Class 7 Civics

Independence of Media

In reality, media is not independent. Government has a lot of influence on media. There have been times when the government has censored the media. An example of censorship by the government is during the Emergency (1975-1977).

Independence of Media

More often than not, the media does not give a balanced story. This is because:

Setting agendas

Since media plays a significant role in deciding what stories to focus on, we can say that it decides on what is newsworthy. An annual event at a school may not be covered by media but if a famous cricketer is a Chief Guest at that function, media will be interested in covering the event.

By focusing on selective issues, media has an influence on our thoughts and consequently on our actions.

Due to the significant role that media plays in influencing us (by influencing our thoughts) it is commonly said that media sets the agenda.

Few years ago, media drew our attention to the alarming amount of pesticides in cola drinks. It therefore made us aware about the need to monitor these drinks according to international quality and safety standards. This reporting was done by media in spite of the government's resistance. Thus, media played a very important role in giving very crucial information to the people regarding health risks of consuming cola drinks.

However, there are also instances where media fails to focus on issues that are important for our lives. Some of such issues are as under:

Local media

Since media will not be interested in covering small issues that involve the lives of ordinary people, many local groups have come up with their own media. This is called local media. Some examples of these are:

Community radio

These are used to tell farmers about the prices of different crops and to give many other valuable inputs to them.

Documentary films

These are low budget films and focus on the real-life conditions of different poor communities.

Khabar Lahriya

It is a newspaper which is a fortnightly that is run by Dalit women in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh. It reports the issues of the Dalits. It has its reach among the farmers, shopkeepers, school teachers, panchayat members and literate women.