Contemporary media, be it in print or digital form is often accused to be under-reporting some of the legitimate issues which can also be categorized as social concerns. It’s in conflict with the role of a watchdog that media is asked to perform by our constitution. For the very raison d’être that many problematic issues in our society go unnoticed, India is finding cumbersome to evolve into a developed society even after 60 years of sovereign rule. Here are top 10 genuine issues in India which need more media attention:
One of the most concerning topics that media should extensively cover is that of climate change. The subject in itself is commanding enough to plant noticeable effects on day-to-day lives of billions of people worldwide. The underlying reason for the troubling scenario can be attributed to the human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. Bulk of public comprehends little about the issue of climate change/global warming and gets embroiled in factual (and narrative) distortions released by the non-committal parties. Hence, to refute the off beam planted by the wrong-doers, media needs to take hold of the situation and raise restrained claims of alarmism.
For the media’s selective coverage of many of the corruption related issues, the credibility of the fourth pillar of democracy has taken a hit off late. Though, it’s to the credit of media houses (involving digital and print) that issues such as 2G spectrum and coal-gate came in public domain but for its softening stand against many of the incumbent ministers and political leaders of high stature, many other corruption related issues were swept under the carpet for perpetuity. Our media needs to be more pre-emptive and outspoken on corruption issues and learn to take stand against the high-ranking corrupt.
To encourage victims of domestic violence to report such heinous crimes to the police, media has to empower every citizen with its awareness campaigns. It’s highly saddening to find under-reporting of such incidents in newspapers and digital media. For the perpetrators of crime to be booked under the penal code, media needs to share responsibility.
Dissimilar to other countries, Indians keep hygiene related issues at bay. Keeping streets and our ambiance clean and tidy should be the prime-motto of ours and media in particular can make it happen in reality through its campaigns on cleanliness. Already, news channels under Information & Broadcasting Ministry do it regularly but media in the private control should also share the responsibility.
Untouchability and caste based discriminations are deeply rooted in our culture. Although, national constitution legally abolished the rampant social evil, the prejudice is far from having left the national shores. The problem is all the more widespread in rural regions where dominant castes use it as a medium to maintain their strong hold on the society. It is one of the most genuine issues that should be addressed by media so that the caste based bigotry can be cast out completely.
The fourth pillar of Indian democracy that was established as a watchdog to keep track of the activities of legislature and executive should also fearlessly bring forth the issues where the people in its own fraternity are involved in paid journalism or creating paid-propagandas for their masters. Not only it’s the duty of media to corner such system-crashers but also make general public aware of such incongruities existing in the fraternity of watchdogs, so that people could think twice before following manufactured opinions.
The subsequent issue goes most under-mentioned in our media despite such cases being reported almost every day in the police registers. Most of the women (even educated) in the country are still unaware about the fact that Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill has become a law this year. Therefore, media should raise awareness about the issue so that they can approach right authority to report their grievances and protect themselves from further harassment. Bringing right information to the doorstep of each and every woman regarding the matter can solve thousands of problems which otherwise go unreported with culprits remaining off the hook.
There are numerous start-ups which are taking full-fledged shapes in the different corners of the country. It’s the duty of media to provide them proper recognition in the society as they can generate a lot of employment for the considerable set of unemployed youth in the country. For the sick employment numbers proffered by National Sample Survey and Planning Commission at regular intervals, to hope that the public sector units which are themselves under huge economic anxiety will employ every unemployed youth in the country is a full-size fallacy. Media should provide such startups a platform, where they can tap in seeding funds through Private Equity or Venture Capital route and employ youth of the country.
Deliberate killing of the female babies has shaped up as a malaise that has gone unchecked for years to take up a draconian form now. This has grown more on the backing of illegal pre-natal determination tests provided by corrupt medics. It’s for our media to sincerely work on the issue as time is not far when the sex ratio of the nation would be imbalanced completely beyond any immediate repair. Media should expose such incidents more and make fraudulent medics accountable. Also, to kill the disturbing behavior and patriarchal cultural context, media should carry out awareness programs. Parents who believe in investing only on the best bet (son) and ignore the rest (daughters) only add to population of the nation, even if they aren’t killing the innocent girl child.
Dissemination of awareness against the repercussions of dowry is a big time social evil for India. Been in place for decades now, it resists against its uprooting with complete authority that it has gained over the years for our timid response towards the iniquity. It’s for the media in particular to organize and mobilize students against the problem. Media can raise its voice for bringing about requisite reforms by lobbying at various levels of government. And, it can only be affected if media pays more heed.