Media, a medium of mass communication to convey a message, or to entertain people. Recently we have started understanding the word “media” as “journalism.” But journalism is different than media, Journalism is raising people’s voice. It has its limits and its responsibilities. So we will try to understand how has it been used, and what is the importance this new media called “social media” has for Digital Journalism.
Social media was a place to chat to share your moment, to be close while away from your loved ones. So what’s, changed?
In recent years we have seen the BJP (Majoritarian) led Government using or misusing this social media’s power to build, create and set many narratives. A certain group of people used this platform to discredit the 1st and biggest problem and also one pillar of a democracy that is the opposition, by targeting and defaming and making fun, which is all good in politics, but in this scenario, it crushed the voice of the opposition and the voice of people for that matter.
We see, How the big political party coined the terms, “anti-national” “tukde tukde gang” for the students protesting, “award wapsi ” “Khan Market” for Liberals. And “urban Naxal” for activists. So much so that the words that are written in our constitution “ liberal and secularism” become a laughing stock just like recently used by The Honorable Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh koshyari.
It would be fair to say, a large section of mainstream Indian media has surrendered to the might of this government and has bent over backward and has completely forgotten their job to debunk the false, hate-full narrative and questioning the people in power. Instead, it’s going the other way around, by spreading and adding to the hate-full propaganda of this government and “Making it a Gigantic Fort whose foundation has been laid by our dear friend social network” to protect the government from every real issue by keeping them at bay.
What are its consequences?
Well, the consequences are the social engineering of the people to make them believe that the “Esteemed University” is the factory to produce, “Anti-National” students. To make them believe people who protest by giving their earned prestigious award back to the government are some “Award wapsi gang.”
In the Bhima Koregaon case, where 16 people were arrested and are facing criminal prosecution under the UAPA act (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) for allegedly creating a conspiracy for the assassination of our PM Narendra Modi, As a new development in this case serious question has been raised by the report from a US Firm which claims that the evidence has been planted in their computer. But when this incident happened, corporate media portrayed, and painted them as “Urban-Naxal” and now when this news came, they have gone completely silent about it.
A large section of mainstream media create a narrative “A specific narrative, for a specific situation, and to suppress a specific, but an important issue” and do media trial on people speaking against the government JNU, Jamia Milla Islamia students are an example of this. In the anti-CAA protest, the media used its full force in discrediting the protest but did not ask one question to the government about their policies, and last year in, “Tablighi Jamat” incident they tried to give corona a whole communal angle as a result, they got slammed with harsh criticism by many courts.
In, “SSR case” on Riya Chakraborty they did a media trial too, which again got them criticism from courts and it was looking less for the justice of SSR and more to distract a whole country from knowing and asking the real questions to the government for 5 MONTHS. And now for almost 4-5 years, journalists, reporters or anyone in general for that matter gets death threats, rape threats, and trolls don’t even spare their families, freedom of speech was getting crushed here and there but the social network just stood and let all of those trolls do their work.
But, there is always a “Ray Of Hope” just like in this scenario now in the farmers protest a large section of the public sees this “ruin of a pillar” which we call 4th pillar of democracy and started boycotting mainstream media which is in the favor of government propaganda.
In Farmers protest some youth groups started their newspaper, “Trolley times” and “kartidharti” and the farmers union made their own it cell, youtube page, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter page to take their truth to the people and to oppose the government narrative and “ Godi media” narrative.
This ray of hope lies in people. And as for social media, when it was digging the holes in the foundation of our 4th pillar. It was also making a way for the rise of digital journalism to fight hate, bigotry, and fake propaganda. This new Digital Journalism has fought and is fighting with fake news daily. It is just becoming powerful enough to stand up, and hold the government and its institutions accountable.
So, can this digital journalism re-place the mainstream media in the future?
A section of people think the road is getting tough as the institutions of the government IT & ED raided, “HW news” network and “Newsclick” respectively as these are both small institutes which have openly criticized government again and again, and people sees this as a threat to free journalism but many people have started supporting and trusting and appreciating digital media, and it is even now that the social platforms are even trying to stand to the force of this government.
But it looks like it is too little too late, as recently, the Ministry of Information and Technology released new “ intermediate guidelines” which subtly includes digital media, the Delhi court has also issued a notice regarding this. How this will play is still in the future, and does the people of India will see this threat or not, but one thing is certain some shut eyes are opening.