Throughout the history, Indian media remained mostly independent. It was used as a mouthpiece and spokesperson of the government, the only time was during the emergency but after the end of the emergency era, the media emerged as an even stronger unbiased industry. Still media is a very strong industry, which performs very vital role in government policies; it has a role in major decisions by any companies or government. Globalization had its set of impacts on the Indian media. The media had now restructured itself as a full-fledged industry and had in some way compromised on the role of social service which it had donned since decades. In the over obsessive hunt for TRPs, higher viewer-ship and readership ratings, credible and commendable content took a backseat.
(Croteau & Hoynes, 2006) In the public sphere model audiences are seen as citizens who are encouraged by media messages to learn about their world. The public interest is served through the presence of “diverse, substantive, and innovative content, even if not always popular” (Croteau & Hoynes, 2001, p.37). As the market economy cannot ensure that the public interest is served, regulations are needed to protect the public interest. Diversity refers to different levels. On the level of the media market it refers to the presence of different media channels, on the level of channel it refers to the presence of different types of programs, and on the level of content it refers to the presence of different points of view on issues. All types of diversity are important to serve the public interest. They ensure that the interests of different audiences are addressed. Media in public sphere model, according to Croteau & Hoynes (2001), should be characterized by diversity, innovation, substance and independence. Innovation means creative and fresh content rather than the presence of new technologies. Substantial media messages are those that address significant issues, educate audiences, and promote participation in social life. To meet the fourth criterion, content should be independent from corporate and governmental interests. Government and other organizations should not limit the range of presented perspectives on issues.
2.1 Media Education
(INDYER, 2014) According to Jacob Srampickal and Leela Joseph (2002) ‘Media Education is an attempt at making media users critically conscious of the impact of media on their lives, in order to enable them to become creative users of the media. It may be defined as a process of education by which people become aware of the ways in which the various media influence their thinking, affect their value system and change society. As a result, they become critical and discerning receivers of media messages capable of demanding quality media programs and even creating their own media. They are thus able to respond intelligently to media creations and manipulations.’
Why Media Education?
The child of 21st century is born in a multi-media culture. He/she does not only depend on old means of mass media for his/her information as he/she wakes up checking their e-mails, receiving current news from the facebook, goes onto the World Wide Web to check the news of the day. Thus, before he/she is out of his/her bedroom, he/she knows what is happening around their environment in particular and the world in general. In another development, the school or a college, which was considered and also accepted as the second means of socialization, competes with the various media including all social media. The digital media have taken this role. This is contrary to those days’ system when one was dependant on the newspaper in the early morning, the radio and television at night to get news and other types of entertainment around his/her environment of relevance as well as news on international issues.
Roxana Morduchowicz (2008) says: ‘The media and information technologies have become a place for today’s youth – sometimes, the only place that speaks about them and to them.’ He contends that understanding how the media represent reality and tell us about what is going on can put people in a better position to participate, act and make decisions. He therefore observes that the challenge of today’s schools is to recognize that knowledge is spread and circulates in new ways. He is of the view that with Gutenberg, in the 15th century, we say that society moved from oral to written culture. In the 20th century, we took the giant step from the culture of words to images. Now, in the 21st century, we have taken the next step, from linear reading to simultaneous perception.
Generally adolescents live in a different cultural experience from their elders, with new ways of perceiving, feeling, listening and seeing. These dimensions must not be skipped over in media education.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes the importance of the media in children’s and young people’s development. The media is seen as playing a crucial role in shaping societal attitudes towards children’s rights, equipping children with information central to their wellbeing in a child friendly environment, and soliciting youth’s views on matters that affect them. However, through the production of their own media, youth can be empowered to tell their stories about the issues that they see as most important, and to share these with the world. Producing media is a way for youth to creatively engage with their society, their family, their friends, themselves. It allows them to create their own media representations, and to become aware of the ethical responsibilities of their media messages.’