Media Trial: A Detail Analysis

Media is a word which affects the nations most. The media is the most reliable source of delivering message or information in the fastest way. The citizen trust media and belief in its information. Citizens believe in media whether it is in written form or it is in virtual form. According to the India constitution, every citizen have the fundamental right of “Right to freedom of speech and expression” and this fundamental right also covers the “freedom to press and media “ with some restrictions. Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India said about this fundamental right.

Let’s discuss this topic in detail, now a day’s media emerging as the 4th pillar of democracy. Media play a vital role in making a mindset of the citizen on any facts and circumstances. Media update us about the events. Media is the plural form for medium and involves the collective communication sources or mediums including television, radio, newspaper, internet, social media sites, and various relevant sites and blogs. The main purpose of the media is to deliver information and knowledge.  After having an idea about media and its importance in India. Next question arises is what is media trial? And when it was started? Trial by media or media trial is very popular from 20th century. This word describes the impact of television and newspaper coverage on a person’s reputation by creating a widespread perception of guilt or innocence before or after a verdict in a court of law.

The condition of media trial arise in high-publicity court cases, the media sometimes help the court in approaching the culprit like in case Jessica Lal Murder cases, media on television and newspaper start a campaign name “ No one kills Jessica”. This campaign hits the minds of the people and helps the victim to take justice and find the real culprit, in case of Nitish Katara media help to find the criminal. In some ways, media also help the common people to get justice by making pressure on the high authorities to work properly and frequently like in cases like the Delhi rape case, Kathua Gangrape case. Sometimes the media, make it disastrous, by making wrong judgments only on the basis of facts before the verdict of the court and hamper the reputation of the innocent person example in Arushi Talwar murder case, the media use the head like i.e, yes! It was her parents who killed Arushi’. And this was concluded by them before the verdict of the court. However, CBI during the investigation doesn’t found any evidence against them and the court’s final sentence came after many years.  In the 2002 Godhra riots, our media make Mr. Narendra Modi a culprit before the court judgment and later on the High Court of Gujarat gave him a clean chit from Godhra riots. Their things create a question on the working of media. The media misuses its freedom or overuses its freedom.

The media present itself as the public court and starting giving judgment before the court. In India, the court and the judges have the responsibility and duty to make the judgment and convict the criminal or accuse. The pre-decision by the media, snatch the right of free trial and right to present in the court from accuse. It also violates the maxim “Audi Alteram Partem” means “let the other side be heard as well ”.  

In this era, media is powerful, it makes a change in society. So, it is important to the media to maintain a code of laws and ethics, social responsibility and credibility by not disturb the proceeding of the court. Media can spread awareness on the subject matter and also can find the pieces of evidence and keep it to them until or unless they find the truth. Bare making allegation without any solid evidence leads the case and the innocent person in trouble. In this writing piece, I didn’t try to make any allegation or criticize the media. Media is a vital part of society. At last, I want to say that awareness can save society and can make it better.

Dristy Gupta

Content Writer, Law Corner, BBA LLB, 4th Year, Jamnalal Bajaj School of legal studies, Banasthali Vidyapith, Tonk, Jaipur

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