Compared with the media landscape of the past, social media exposes us to a more diverse range of views. The deeper question is how people respond when they encounter these differing opinions — do they listen to them, ignore them, or even block them? Think about how our minds work. That makes bursting these bubbles hard because it requires pushing against deeply ingrained human instincts.
Role Of Media in Indian Democracy | Moon Writes
Research shows that some obvious ideas — like showing people an article from an opposing perspective — could actually make us dig in even more. A better approach might be to show people many views, not just the opposing side. While we want Facebook to be a safe place for people to express themselves politically, we need to make sure no one is bullied or threatened for their views.
To make matters more complex, governments themselves sometimes engage in such harassment. In one country we recently visited, a citizen reported that after he had posted a video critical of the authorities, the police paid him a visit to inspect his tax compliance. As more countries write laws that attempt to criminalize online discourse, the risk grows that states use their power to intimidate their critics.
That could have a chilling effect on speech. Policing this content at a global scale is an open research problem since it is hard for machines to understand the cultural nuances of political intimidation. And while we are hiring over 10, more people this year to work on safety and security, this is likely to remain a challenge. People on Facebook tend to represent every walk of life, but not everyone is using their voice equally.
Take women. They represent a majority of the population, yet are under-represented in public political dialogue on Facebook. If politicians mistake the views of a few with the views of many, that can make for bad public policy. Vulnerable populations could end up ignored, and fringe groups could appear mainstream.
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This is proof in my eyes that research-driven design can make social media a better medium for democracy. Clearly, there is no shortage of challenges at the convergence of social media and democracy. But there are also many bright spots that keep me coming to work every day. First, social media has enormous power to keep people informed. According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of US adults consume at least some of their news on social media.
The implications for civic engagement are profound. There is growing evidence that this is also true for social media — especially among young people. Social media platforms are driving people not just to learn about issues but to take action. 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. They need the requisite skills for the kind of indepth reporting that a new democracy requires. There should also be mechanisms to ensure they are held accountable to the public and that ethical and professional standards are upheld. 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.
Efforts to help the media should be directed toward: the protection of press rights, enhancing media accountability, building media capacity and democratising media access. Building independent media in developing countries requires more than freedom of speech, skilled journalists, or strong business management skills. 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. On the other side, media also on its part should play a very responsible, active and neutral role in discharging its duties without being influenced by any particular political party or few individuals and should treat everyone on an equal footing. If media does not discharge its responsibility independently in any democratic country, the politicians are bound to behave like dictations or even worse than them.
Media carries with it a huge responsibility in a democratic setup which it has to fulfil very carefully without any bias toward anyone by bringing out the real facts before the public. Media has a very big role to play in a democracy and its stature is in no way less than that of politicians.
Hence it is rightly called the fourth Pillar of democracy i. Fourth Estate. It is through media that people become aware of so many aspects of life of which they are normally ignorant. Democracy is meaningless without a free, neutral and active media.
Media is often referred to as the fourth branch of government because of the power they wield and the oversight function they exercise. This watchdog role can take many forms depending on the nature of the medium concerned, as well as on the state of democracy and development in a particular country. Amartya Sen sees the media as a watchdog not just against corruption but also against disaster. He said. 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… a free press and an active political opposition constitute the best early-warning system a country threatened by famine could have.
When journalists are well trained and have trusted sources of information, the press is able to investigate wrongdoing by public officials. This includes perpetrating fraud or engaging in corruption in order to divert and personally benefit from public funds or other public resources. Consequently, truth and social responsibility have become casualties of this uncontrolled media culture.
The Indian media has now become the B team of the government. It is intently indulging in creating such pranks in the society and vitiating the already charged atmosphere with political war games. Media has now become a tool for political parties to brainwash the public by showing fabricated predicted votes via exit polls. Word-of-mouth, village meets, informal gatherings — there are more than just one means through which ideas can be spread among voters. Mainly Hindu upper caste dominate in the media houses.
Serious issues like the beef ban, Kashmir crisis, protests in universities and even where Dalits getting discriminated or killed, have received hardly any mention in media coverage. According to report, abysmal position of India at among countries in the latest annual World Press Freedom Index, which is another worrying point for Dalits and minority communities.
So in Indian context, though the Muslims are most the powerful group with over 18 crore population in India, is still a minority in numerical perspective, and hence the biased media houses go berserk in taking a side of only Muslims in all conflicts of ideology, religious bigotry, communal riots, human rights abuse etc.
These groups blindly extended support to Jains, Buddhists, Christians etc. In my view, it should not be held. Media trial creates a perception of prejudice against the accused. The journalists have started acting more or less as both prosecution and judge alleging, shouting, pronouncing verdicts. As Article 19 1 a of the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression therefore, media has a firm hold in shaping the public opinion in any way it likes through its coverage of events which was also seen in the Arushi murder case of .
Within the hours of the murder, various media men and reporters sock it to her house, tampering all over the evidence. The media boldly aired the news about the physical relationship of Aarushi and the male servant of Hemraj and the relationship of her father with a co-dentist. The plethora of the media provoked the supreme court to warn the media about the legit coverage of the case. Suggested to refrain from mudslinging on the character of the dead girl and her father.
By conducting a parallel trial with the court, media often prejudices the judicial administration of a country by influencing the opinion of the judges. Sometimes, excessive publicity given to an accused or suspect by media before trial commences prejudices a fair trial thereby characterising him as a person who actually has committed the crime. He also said that media must exercise due care and caution while reporting criminal matters to avoid any kind of disrespect to the Constitution and the judicial system in the country.
One of the examples in this respect is the case of Aarushi Talwar. In this case, media has played a major role in incriminating parents without any sufficient evidence.
Providing Political Information
Likewise, there are many instances where the media has changed the whole way of perception. Media is often blamed of conducting the trial of the accused and passing the judgement even before the court thereby interfering with the judicial process. The trial is essentially a process to be carried out by the courts. Therefore, media must confine its role to reporting matters and not assuming the role of the court.
Hard Questions: What Effect Does Social Media Have on Democracy?
In any democracy, weakening of pillars is always damaging. We need to reach the main trunk, to trim the vicious aerial roots that are spreading and poisoning the society. There are many factors that make media biased. There is racial, religious, political bias within the media.
Media is not completely honest and objective in depiction of important issues.