“Our liberty depends on the freedom of press, and that cannot be limited without being lost”
– Thomas Jefferson
Trials, a word which we generally associate with courts and judicial procedures, and is defined as “a formal examination of evidence by a judge, typically before a jury,in order to decide guilt in case of criminal or civil proceedings”. Nowadays we see this word or term “Media Trial in India” creating a havoc in the society. For many it’s new but it’s there in our society since the “freedom of press” was born. The Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression is provided in Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. It is believed that Freedom of Speech and Expression in Article 19 of the Indian constitution include freedom of the press. Freedom of expression enables one to express one’s own voices as well as those of others.
Media Trial in India is a phrase popular in the late 20th century and early 21st century to describe the impact of television and newspaper coverage on a person’s reputation by creating a widespread perception of guilt or innocence before, or after, a verdict in a court of law. Criticism is good when done in a healthy manner. Freedom of speech does not give you freedom to spread hate.
Whenever we’re looking for facts of some particular case we go to websites or take help from the news channels; but what if the news channels and websites show or print
What Media Want to Make Believe People?
Instead of having a free mind to think and propagate what people should and want to, they’ll fall in the trap of opinions of such renowned reporters. That’s exactly what news channels are doing these days, they form a loop of one view and successfully establish it in the minds of their followers and viewers. “Open journalism”, “free press” are some terms these media houses use to hide their biasness. Not only they make views about a certain issue, they also use statements to grab the attention of the viewers, and these statements are more absurd than actually being catchy.
Not only Media houses but social Medias like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have also become the means of spreading hatred for something in particular. Constant wars of different opinions are common nowadays as people like to give judgements even before the case goes for actual trial in the court. This difference in opinions can be sorted by a normal conversation but takes an ugly turn when people start using foul languages.
How Rhea Chakraborty is plagued by Media Trial in India?
All of us recently witnessed how Rhea Chakraborty, who’s accused of facilitating drugs, went through the harsh media trial in India. Every statement given by her was made a joke and all her private WhatsApp chats were published in the media whether it’s Instagram or the big private news channels. Her choice of clothes became the hot topic of discussion. Hashtags which were trending for SSR for the justice suddenly took sharp turn towards Rhea. #justiceforssr suddenly became #kill #rape #destroyrhea.
People shamelessly gave her rape threats and called her ‘vishkanya’ for doing black magic in Sushant’s house, this came as a big impact on all the Bengali girls. People started trolling Bengali girls for knowing the black magic. While Rhea was taken to the NCB office for investigation news reporters invaded her private space, touched her without permission and violated the rules of social distancing in the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19. When Rhea Chakraborty got arrested for the drug dealing by NCB, people celebrated it and called it “triumph over the evil”. Not only this, people even made songs over Rhea Chakraborty in which they openly slut shamed her and nobody bothered to come forward as a feminist or even for the human rights. All thanks to our Media which can do absolutely anything to gain TRP whether it’s defaming someone or to questioning someone’s identity.
There are a lot of examples to show how cruel can this Media and news channels get, from Aarushi murder case to sting operations every point and every example speaks for itself about how people are interested in giving their judgements even before the actual judges pass their orders.
Their love for free journalism can prove to be really helpful for common people if they start spending time to research every aspect of a case and not only a single perspective or view. If appreciating our government is necessary so criticizing it should be given importance too. Calling secular activists as gangs shows how rotten the mentality is and how narrow these minds are.
Instead of stopping at a single case for months news channels should cover every prospect of the country, from falling economy to rising COVID-19 cases. Every voice should be heard evenly and everyone should be given equal importance in media trial in India.