Day 92 – Q 4.What role can the media play in strengthening the internal security ecosystem? Suggest.
4. What role can the media play in strengthening the internal security ecosystem? Suggest.
आंतरिक सुरक्षा पारिस्थितिकी तंत्र को मजबूत करने में मीडिया की क्या भूमिका हो सकती है? सुझाव दें।
Internal security, a subset of national security, is concerned with threats and challenges emanating from within a country and has the potential to threaten public order and national security. It has been well documented that mass media poses internal security challenges through various means such as terrorism which makes future of nation uncertain.
“The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power, because they control the minds of the masses.”
- Malcolm X1 , an African American Human Rights Activist.
- India faces intense internal turbulence and disturbances due to rebellion movements, ethnic conflicts and religious fundamentalism. According to the Indian Constitution, “Public Order” and “Police” figure as entries 1 and 2 respectively in the State List in the Seventh Schedule whereas the union or central government can exercise similar powers only in the Union Territories.
- Our Constitution emphasises an active and independent media which is highly maintained on the ideals of freedom of speech and expression as contained in Article 19 of the Indian framework, and which allows the Indian journalists to be spontaneous activists in the overall governance of the country.
- Media role in internal security can be analyzed from the prism of news, views and issues. How it presents them to the populace can help either in strengthening or weakening the basics of internal security. In the globalized world it has to strike a balance between people’s right to know on the one side and national security and social ethics on the other.
- The Indian media also continues to provide channels of communication, helping to educate, inform and exchange information between the public and its Government. Thus, the ability to influence the attitudes and behaviour of countries and their policies has helped the Government to initiate its national strategic goals through an integrated, coordinated and combined media that acts as a tool and channel for information dissemination and enlightenment.
- The mainstream Indian media reflects the distinct differences of its people and thoughts by supporting and catering to two types of media outlets and audience: the English language media and the non-English language media, including various newspapers, magazines and television channels, thereby upholding the difference in expression and perspectives of its multi-cultural population, and showcasing the true essence of India.
- To elaborate on the relation between media and its role in safeguarding national security there are a number of examples where Indian media has portrayed an effective role in providing information to the public, and confirming the actions of the government on the issues of national security. In August 1999, Pakistan Navy’s Naval Air Arm Breguet Atlantique patrol plane was shot down by the Indian Air force for violating Indian air space as it was flying close to the Indian border off the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
- In this case, the Indian media’s support for its country and the timely information that it provided to the domestic and international audience, helped not only the Indian public but also the foreign media grasp the ground situation, which in turn, influenced the judgment of the ICJ against Pakistan.
- Further, many times, the media has brought out the reports of lapses in governments preparedness related to internal security and thus bringing accountability. In India, the media has played a great role in highlighting the issues of human rights violation by security forces, absence of latest arms and technologies with police forces and thus creating a public opinion against such lapses.
- It has helped in building resilience against any kind of efforts by ISIS to spread roots in India by creating a popular opinion against it.
- It has helped by giving a space for the dis-heartened people to vent their anger. This alternative has helped in maintenance of law and order in a great way.
- The Indian media’s role in influencing national and international public opinion by analysing and providing coverage of worldwide events has grown immensely due to the 24×7 concept. It has helped the media and journalists to play a greater role in influencing high level national and international decision-making.
- But, in recent times because of proliferation of news channels and their rivalry with another for TRP instances of yellow journalism, dissemination of unverified news and one sided information by some unscrupulous news channels have emerged. Such actions of media have negative impact on long term internal security.
In the 21st century, the States need to deal with other States and a variety of supranational and Non-State actors. It is, thereby, important that the media and the institutions of security work together to educate the public, to understand the national security policy, and also hold policymakers to account.