[Answered] Discuss the impact of media on Indian society? How media could play a constructive role in bringing communal harmony?

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Write some impacts of media on Indian society. Also write how media could play a constructive role in bringing communal harmony.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Any communication channel through which any kind of information, news, entertainment, education, data, promotional messages etc. can be disseminated is called Media. Media includes every broadcasting and narrowcasting medium such as television, radio, newspapers, telephone, internet etc.

Impact of media on Indian society:

  • Democratisation of Information: Social media platforms provided Indians with a platform to raise their voice against injustice and inequality.
  • Bringing Behavioural Change: Use of media for policy crowdsourcing and publicity is evident in the success of pan-India campaigns such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Fit India Movement.
  • Citizen-led governance: Highlight the trouble spots in the society and press the government and public to devise suitable mechanisms to eliminate them.
  • Menace of Fake News: The rise of polarizing and divisive content has been a defining moment of modern politics, which is fed by fake news propagation through social media channels.
  • Cyberbullying or Trolling: Another dangerous element is the labelling and trolling of more rational voices or those who disagreed with the government’s actions or dominant public discourse as “anti-national.”
  • Indian TV debates on national security issues tend to cut out development of contrary views and perspectives by imposing commercial breaks, or go hectoring themselves.

Communal harmony is of paramount component for the social, economic and cultural development of any country.  Media could play a constructive role in bringing communal harmony in following manner:

  • Organise exhibitions highlighting unity in diversity in the country.
  • Organise film festivals and screen films that depict our country’s rich diverse culture, and appreciation of this diversity.
  • Encourage people to celebrate festivals of different religion together.
  • Maximize the availability of relevant and credible informationto all citizens and their communities.
  • Strengthen the capacity of individuals to engage with information.
  • Promote individualengagement with information and the public life of the community.

Way forward

  • There is need to give more powers to ‘Press Council of India’ (PCI) as despite being quasi-judicial it can only warn and not punish.
  • We need more self-regulation with less government control to avoid conflict of interests.
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