“We the people.” In a democary is the bedrock
“We the people.” Are the opening words in Every constitution of a democracy ,
Allow me to illustrate this claim by posting images that I have sourced from searching google.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
From the most populous to the most powerful, opening words are common, not just that similarity continues the same people are conspicuously missing in the scheme of things of most nations , India in particular. Media is frequently referred to as the fourth pillar of the democracy. Is this a fact or fiction, time we had a close look at this construct. Why has media been called the fourth pillar when the constitution of all democracies only speak of Legislative, Executive & judiciary. If media was indeed the fourth pillar of a democracy then it shud have found mention in the constitution, it role and responsibilities and accountability would have been clearly defined as is the case with Legislative, Executive & judiciary, Next obvious question is how did we reach this term. What were the circumstances, reasons, advantages etc etc. answer was not difficult to search knocked on the door of google chacha (Uncle) and the answer was ready “If Burke is excluded, other candidates for coining the term are Henry Brougham speaking in Parliament in 1823 or 1824 and Thomas Macaulay in an essay of 1828 reviewing Hallam’s Constitutional History: “The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm.” The only difference is instead of fourth pillar it was estate. Since that time what has change and how much.
How and when did media replace the people in a democracy? Why were the people relegated and replaced by media, guess it’s time people reasserted their right and reclaimed the space that rightfully belongs to the people in a democracy.
during the Independence movement freedom fighter, and prominent member of the society took to publishing their thoughts thru the medium of newspapers, However post Independence, some well meaning, some moneyed individuals started newspaper publications, these soon became business ventures for some while other continued to view this as community service. Gradually Television made it’s appearance and there after it was a free for all and free fall. People were totally ignored, society did not matter any longer. It was profit & profit alone which dictated the news broadcast, type of reportage, in the 2000 we witnessed viciousness of unparalleled proportions, which caused widespread disgust for media and media persons. Every constitution of a democracy begins with “We the people.” In democracies of today the most important element “We the people.” Is missing. Legislators care for their fraternity, judiciary is zealously guarding it’s turf, the executive speaks selectively, media is extremely aggressive and vocal, voices of the masses “We the people.” Have no takers, No one is paying heed to what the people desire, wish and want. Rules and procedures are thrown at them, while the other four rule the roost. Lets return our focus to media which deserves a lot of attention since it’s nuisance value is 10 on a scale of 0 to10. Proximity to power centers has rubbed off on the media persons who have become a law onto themselves. One individual occupying the post of editor decides, what is news worthy instead the order in which the news item must be published/broadcast, this individual does not any longer insists on views of the reporter be excluded from the reportage, this leads to confusion with the casual consumer of news who are unable to segregate news from views. This is leading to a situation where we have more of fiction and less of facts in the news these days. Urgent need to correct both condition. 1 why shud a single individual decide what qualifies as news?, 2. Why shud the views of the reporter be accepted as news and not one’s personal opinion.
How do we correct this situation. In my opinion the way forward is #SoJo
It will bring “we the people” back in focus, the genuine fourth pillar of democracy will come into play. This will curtail the power of the individual occupying the post of editor. Reporters will not be able to pass off their opinion as news. Technology will assist us in selecting the best available audio visual content, grammar check will be performed by a software thereby removing the errors that impact the value of text content, ability to create content in one’s own language and the same being consumed in the preferred language of the consumer has a tremendous advantage and extensive reach, opens up the entire world audiences for SoJo instead of the narrow limited readership/viewership of publications/channel as we see today.
Will be be permitted this Let us insert “We the SoJo”as the bedrock in a democratized media
Let me conclude by posting a collage of images posted on twitter by some users. this is not the handiwork of the media. this is SoJo at work
CREDIT FOR IMAGES: GOOGLE, TWITTER
VIDEO: SURESH n @SURNELL