Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

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Freedom of Press and Justice Katju

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Freedom of Press and Justice Katju
 
Justice Markandey Katju is making a very relevant point about the behaviour of 
media. The media has been taking more interest in trivial issues that entertain 
the elite like the Formula 1 race or trivia about Bollywood personalities. It has 
by and large ignored serious issues like conflicts, adverse impact of 
globalization on the large sections of Indian people, corporate greed and 
corruption, etc. If Media is non-entertaining, it is covering issues that catch 
the fancy of Middle-class like the disproportionate coverage given to Anna 
Hazare Movement for days without end as if there were no other issues concerning 
the people of India. 
 
With the menace of paid news, ordinary readers are not able to make any difference
between news and advertisements and readers gulp down the disinformation of an 
advertisement planted by motivated and interested parties as if it is news and 
independent opinion or carefully verified facts that are being reported. Thus 
corporate elements, powerful institutions and rich personalities claim a 
largely disproportionate space within media leaving no or little space for human 
interest stories and information about health issues, education, extent of and 
causes of poverty. Even in such stories, the perspective is largely uppercaste, 
upperclass north Indian Male perspective masquerading as patriotism and 
nationalism.
Their coverage of conflicts is not free from bias, in fact it strengthens biases 
and prejudices against the minorities, dalits and women. Media’s role in fanning 
communal conflicts has been criticized by a number of Inquiry Commissions.
 
The Editors and publishers of the media are ganging up against Justice Katju in 
the name of freedom of press to guard their financial interests and defend their 
misdemeanors.
 
Justice Katju needs to be supported on his bold stand. Let us all stand up for 
him and support him to clean the mess within media even while supporting freedom 
of press.
 
Irfan Engineer,
Director, Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.
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Author: Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

We work for peace and conflict resolution through peace courses, education and awareness. Our Aims are: •To study about the diversity in the society and making everyone aware of it. •To bring about policy change whereby promoting rights of the marginalized groups mentioned above. •To create democratic spaces in educational institutions, communities and public life on the whole through debates and reflection. •To encourage the discourse on peace education and human rights.

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