Opinion: Is print media really accountable and accountable?

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“…Digital media doesn’t have a responsibility like that of print media. The fate of social media is worse. New media doesn’t know what’s right and what’s wrong and they don’t have the ability to learn the facts before posting. Some digital media channels provide commentary on topics that require expert legal advice.”

The above statement is given by Justice NV Ramana. In fact, the comments of the Honorable Justice Ramana are largely true. Suppose digital media has no liability. There is no proper ecosystem to streamline digital media in India like that of print media. Once this happens in the future, we can expect the desired change.

First of all, let’s discuss the accountability and responsibility of print media. They have governing bodies like the Press Council. It’s been decades since the print media has missed its trail of responsibility. Each print medium is associated with a political party. But in the name of the political agenda, they irresponsibly concoct bull and rooster stories.

How can we say the print media is responsible when it hates campaigns with fake party stories they don’t conform to? Knowing the ins and outs of loopholes in the law and crafting articles according to their whims and fancies has been the practice of the print media for quite a long time. How can it be a justiciable and responsible act?

Some news papers write details of a one-on-one personal conversation between a Prime Minister and a Chief Minister. How can they do this shit when they’re responsible? Neither would directly call this News Daily and report what they were talking about. Moreover, such articles only appear in one or two particular daily newspapers, but never become national news.

Hon Chief Justice’s expectations of digital media can be understood, but the fate of today’s print media is not as utopian as it was in Gandhi’s day.

Also, print and digital media are not separated. The impact of digital media on society is far greater than that of print media. It is therefore time for the system to channel and rationalize digital media by placing it under the fourth estate.

Samyukta Dantuluri

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