Politicized Media Hindrance Towards Freedom
Scope for investment in the media has been provided with the guarantee that they will not be forcefully closed for political or any other reasons by the government. Hence, the number of newspapers, magazines, TV stations and FM radios stations has increased, both with foreign and domestic investments. Apart from commercial media there are also political media. That is those financed and run by various political parties and individual politicians. And of course, the Government media, as before, also exist. Each of these types of media, are used news and views of benefit to the respective controller's or investor's respective interests.
Their role has had the benefit of providing different and at times opposing messages, enabling the consumers to make choices. To some extent, skepticism among the media-consumers of the news and views provided has also been discerned, especially due to partisan presentations.
Due to costly and lengthy litigation process in the world, acts of willful defamation and character assassinations of individuals by some media sources have also tended not be checked. Media may be able to play that role, if and when freedom, is achieved. But currently not the commercial and independent media, but politicized media seems to be more of a hindrance in achieving national consensus leading towards democracy.
A Scholar Dr. Misras said " As I understand enhanced capacity of any media is necessary to initiate or seek changes in the existing political relation. A nation divided, dependent, and with dubious politicians is not in any position to recommend any such changes. Except, of course, it's concerned citizens can try to use the "weapons of the weak", by appeals for justice, fairness, and redress from the adverse effects of politics to create favorable world opinion. And for the long run, collective efforts to reduce vulnerability must be attempted, as well as remove other forms of national deficiencies.
In a protracted violence or a violence of attrition of this kind, all means are used by both sides. The means are by not limited to arms, but also infiltrations into other civil organizations, and the media to create favorable public and international opinion. Infiltrations and use of existing members (by monetary incentives, blackmail or threats) to create dissension and discord among the perceived "enemy camp" or among those who may form alliance to take a stand against one's side is also the part of the game.
Negotiations and dialogues can also be used tactically in one's favor to buy time to strengthen ones logistics and financial capabilities, as well as elevating one's status or legitimacy to win.
They seem to accept "words" as they are presented. As it is said: "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". So the people may even recommend or advise, but it is we, who may have to suffer the consequences of such advises. This can also apply to politics. In any case, externally imposed or delivered "artificial freedom", may not be genuine and may not be lasting or sustainable.
The time factor is very important. Time for honest negotiation can only arrive when the warring factions realize, the futility of such wars. And many people have already said this much number of times. No warring side stops to think, until it confronts formidable opposition and resistance forcing them to look for alternatives.
Misras said "The rapid expansion of the area of operation of the violent groups, have been attributed to the fact that they had not met any serious resistance, ideologically or otherwise. Hence, they have no reason to doubt their dogmas, activities, strategies, and tactics. However, the major political parties have not as yet tried to resist the violence, ideologically or by mobilizing the people or assisting the communities that have begun to resist the violent groups.
The violent groups do not have the unilateral power or freedom to make all the decisions by way of response to agencies trying to address them in isolation. So at present, favorable time or condition and even the realistic approach of the people for genuine dialogue and negotiations does exist.
Such opportune time and condition can only exist, when formidable resistance from all sides is met by the media and their mentors are made to realize the futility of their violence. The productive role of the International Community or the UN could be in facilitating, at all levels the emergence of such opportune time and condition. Then and only then, perhaps their mediating role will be productive and meaningful, if at all necessary then.
Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup specializes in in-depth reporting and writing on peace, anti-war, women, terrorism, democracy, and development. Some of her publications are: Women's Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal (booklets); Prevention of Trafficking in Women Through Media, (book); Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (media research). She has also written two collections of stories. Sarup's interests include international conflict resolution, cross-cultural communication, philosophy, feminism, political, socio-economic and literature. Her current plans are to move on to humanitarian work in conflict areas in the near future. She also is experienced in organizational and community development. A meeting of jury members held on March 21, 2007 in Geneva decided to honor Sarup, with an Honorable Mention International Award for reporting on women's issues. http://www.mediaforfreedom.com