INTRODUCTION: Mass media systems in the world are economically, politically, religiously, and culturally diverse in many societies. There have been limits to what the media may say about the government in nations that followed communism and totalitarianism, such as the former USSR and China. Fear of revolution censored almost everything that was spoken against the State. On the other hand, nearly everything is permitted in countries like the USA with bourgeois democracy.
It is true that the Press is free but subject to certain fair constraints established by the 1950 Constitution of India, as modified, in order to move our outlook towards the Indian perspective and its Parliamentary democracy system (“Constitution”). The government controlled the mass media before the impact of globalization could be seen. It allowed the media only to show what the government wanted the public to see and how it wanted the public to view. However, the situation has undergone a humiliating transformation with the beginning of globalization and privatization.
The communication process was mostly in the form of national media, both public and private in India as well as overseas before the satellites were inaugurated. The result was transnational media such as the satellite supply and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Networks) and advances in communication technologies such as local TV systems, global films, and global information systems.
During such an age of media explosion, certain legal checks and restrictions on transmission and communication are absolutely necessary. We will address the numerous features of the media and their relevant legal controls and bounds at the appropriate time of the present article.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF MASS MEDIA LAWS: Mass media legislation in India has a lengthy history and is heavily entrenched in the British colonial experience. In 1799, Lord Wellesley promulgated the Press Regulations that imposed pre-censorship on children’s journals. The latest regulatory measures were possible. The press law, which mostly abolished the restrictive aspects of previous laws in this regard, was promulgated at the beginning of 1835.
The ‘Press and Registration of Books Act’ was then adopted in 1867 and is still in force now. The “Vernacular Press Act of 1878” was adopted by Governor-General Lord Lytton to enable the Government to stop the printing of texts that were considered to be sedation and inflict severe measures upon printers and publications that we’re unable to comply with. The 1908 Act on Newspapers (Incitation to Offenses), authorized by Lord Minto to take action against the publisher of every journal which was deemed a motivation for revolt, was published in 1908.
The day on which the Constitution came into effect, however, was 26 January 1950 – the most important day in the history of Media Regulation. The Indian colonial experience made it clear that “Freedom of the press” was vital. Such freedom was thus enshrined into the Constitution, which resolved to defend as essential right this ‘freedom of the press’ in order to empower the press to spread information among the population and thus the Constituent Assembly. Although the Indian Constitution does not directly mention press freedom, it seems apparent that press freedom is covered by Article 19(1)(a) in freedom of speech and speech. It should be mentioned, however, that freedom of this type is not total but is, in the interests of the public, characterized by some clearly specified constraints in accordance with Article 19(2).
It should be noted here that Article 19(1)(a) does not only include, cabinet and periodicals but covers brochures, leaflets, manuals, publications of whatever kind provides a vehicle for information and opinion. While press freedom is enshrined as a basic right, we need to deal with several laws governing the many domains of the media in order to comprehend the broad scope of media legislation.
CONCLUSION: One cannot just remain confined to the limits of conventional media in this age of media explosion. By including the widening views of online media and so on, the world of media has enlarged its dimension. As a result, there are also several laws governing them. This article does not cover the whole subject of media law, but it informs a person of the various key laws affecting different branches of media communication, informs him of its rights, and enables him to exercise them in the framework of legislation existing in India and finally promotes the cause of ‘freedom of speech and expression.
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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