ROLE OF MEDIA IN INTERNAL SECURITY CHALLENGES

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Any communication channel through which any kind of information, news, entertainment,
education, data, promotional messages etc. can be disseminated is called media.
Mass media refers to communication devices, which can be used to communicate and interact
with a large number of audiences in different languages. Be it the pictorial messages of the
early ages, or the high-technology media that are available today, mass media has become an
inseparable part of our lives. Media can be broadly classified as:
• Print Media (newspapers, magazines, books and Brochures, Billboards, etc.)
• Electronic Media (news websites, social networking sites, mass SMS schemes, television,
internet, radio, cinema etc.)
• New Age Media (Mobile Phones, Computers, Internet, Electronic Books)

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Where Media is Misleading? – Threat to Internal Security
• Indian media does not have a wider perspective of India’s national security issues.
• Indian media is in no mood to apply brakes or observe self-restraint on its wayward and
insensitive treatment of national security issues.
• Indian media’s (especially electronic media) analysis and over-analysis of national security
issues by groups of former diplomats, generals and academia’s arm chair strategists distort
national security perspectives. All these gentlemen can only draw on their outdated
experience and none of them are privy to latest inputs. Also in many cases, reticence is
their first casualty after retirement.
• Indian TV anchors discussing national security issues do not have the political and strategic
maturity to discuss national security issues as their Western counter-parts do.
• Indian TV debates on national security issues tend to cut out development of contrary
views and perspectives by imposing commercial breaks, or go hectoring themselves.

For a country like India, the backbone of its democracy and the propagator of its national
interests remains the access to information and expression. It helps citizens to make
responsible and objective choices, to promote accountability by its officials, to provide solutions
to conflict resolution, and also to encourage diverse views of its diverse people. This access of
information has allowed the Indian media to play the role of watchdog that holds the
Government accountable in all its activities, and also functions as the only mode of expression
for its people.

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The role of media in a democracy like India, therefore, can be summed up as to:
• Inform and educate people objectively, impartially and in an unbiased manner about
security threats and challenges
• Unbiased reporting with the restraints of self regulations
• Promotion of the principles of healthy democracy
• Respect for the Constitutional Provisions
• To build a bridge between people and governments at the national level
• Uphold fairness, justice, national unity and international cooperation
• Inform, educate, entertain, publicize and most importantly correct the excesses in any
society.
• Highlight the trouble spots in the society and press the government and public to devise
suitable mechanisms to eliminate them
• Shape the perceptions of government, influence public opinion, promote democracy, good
governance as well as influence peoples’ behavior and support people- oriented policies
Following the globalization, the responsibilities of media have also widened. It has to play a role
for preserving and pursuing the national interests of the state and highlighting its perspective
along with the global issues. It has to examine the conduct of international relations and again
to highlight the trouble spot at global level in lieu of global security.

“The internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history. (…) It is a source for
tremendous good and potentially dreadful evil, and we are only just beginning to witness its
impact on the world stage.”

  • Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google and Jared Cohen,
    Director, Google Ideas