A Free press stands as one of the great interpreters between the Government and the people. To allow it to be fettered is to fetter over selves. ‘Freedom’ means absence of control, interference or restrictions. Hence, the expression’Freedom of press’ means the right to print and publish without any interference from the state or any other public authority. But this, Freedom, like other freedoms, cannot be absolute but is subject to well known exceptions acknowledge in the public interests, which in India are enumerate in Article. 19 of the constitution.
In the U.S.A., the First Amendment, mentioned above, specifically protects a free press. The view developed by the U.S. Supreme Court is that Freedom of the press includes more than merely saving as the “neutral means of term of information between the people and their elected leaders or as a neutral form of debate”.
What Is Freedom of Press?
The prime purpose of the free press guarantee is regarded as creating a fourth institution outside the government as an additional check on the three official branches:-
It is the primary function of the press to provide comprehensive and object information on all aspects of the country’s social, economic and political life.
The press serves as a powerful solution of power by government officials and as a mean for keeping the elected officials responsible to the people whom they were elected to serve.
In India, freedom of the press is implied from the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Art. 19(1) (a). There is no specific provision ensuring freedom of press as such. The freedom of the press is regarded as a ‘species of which freedom of expression is a genius . Thus, being only a right flowing from the freedom of speech, the freedom of press in India stands on no higher footing than the freedom of speech of a citizen, and the press enjoys no privilege as such distinct from the freedom of the citizen. The Supreme Court had laid emphasis in several cases
On the importance of maintaining freedom of press in a democratic society. The press seeks to advance public interest by publishing facts and opinions without which a independent voters cannot make responsible judgments. Articles and News are published in the press from time to time to expose the weakness of the government. This leads At times to the suppression of the freedom of the press by the government.
Cases Related To Freedom Of Press.
In Express Newspapers v. Union of India In this case the validity of the Working Journalist Act 1955 was challenged. This Act was enacted to regulate conditions of service of persons employed in newspaper industries. The Court held that Act is valid .It is said that press was not immune from laws of general application or ordinary forms of taxation or laws of industrial relations .The Act was passed to improve the service conditions of the women in the newspaper industry and therefore, impose reasonable restriction on the right guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a)
In Bennet Colman and Co. v. Union Of India the validity of the News print Control Order which fixed the maximum number of pages ( 10 pages which a newspaper could published was challenged as a violative of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a) and Article 14 of the constitution. The Supreme Court rejected this contention and approved the “effect” test whether the “effect” of impugned law is to abridge a fundamental right, its object or subject matter will be irreverent
In Romesh Thapper v. State of Madras, a law banning entry and circulation of journal in a state was held to be invalid . The Court Held that that there can be no doubt that freedom of speech and expression includes freedom of propagation of ideas, and that freedom is ensured by the freedom of circulation .A law which authorizes imposition of restrictions on grounds of ‘public safety or the ‘maintenance of public order’ falls outside the scope of the authorized restrictions under clause (2) and therefore void and unconstitutional.
“The more time you spend in India, the more u realizes that the country is one of the world’s greatest wonders-a miracle with the message .And the message is democracy matters”. – Thomas Friedman.
To conclude the freedom of Press has to be protected no doubt but at the same time, the freedom of individual even in the press also to be protected, preserved an any attempt to encroach the freedom of individual has to be prevented.
The ideal situation is that the press should have the self monitoring of their acts / behaviors while dealing with the freedom of individuals, which does not deal with any matter of the public interest.
But in the interest of decency an exception has to be carried out to this rule, that is, the name of a female who has victim of sexual assault, kidnapping, abduction, or a like offence should not be published in the Press that should be strictly taken care off. Because without any of the proper information the if the wrong information is published than the reputations the individual will be violate. So the more emphasis would be given to information related to the women who is affected any kind of the above mention crimes.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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