Mon, Jul 24, 2017 | updated 04:32 AM IST

Information dissemination and the role of citizen

Updated: Dec 30, 2016 12:10 IST      
Information dissemination and the role of citizen

By Shambhavi Ravishankar

New Delhi [India], Dec. 30 (ANI): Journalism faces several challenges to its existence, despite which, it has become an integral part of any functioning democracy today.

The Constitution of India recognises free speech as a fundamental right in Article 19(1)(a), which is one of the strongest sources of protection for journalists.

However, the latest skirmish between government organisations (the police), the press and human rights lawyers raises some serious questions. How much information is too much information to the public? Should secrecy be allowed in situations of extreme delicacy and conflict? What is the role of a journalist? What are the ethics guiding police action? What ethics guide journalism and activists?

These are the questions that recur often, in the debate on how democracies should function. Though one thing remains certain: information is power.

Control over information and its dissemination has always been a contentious issue. We live in a world where communication and information is instant.

Today, control and management of information vis-a-vis the relationship between public and the government, has become more challenging.

A democracy is a relationship based on trust, the breach of which is not only disrespect to the mechanism, but also a threat to the peace that democracy can bring.

People have forgotten times of dictatorship and monarchical control, where justice and equity were ad hoc, being controlled by the whim of a single individual and his supporters. The fight for spreading power to citizenry, and creating checks and balances to the rulers' exercise of power, has spanned centuries. Democracies world over, have thrived because of that recognition that governance is bigger than one individual, or one party or one family of rulers. Dissemination of information has played a huge part in this socio-political reformation.

Having come this far, it is important to recognise that the power struggle continues, with the added twist of more information being in the hands of ordinary citizens than ever before. This raises several issues.

Awareness may have increased, but not full knowledge of affairs. A journalistic piece of five hundred words, can only glean so much information. Citizens therefore have a part to play in this struggle. They must demand impartial reporting, as much as they must demand governmental protection for journalists and activists. The Press Council of India has listed out several Ethics and Principles for journalists to follow, that the government, journalists and activists, as well as citizens must be aware of.

Reporting cannot be sensational just to grab the attention of citizens. Neither can governmental action result in suppressing of reportage and advocacy. Moreover, without cooperation between the government and media houses, how will there by increased awareness of the good done by governmental authorities? The role of the citizen in India, is more imperative than ever. If as citizens, we do not demand varied content, news outlets will reflect only what we want to see/hear. This is a commercial trap that has disastrous results for a democracy. A true impartial check and balance to Governmental excesses will be lost.

Citizens therefore, can be a viable balancing force in the power struggle between the government and journalists/activists/lawyers. It is a loss for citizens, if they do not participate. Citizens will only know what is given to them, which is a mere re-enactment of the pre-democracy era. Citizens must therefore, demand responsible journalism and full protection for journalists and activists. (ANI)

  • Tags

Krishnamoorthi's sleep more important than Azaan, mocks SP

Updated: Jul 24, 2017 04:20 IST     

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], July 24 (ANI): A day after singer-actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi labelled Azaan on loudspeakers 'uncivilised', the Samajwadi Party mocked the former saying her sleep is more important than the prayer.

Full Story >>

SC to hear cow slaughter ban case today

Updated: Jul 24, 2017 02:56 IST     

New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday will hear a plea challenging the Centre's notification prohibiting sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter on the grounds that it violates the right to free trade.

Full Story >>

Delhi HC to hear DDCA defamation case today

Updated: Jul 24, 2017 02:54 IST     

New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): The hearing in the plea by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking recording of evidence in a time-bound, fair, dignified, and bonafide manner in the defamation case against Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) case will continue on Monday.

Full Story >>

ICC Women's WC: Kin of players proud of their daughters

Updated: Jul 24, 2017 02:02 IST     

Mumbai/Moga (Maharashtra/Punjab) [India], July 24 (ANI): Though the India Women's Cricket team could not mark victory in the ICC Women's World Cup final,their families back at their home were seen celebrating their daughters' brilliant performances.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): Though the day was not in favour of the Indian team, they won millions of hearts their tremendous performance throughout the ICC Women's World Cup and inspired more girls to take up sports as career, feel politicos like Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel, while congratulating Team Indian for their performance at the Women's World Cup, said India will achieve new heights in women's cricket in the future.

Full Story >>

Punjab CM offers cricketer Harmanpreet post in Punjab Police

Updated: Jul 23, 2017 23:18 IST     

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], July 23 (ANI): Lauding Punjab's Moga's girl Harmanpreet Kaur for her brilliant performance in ICC Women World Cup tournament, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday offered the star cricketer a post in Punjab Police, if she still desired to join the force.

Full Story >>

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], July 23 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced a cash reward of Rs. 5 lakh for cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur, who had made state proud with her performance in ICC Women World Cup semi-finals.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India],July 23 (ANI): Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday lauded the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) authorities for organising an event for Kargil martyrs, while saying that it was a proud day for every citizen of the country.

Full Story >>

Pranab Mukherjee's advice must be implemented: Cabinet

Updated: Jul 23, 2017 21:05 IST     

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): Union Minister of Steel Choudhary Birendra Singh on Sunday said that what outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee shared in the Parliament during his farewell was based on his experience and must be implemented in the democracy to make the Parliament stronger.

Full Story >>

Kashmir CPM leader Tarigami suffers heart attack

Updated: Jul 23, 2017 20:50 IST     

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Jul 23 (ANI): Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) leader and MLA from Kashmir Kulgam M.Y. Tarigami on Sunday was admitted at a hospital after he suffered a severe heart attack.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): As President Pranab Mukherjee, the 13th president of India, vacates the Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow, making way for his successor President-elect Ram Nath Kovind, Parliamentarians from both the Houses - Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha - gathered at the Central Hall to bid farewell to the outgoing Raisina Hill occupant.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): Commenting on status of the missing 39 Indians in Iraq's Mosul, Minister of State for Ministry of External Affairs V.K. Singh said the Government would not abandon its citizens.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): The Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has urged the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the Government of India to fill the vacant seats in the state's Assembly and Council that have been allocated to the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) constituency so that Islamabad's claim of the territory stands null and void.

Full Story >>

RSS Muslim wing to launch agitation asking Pak to vacate PoK

Updated: Jul 23, 2017 19:33 IST     

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): The Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has said that its Muslim wing, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, will launch a mass movement in Jammu and Kashmir against Pakistan's illegal occupation of Kashmir on August 9.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): After the Uttar Pradesh Government issued a directive to provide toll-free lanes for MLAs, MLCs and MPs at all toll plazas across the state, including the ones on national highways, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma on Sunday said that was a fair decision on the part of the cabinet as all members of the State Assembly and State Council should enjoy the same rights.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): The ongoing protest by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation's (DMRC) non-executive employees was called off on Sunday after all the issues raised by the agitating employees were amicably settled following many rounds of meetings and deliberations with Managing Director Mangu Singh and other senior officials.

Full Story >>

New Delhi[India], July 23 (ANI): Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said the Centre is make all efforts to trace the 39 Indians held captive by terror group ISIS in Mosul since 2014.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): As President Pranab Mukherjee, the 13th president of India, vacates the Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow, making way for his successor President-elect Ram Nath Kovind, Parliamentarians from both the Houses - Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha - gathered at the Central Hall to bid farewell to the outgoing Raisina Hill occupant.

Full Story >>

Aurangabad (Bihar) [India], July 23 (ANI): Raking up a controversy, Aurangabad District Magistrate Kanwal Tanuj has said that those who cannot build a toilet for their wives, should sell them.

Full Story >>