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Investigating Journalism: A Parallel Conundrum of Legality and morality

Author: Adyasha Mishra, Student, University Law College, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, India

Abstract

A flourishing democratic regime thrives with the aid of a vigilant media and its associated journalistic endeavours. Unbiased reporting and fair coverage of the diverse happenings beyond territorial and peripheral limitations are the twin handmaids at the disposal of a perfectly functioning governance structure which largely relies on the media houses for uncovering of truth and its delivery to the public. In the majority of cases, the media intervenes and paves way for uncovering of true stories behind the drape of actual happenings and thereby accelerates the process of justice delivery. However, few instances of heavy media interference have at times resulted in unwarranted persecution of an accused in the eyes of public who succumb to the vendetta driven reportage even before they are factually investigated. Public alienation and condemning without the backing of judicial validity often results in societal alienation of individuals way before they are convicted of any wrongdoing. The glare of media is no doubt essential, but its scrutiny must be limited to an extent in certain areas of investigation. Vigorous media coverage and information delivery is a boon in the present world but usurpation and unperturbed exploitation of its position to vilify and assign criminality without following the due process so prescribed might be the bane we all need to be aware against. This paper seeks to explore the consequences of such media trials, taking into consideration various contemporary and decided cases, where public judgment influenced by extensive media coverage, affected the outcomes, whether in a positive or negative light and the remedial measures that could be adopted against the persuasive trails by news agencies.


Keywords: Vigilant media, unbiased reporting, fair coverage, vilify, unwarranted persecution.

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