Tag Archives: Media

Is media oversueing its freedom?

No matter how much people love to read the newspapers early mornings, with lukewarm tea, there’s always a keenness among the personages to get updated information, at every point of time. And they look up towards the digital media to get all the world’s knowledge. Apart from the media platforms that have come today, that, somewhere, are more unbiased and neutral, people still appeal towards the news channels that are being telecasted on the television due to less popularity of those on social media platforms and that can only be accessed through internet and digital media.

In such an era, as this, news channels have become the best medium to convey the news of every minute, even seconds. They are always try to find interesting ways to give the best to the audiences through debates, showcasing interesting news, and speaking up equivocally. Today most of them have all the world’s freedom to speak up and provide every pros and cons of any happening around the world, and they actually does. But, unfortunately, they have surpassed all the limits of freedom and autarky, and those end up showing the news and the information that is in favour of their sponsors and government whom so ever they have sold themselves to. Always wondering the reason behind such doings? Found out, it is actually for the sake of popularity, as well as to “be the good guy of the room” whether we believe it or not, in some way or the other, they show us, at last, what they really want us to believe and perceive.

Either they telecast such news that is all hot and debated amongst political parties, or nothing at all. The use of language in their headlines, is also something that is to be worried on, beyond imagination, too pathetic and so to say, low quality to handle. And it is because of such stuff, people come under believing in those news that are even not that tension worthy, leaving behind the happenings that are to be focused on. Again, if we talk about how they have created a mess among the people, who are no one, but believes what is being shown to them, sometimes they come up with such facts and datas that are nowhere in the history, nobody has ever mentioned that.

For instance, the recent incident of Chinese troops’ standoff on the Indian borders, is telecasted on and off the television again and again, claiming that the Chinese Army has been terrified by the revert back of the Indian Army. And they are proudly claiming and rejoicing that all the way in their news, which is a really worth appreciating. But, the picture behind the scenes isn’t made clear to the public yet; it is the Chinese cyber attacks that is also a big and a disaster for Indian IT sectors, that is unluckily not been promoted to show up on the television screens of millions of Indians, leaving them untouched from the reality.

Although,media did, does, and is doing such an appreciable work all the time, every single minute, faster it is than the print media and has given all the freedom to provide information, quality information to its viewers. But, certainly, their quality, the news that they display over the television screens have got limited with time and space;certainly due to enormous pressure of their sponsors. Which is why, “news channels must start wearing sponser jackets, like Nascar drivers, then we know who owns them.

Trends in Contemporary Public Relations

Public Relations: Why It Matters - Activated Growth

Public Relations is regarded as the cornerstone for individuals, companies and start-ups to establish their credibility in the market. Public relations is rapidly changing, evolving and adapting new methods such as engaging videos, online content, bloggers outreach, influencers and many more such techniques to achieve maximum limelight. There are a few major trends that are easy to spot. These are:

  1. Big Data: New age public relations have become ever dependent on data. Audiences today are tech-savvy they are highly dependent upon technology for their day-to-day activities. Digital and social media communications have opened up a new channel through which PR firms can reach a brand’s target audience. The business is headed into a new direction where devising and executing digital and social media campaigns are imperative to create brand awareness.
  2. Influencer Outreach: The world today consists of people who are trusted and highly followed by people. Bloggers too have become extremely influential and those who are credible can be the go-to person when you need to send the word out about your company. In the past few years, influencer outreach has garnered immense limelight in the field. Targeting relevant influencers is an important segment to reach a wider audience.
  3. Importance of leadership: Earlier, the role of imparting thought leadership content was confined only for top-level executives such as the CEO, COO, and CMO, etc. Now, this trend will gradually shift to other leaders and consultants within the company who will share note-worthy and interesting insights with the public. The emphasis will be on people of lower leadership and making them essential to the company. This will help a brand target a wider, more diverse audience and share more content. Also, encouraging employees to take an active thought leadership role will aid companies to grow their own personal brand.
  4. Use of analytics: Companies in modern public relations are embracing numbers and analytics. Companies, including the tech, market themselves based on social impact, and they do their research, collect their data from both prospective and existing clients, and then put some sense in those data. Putting them into perspective in the form of website traffic, a number of leads, etc. makes sense of the drill of analytics.
  5. Customer satisfaction: The final outcome of any PR exercise has to be customer satisfaction. It is mandatory to ensure that the product or service has to be perfect. Startups looking for press coverage after developing the minimum viable product (MVP) should ensure that the core part of that MVP executes the idea and solves the problem it set out to solve first.

Should media play the role of judge and jury?

There have been numerous cases where the media has succeeded in bringing about change. It is a powerful influencer as it speaks directly to the public and can shape opinions. The Jessica Lal murder case is a strong example. The accused, Manu Sharma, was the son of Vinod Sharma, a wealthy and influential Congress MP from Haryana. Sharma tried to use his power to manipulate the case and did succeed initially by destroying evidence and turning witnesses hostile. The Delhi High Court was forced to acquit Sharma on grounds of lack of evidence. The acquittal resulted in a huge backlash throughout the nation which was helped on by the media. Jessica Lal’s sister, in an interview with Daily News and Analysis, said, “The media proved to be an extremely powerful force that came to our aid…It was the power of the media that enabled us to get justice. Had it not been for the media, people would have never known about how a family is being denied justice”.

However in another case, the media faced a lot of criticism. In the Ayushi Talwar murder case, Dr. Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were portrayed as guilty of the murder of their daughter and their servant, even though there was no such statement by the police and no conclusive evidence available. Media plays a vital role in moulding the opinion of the society and it is capable of changing the whole viewpoint through which people perceive various events. The media can be commended for starting a trend where the media plays an active role in bringing the accused to hook.

What critics of media trail say?

The Law Commission in its 200th report, Trial by Media: Free Speech versus Fair Trial under Criminal Procedure (Amendments to the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971), recommended a law to debar the media from reporting anything prejudicial to the rights of the accused in criminal cases, from the time of arrest to investigation and trial.

The media cannot be granted a free hand in the court proceedings as they are not some sporting event. Everyone has a right to free and fair trail and the media cannot take this away even from people accused of most heinous crimes.

The right to fair trial has not explicitly been made a fundamental right. That does not mean that it is a less important right. More than a legal right, it is basic principle of natural justice that everyone gets a fair trial and an opportunity to defend oneself. The commission believed that biased reporting by media publications have a  prejudicial impact on the suspects, accused, witnesses and even judges and in general on the administration of justice. This is criminal contempt of court, according to the commission; and for that laws should be made to impose reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech.

What the media says?

This is really a grey area and laws can be used to gag the media unnecessarily. Governments accused of corruption will try to suppress the truth during trial if media is not allowed to report on cases of misgovernance, corruption etc. It is true that contempt of court is a ground for restricting the freedom of speech, but the media has not tried to lower the dignity of the judiciary by exposing loopholes of the investigation and the prosecution. And if judicial decisions also appear to be arbitrary, they must be subjected to ruthless scrutiny. It will be dangerous to gag the press in the name of contempt of court. If the appellate court feels that the media publicity affected fair trial, it can always reverse the decision of the lower court.

Instead of a law gagging media, there should be a self-regulatory body with sufficient punitive powers. The existing bodies of PCI and NBA are merely organizations that can give out a warning but cannot take any action. They should be given more powers so that they can punish media organizations that break rules and conduct unfair media trials.