POLITICIZATION OF MEDIA IN INDIA
Recently media has been aggressively used by political parties for the propagation of their ideologies, agendas and mobilization of public opinion. The influence of media on today’s generation is very clear hence, various political parties have invested huge amounts on digital campaigning. Media is the easiest way to reach an enormous population irrespective of the fact if they belong to a rote area. Social media is now used by political parties to engage directly with their voters and influence their opinions.
Advancement of technology has helped media to expand it’s reach like never before in the last decade, whether it be any source like television, radio or newspaper. This rapid growth of media brought both the pros and cons along with it for the nation. The people with power have been successful in influencing dissemination of information through media houses, by partially owning these outlets, and tangentially influencing the way news are presented. Clearly, ownership of the media significantly affects the perspectives presented in the reporting and bias becomes inevitable in such circumstances. Various media owners have direct or indirect links with politics while some of them are even representatives of some parties. The election commission is reported to have identified more than 1400 cases of paid news between 2009 and 2020.
Media houses also depend on advertisement for their revenues hence besides direct or indirect control, advertisement are also influenced by the benefits of the media house. This becomes problematic when media house start emphasizing on advertisement of certain parties and spread their agenda for money. The transparency and independence of media has to suffer in such situations.
Politicization of media had blinded major population of the nation and kept them away from knowledge of the real truth and their real interests. The situation is getting harmful for the subordinates of the society hence an urgent question arises if there should be a
legislation banning big corporations and politicians to own media.
India has recently been one of the lowest rank holding nation in the press freedom index and media ownership by political parties have been the major reason for that. Our nation needs regulatory safeguards against political control over media.