obeisance of a “supreme authority” at the side of an outsized range of voters. The trivialisation of the crisis and a harmful “positivity” is ruling the media. COVID-19 may be a serious threat to the state and thus several rational measures and “honest conversations” should be expected from the govt, that can't be on the far side the crucial radio detection and ranging of journalism. the govt has created a chief Minister's national help and Relief in Emergency things (PM-CARES) Fund to combat the pandemic and plenty of business firms and customary folks have contributed to the present fund.


Moreover, media may carry videos of the victorious treatment cases and therefore the encouraging words of medical practitioners concerned in activity the illness for public respite. Running interviews of psychotherapists and psychological feature speakers might alleviate the discomposed public mind.


Since people are in self-quarantine at this hour of crisis with the government’s call of total imprisonment a minimum of for per week currently, contents associated with self-introspection, happiness and family relationships among others might charm to the folk. With the predominance of stories and knowledge relating coronavirus, breaking the monotony additionally needs providing some refreshing materials to entertain the audience. In doing this, media need to cater to the interests of metameric audience – kids, youths and therefore the aged.


CONCLUSION

Unimportant and irrelevant news, that sometimes haven't any importance are given priority and thanks to a reason or the opposite, they catch on the minds of the viewers and in this ways many an times, important political, economical and sociological news get neglected and gradually, lose their importance! No doubt, media has played significant role in making world a worldwide village and to scale back the communication gaps amongst the people living within the far areas but unfortunately, media lately has become a commercialized sector, eying the news which are hot and good at selling. The goal is to realize the TV rating points.


I believe, if the media identifies its responsibility and work sincerely and honestly, then it can function an excellent force in building the State.