Media – The Fourth Pillar of Democracy

An established democracy requires a free press. While talking about the story of India’s democracy, one cannot forget the role, media has played over the years. It is an integral and inseparable part of a democratic society. Therefore, media is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy. In a diverse country like India, democracy is exercised by all the citizens irrespective of their caste, gender, religion and race. The Constitution guarantees all the citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression. Citizens enjoy the right to freedom of opinion, this right includes freedom of opinion without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.

Media acts as a mirror highlighting the plight of the minorities and raising it’s voice against prejudice and discrimination.
Media as a watchdog
Citizens enjoy the power of questioning the Government’s decisions. This power lies in the hands of the media. It acts as a bridge between the Government and its citizens.
Media during Emergency
Over the years, media has created a pressure seeking speedy justice and bringing the offenders to book like in the Nirbhaya Case. Media has unveiled the face of several scams like the Bofors Scam, the recent Panama Papers among others.

Before the advent of electronic media, print media played an important role in disseminating information to people. Over the years, a wide variety of media like the press, performing arts, television, radio and films have been used for communication. With the advancements made in the field of technology, the internet and social media has grown at a fast pace accelerating information and news dissemination.

Why media is regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy?
The prime purpose of the media is to provide comprehensive and objective information on all aspects of the country’s social, economic and political life. Media as the fourth pillar of democracy ensures that all the people are aware of the happenings in and around the globe. It keeps an eye on the three official branches of democracy (i.e executive, legislature and judiciary) and maintains transparency in the working of all the above three systems. Media is one of the most powerful entity on earth. It makes us aware of various social, political and economical activities happening around us. It is like a mirror which shows us every nitty-gritty of the outside world.
Over the years, media has become more active. It is media which reminds the government of its unfulfilled promises. It has helped in educating the masses in rural areas through television, radio and internet and exposes the loopholes in the system. It is the most powerful tool to fight against socio-political evils and injustice in our society, while bringing empowerment to the masses and facilitating development.

Media Amid The Crisis Phase
Media has played a praise-worthy role in disseminating information about the pandemic to every nook and cranny of the world. The journalists have put their lives at stake, reporting from the ground level. The media has proved its efficiency amid the crisis phase.