Need for laws protecting Rights of Media.

Communication is the most important factor in our lives. Media takes up the role of fulfilling this factor and giving a platform to various individuals and organizations. Media is generally defined as means of mass communication, which includes broadcasting, publishing and the internet regarded collectively. The term “media” is plural of medium, referring to communication channels through which we disseminate news, music, movies, education, promotional messages and other data. News, magazines, television, radio, billboards, telephone, the internet, and fax are ways through which communicate in society. Media rights means with respect to each credit party and its subsidiaries, all licensing rights (as licensor and licensee), manufacturing rights, production rights, and distribution rights and all rights, title and interest of such persons in registered patents, trademarks, service marks, copy rights. Other media rights include: right to broadcast, transmit, display, film and photograph the competition as well as recordings thereof (or any part thereof) in any form in all media now known or hereafter and the right to exploit such rights by means whatsoever. Freedom of media is indeed an integral part of freedom of expression which is part of fundamental rights of the Constitution of India. Media plays a vital role as in enables the citizens to be aware about what is happening in the country and other important factors they need to know. Media has created a platform for the common man to express his opinions and reach to the diplomats in higher positions which are usually not easily reachable. Today it has become one of the major instruments of social change. It is the duty of the media to report cautiously and fairly. Media tends to bring transparency and sometimes it is not good for people’s reputation. Freedom of press is a fundamental right that government itself can not violate but still it’s the most violated right. There has been constant press freedom violation including abuses by political leaders, threats, from criminal groups, police violence or threats by corrupt local officials making journalism one of the most dangerous professions to practice in India. There have been prominent journalists like Sauri Lankesh, Narendra who have paid the ultimate price for uncovering the truths and more than sixty-four journalists have been killed on duty. Uttar Pradesh holds the distinguished place with the highest number of journalists killed since year 2000 and the duty lies with the government to make effective laws and provisions for the protection of the media. The risk factor in the profession of journalism is rapidly increasing the face of violence and intimidation for practicing their fundamental rights. The ranges of danger they are getting include kidnapping, murder, online harassment, cyber bullying, forced detention and torture and defamation among others. There is a need for effective laws for protection of media. The freedom under Article 19(1) (a) is not only cribbed, cabinet and confined to newspapers and periodicals but also includes pamphlets, leaflets, handbills, circulars and every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion. Although the freedom of press is guaranteed as a fundamental right, it is necessary for us to deal with various laws governing the different areas of media so as to appreciate the vast of media laws. Freedom of Press and the Freedom of Expression can be regarded as the very basis of a democratic form of government. Every business enterprise is involved in the laws of the nation, state and community in which it operates. Newspaper publishers find themselves more hemmed in by legal restrictions than any other businesses do regardless of the fact that freedom of press is protected by the India Constitution. The various Acts that have been taken into consideration when dealing with the regulations imposed upon the print media are: The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, the Act regulates printing presses and newspapers and makes registration with an appointed authority compulsory for all printing. The enactment provides against the printing and publication of incitement to crime and other objectionable matters. More over the protection of rights of media are internationally recognized. Evidently, the existence of the International Declaration on the protection of journalists. The International Declaration on the protection of journalists is based on thorough research and analysis of existing international mechanisms in the area of journalists and media organizations to ensure maximum safety.

The Constitution of India confers the fundamental right of freedom of the press. Article 105(2) provides certain restrictions on the publications of the proceedings in parliament.  The Supreme Court held that, the publication by a newspaper of certain parts of the speech of members in the House, which were ordered to be expunged by the speaker constituted a breach of privilege. The media is given freedom of speech and press however the limitations given by the country suppress them and hinders them from exercising their rights to the fullest. The limitations imposed also make the work with fear for being found on the wrong side of the law.

What are the challenges faced by the Media in practicing their duty? Authoritarian rule in many developing countries, democracy is formally established by political elites and authoritarian rulers control power beyond the influence of the majority of people. So instead of more democracy there is less, instead of more participation there is more exclusion, instead of the rule of law, there is insecurity, impunity and lack of accountability. Media organizations are not welcomed because they will always question authoritarian rule. Media rights are under pressure Media suffer from obstruction of freedom of press, freedom of expression and to access information. Media regulations become tougher and journalists who are not in line with mainstream elites become more and more endangered and face possible censorship and intimidation the worst being arbitrary arrest and torture.

Because of the above mentioned challenges faced by the media it shows there is need for protection of reporters, editors and journalists. This need of crafting laws for protection of media becomes an important task for media support organizations and the close monitoring of the development of media freedom becomes more relevant.

In conclusion, media plays an important role in our lives as it enables us to communicate at different level. In a national level the journalists, editors and other are the people who are in control of media. However they face so many challenges, with some even life threatening. Hence there is need for laws protecting the rights of the media. In most if not all the countries freedom of press and speech is guaranteed however political elites limit the media from exercising their rights fully.

Categories: News