Chief Justice DY Chandrachud warned against fake news, said – a bigger threat to democracy
New Delhi. Warning of the dangers of fake news in the digital age, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Wednesday said such news can create tension between different communities. Along with this, he said that fake news can also pose a threat to democratic values. He was addressing the Ramnath Goenka Award function here as the chief guest. On the issue of ‘media trial’ (debate in the media), he said that many times it has happened that the media has projected the accused as guilty in the eyes of the public even before the verdict of the court. He said that every institution is facing challenges and journalism has its own challenges.
Chief Justice Chandrachud said, ‘Fake news is a serious threat to the freedom and fairness of the press in the present society. It is the collective responsibility of the journalists as well as the stakeholders to keep away any bias or prejudice during the process of reporting… Fake news can mislead millions of people at a go and it will be against the fundamental principles of democracy that underlie our existence Builds the foundation of.
Responsible journalism is the engine leading democracy towards a better future.
Justice Chandrachud termed responsible journalism as the engine that takes democracy towards a better future. He said, ‘Responsible journalism works like an engine that takes democracy towards a better tomorrow. In the digital age, it is more important than ever that journalists do accurate, fair, responsible and fearless journalism.
Referring to the Emergency era when the Indian Express newspaper had left the editorial page blank, Chief Justice Chandrachud said it was a reminder of how powerful silence can be.
Press freedom is necessary for the country
Justice Chandrachud emphasized, ‘A functioning and healthy democracy always encourages the development of journalism as an institution which can ask tough questions to institutions or in simple language can ‘tell truth to power’. The dynamism of any democracy is compromised when the press is prevented from doing so. For the country to remain democratic, the press should remain free.
The Chief Justice said that it was a fearful time, but at the same time it was also a fearless time for the rise of fearless journalism. Justice Chandrachud said that 25 June 1975 was an important moment in our history. “A declaration (of emergency) defined and redefined our notions of freedom and threats to it, and also how vulnerable it could be…,” he said.
Justice Chandrachud said that there is a need to bridge the gap between truth and falsehood. He said, ‘Fake news has the potential to create tension between communities, therefore it is putting our democratic values at risk.’
The Chief Justice said that journalists and lawyers (or judges like them) have some things in common. He said that both believe that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. He said, ‘If democracy is to remain in the country, then the press has to be free. Newspapers have historically been a catalyst for social and political change.
Talk was also kept on Me Too movement
Referring to the ‘MeToo Movement’, a campaign started from America against sexual harassment, he said, ‘MeToo had an impact on the whole world and it was an important event in history. Media coverage of the Jyoti and Nirbhaya rapes by some people in Delhi in India resulted in mass protests and subsequent criminal law reforms.
Justice Chandrachud said, ‘As a citizen it is possible that we may not agree with the stand adopted by the journalists or the conclusions drawn. I also disagree with many journalists. After all, who is it that agrees with everyone? But disagreement should not turn into hatred and hatred should not be allowed to turn into violence.
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Tags: fake news, Justice DY Chandrachud
FIRST PUBLISHED : March 22, 2023, 23:51 IST