Media Frenzy

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By M.C. Linthoingambee

Democracy is marked widely in India in its media format through the essence of freedom of press and freedom of expression. Even the Constitution serves as a guide to the general media and there are other general legislations which call for the same attention towards guiding the general mass media. It is almost frantically preposterous to think that all such happenings shall go blindfolded without media outreach for the public. Mass Media has a dynamic role in making the world a better place where we can know about what is happening in any part of the world with the simple click of a button. All geared up and ready to go, or are we really? With the Lok Sabha Elections 2014 just a few steps away from our doors, the media is  bound to become a stronghold in making these elections a grand success.

This year in the prime ministerial candidate list, Narendra Modi the BJP candidate surely goes on headlines almost every day with a current remark on the Godra Riots being a shadow statement. Some say he is the man for the job and some just simply disapprove of him. But the wave is surely coming in with all eyes on him hoping that he does become the Prime Minister who will change India for the better. As per a source, it has been said that: “it is not a hidden fact that Modi has carefully worked on creating his public profile after the taint of the Godhra riots in which 1,200 people, mostly Muslims, died, as he knew that the road to 7 Race Course Road was not easy? From here on, Brand Modi was created successfully through the new and old media. In the social media, Modi already is a brand. On Twitter, he has over 3.5 million followers, while on Facebook over 11 million people like his profile”.One cannot simply continue to engage in the way old traditional media with the coming of the cyber media. Without realizing, almost 90 per cent of the real youth are engaged in the art of social media with the coming of Facebook, Twitter and for other times Whats App plays a similar effect. This is the present scenario.

In swaying a change in general in way to approach the general people referring to media, sometimes facts are often exaggerated in order to make a thing look good or bad. Is the media being fair in view of the political decisions around the country? Can we expect the media to remain unbiased for the upcoming elections? But at the end of the day, we look forward to news that tells us what is right and wrong and who should the vote go to? The news needs to be relevant to the masses who want information and not predictions.  The new and fresh election season is upon us slowly sweeping change and the return to an apparent status quo both underscored the changing mood of the Indian electorate. With the awestruck entrance of the AAP in the general elections and there impressive record breaking performances we never know what to expect tomorrow. It has been said that “Spending in social media will be strictly monitored by the poll panel,” Assistant Chief Electoral Officer in West Bengal Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said while addressing a media workshop. This year the Election Commission has also covered a bigger picture by keeping accounts of election spending on social media by tracking their records. With a chartered plan to follow a close watch on social media networks the spending of the political parties on these sites would be strictly monitored.

With the number of variant steps going its different paths to make this election a success a fair share of steps committing to the election has also been taken up in Manipur. Recently on March 15, Chief Electoral Officer Manipur O Nabakishore had called upon media houses of the State to facilitate healthy debates among candidates of the Lok Sabha election on public issues. The workshop was at Manipur Press Club which was jointly organized by AIR Imphal, Regional News Unit and the office of the CEO. Speaking on the day of the inauguration titled “The role of public broadcasters in election with refe- rence to Lok Sabha election 2014’ he spoke on how media can help make decisions on making a certain person casts votes at their favorable candidates. There has been vehement request not to follow the outflow of paid news where a certain candidate pays a certain news agency for good publication of himself in the news. This is a wrong action, media should encourage the publication of the right set of news so that our decisions on the day of the election do not go baseless but are bearded with long term significances. Joint CEO N Prabin also noted the significance of updated list of persons to be enrolled for various electoral roll with confirmation that around 1,20,000 people have not been enrolled in the electoral roll even though they are fully eligible and the mention of deceased persons still in the list can turn as a major black sheep theory in deciding the faith of the upcoming elections.

What is fair to the people? It is the original news in its true form without the mixture of gossips and rumors. This role is an honor and the media takes this job very seriously. Let us put our faith on mass media during this round of corner so that true facts are not concealed if they can help in making our country a little better than before.

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