To me, proactive reporting came to India with Tehelka.com, though before that print media has been and still is constructively proactive in their reporting. Even in pre-independence era, people like Tilak and Agarkar have put in unprecedented effort and energy in upbringing of the thoughts of the fellow people, to fight for a better cause and a better tomorrow. But with Tehelka, the constructiveness in reporting has gradually wiped out. I feel most of the media reporting done today in India, especially on televisions, is nothing but hollow. It is missing a point. And a major one. In that, the media, reporting and journalism has an important role in bringing up the society, shaping their thoughts, and in longer run create a cohesive atmosphere for the nation to progress as a whole.
If the reporting is hollow, the news analysis is even worse and is becoming more and more dangerous of making up a public opinion and to some extent go so far and say that this public opinion is the law of the land! Well, it is not gone that far, but with what is happening on most of the current news channels, such a dangerous idea is not far to come into reality.
For these reasons, I have been particularly choosey about the newspapers and media I refer to. For newspapers, it has always been Indian Express and The Hindu, and for electronic media, though not perfect, it has always been Doordarshan for Indian affairs and BBC world service for world affairs.
I had all these thoughts for a few months now, but when a friend of mine sent this Youtube video, I was literally shocked.
This is supposedly a news analysis program where Noted criminal lawyer Ram Jetmalani is being questioned as to why he is going against the “public opinion” of defending some one who “majority” of people “think” is a convict. Before I saw this video, I must say frankly that I didn’t have much respect for Ram Jetmalani, because of the kind of cases he handled. But the points he puts in have simply made me think high of him. He has a solid point. When it comes to justice and having the authority to say if the rule of the land is maintained, only the Indian courts must have the final say. Not the media, and not the public, for how much ever they think it is correct. The media should not be in a dangerous position to proclaim that they are the one who deliver justice. Their job is to bring the facts and show it in court, and not be court itself. They should not try to create a situation where every one begins to think that they are the only resort for final justice.
On the other hand it is the duty of every citizen to know the roles of institutions of democracy and the press (or the media), and be vigilant when there are conflicts, and make conscious decision for the greater interest of the society and nation.
(PS: Views expressed here are solely mine. I am not trying to give any advice here.)