Home » 10th Class » Essay on “Freedom of the Press” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay on “Freedom of the Press” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

OR

THE RIGHTS OF THE PRESS

OR

SHOULD PRESS BE REALLY FREE?

OR

A FREE PRESS– THE BACKBONE OF DEMOCRACY

OR

JOURNALISM IN INDIA

 

                “I would rather have a free Press, with all the dangers that may result from a wrong use of that freedom, than a suppressed or strangulated Press.”                                                                            – J.L. Nehru

 

                “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I shall not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.      -Jefferson

 

                Freedom of the Press is the very foundation of and an essential condition for a successful Democracy.  It is the backbone of Democracy.  In India, the freedom of the Press has been guaranteed by the Constitution.  The Press is supposed to be an active link between the government and the people in a democratic country.  It investigates official lapses and makes the facts public.  It is, in fact, a watch-dog of democracy.  It keeps the government on its toes by exposing its various misdoings and acts as a true mirror of public opinion.

                The people in a democratic country have a right to know things and this right is a part of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech and Expression.  Hence it is the duty of the Press to keep the people informed, educated and alert.  The freedom of the Press does not, however, mean freedom to distort facts, freedom to blackmail people or freedom to indulge in character assassination or cheap sensationalism.  The Press is meant to educate public opinion ; it is not meant to incite people to senseless violence.  The press is not an enemy of the government ; it is supposed to help government efforts in creating a healthy climate in society.  The press is not there to add to the people’s problems and spell misery and dissatisfaction ; it has to work to promote the common weal.  The Press has to know its responsibilities.  It has to ensure that its writings conform to the national objectives and do not run counter to them.

                The Press in India, has by and large, been enjoying complete and unfettered freedom.  But, at times, it seems that the Press does not play its part in a responsible manner.  The freedom enjoyed by the Press is grossly misused.  At times, a section of the Press is clearly committed to a line of thought and refuses to look at things objectively.  It looks at things through the tinged glasses of prejudice and indulges in mudslinging and baseless criticism.  Not only that, some papers openly promote communal hatred and create unnecessary tensions through baseless news and biased views.

                There are some important power groups who start their own papers.  These people have either enough money to those papers, periodicals and magazines or have their cells in the government to bag a big chunk of hefty advertisements and mint money.  They create a permanent nexus with a particular group or party and go on toeing their line in their papers.  They have no scruples or qualms of conscience to do their real duty.  Their only duty is to serve their masters and misguide public thought.  The government must evolve some mechanism to check all this and make the press accountable to the country in some way.

                No one can argue or claim that the freedom of speech and expression is an absolute and unfettered right.  No government worth the name can permit irresponsible writings, yellow journalism or slander.  The Press should rise to the occasion and assure the government and the people that it would always act as the responsible and enlightened  Fourth Estate and would refrain from misusing the freedom granted to it.  The Press in India has always been playing a responsible role.  In the pre-independence days, it was only the National Press that inculcated a spirit of freedom and sacrifice amongst the masses.  It refused to be cowed down by the British threats.  The Press must, once again, try to live up to its reputation and try to maintain its noble traditions.  It must act as a watch-dog to keep a vigilant eye on the government.  Men in power are sometimes likely to run amuck and trample the rights of the have- nots, under their feet. The press must, in such situations, expose the guilty to the full without fear or favour.  A vigilant, fearless and responsible Press is an important pillar of strength in a democratic set up.  The Press must not, therefore, fail in its duty.  The government should also not misuse its powers to scuttle the growth of the Press. Self-restraint and self-discipline alone can contribute to the growth of a healthy Democracy in any country.

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