May 3 is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day. It is also a day to introspect and take stock of where press freedoms are located in a vastly globalized world. The attacks on the media the world over have grown in myriad ways including in advanced democracies. Freedom of the press has been subject to growing conservatism and increasing corporatlzation of the industry itself. The extraneous and internal pressures have distorted the notion of a free press today.
While job insecurities have grown so have the attacks on press freedoms seen an exponential rise. India doesn’t fare too well in this regard, ranking 150 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Sans Frontieres. Journalists have been incarcerated under draconian laws for flimsy reasons and on some occasions faced threat to their lives as well from self styled custodians of law in the social media space. Freedom of the press is integral to the functioning of a vibrant democracy. The media has to come together to reclaim its role towards realisation of this objective.
Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Club of India & Press Association.