This article seeks to examine two distinct facets of media performance: the degree to which they function as a representative forum for public opinion and the degree to which they carry out a “watchdog” role by disseminating information.
An attempt has been made to highlight the media’s contribution to India’s democracy through this article. The article emphasizes how important media is as a tool for fostering political, social, economic, and cultural democracy in a country.


Democracy is defined as “a form of government in which every citizen of a nation chooses and elects their representatives.” The Bengal Gazette’s debut in 1780 marked the beginning of media, and since then, it has advanced to new heights. It has been greatly influencing how people think and what they believe. In today’s globe, democracy is a widely accepted political concept. A truly democratic system must include the preservation and freedom of human rights, the supremacy of the constitution, and fair and free elections as prerequisites.

Access to information is crucial for a democratic nation, as is the ability to read and write freely in order to uncover the truth, promote individuals’ self-actualization and growth, and encourage their participation in the political process. Stated differently, democracy is commonly perceived as a type of governance that is subject to the will of the people. It guarantees that people act rationally and intelligently rather than irrationally or based on false information. Furthermore, information fulfills a “checking function” by guaranteeing that people in positions of authority respect their oaths of office and carry out the will of the electorate. 


  • Access to information is crucial for a democratic nation, promoting truth, self-actualization, and political participation. Democracy ensures rational, intelligent actions, and information serves as a “checking function” to ensure authority figures respect their oaths and electorate’s will.
  • The media plays a crucial role in shaping public opinion and acting as a public forum. It provides information on urgent social problems, mediates between citizens and the state, facilitates debate on major issues, and informs the public about leaders. A good democracy is a broadly legitimated regime that fully satisfy  its citizens. The media also promotes social values and environmental protection through programs like beti bachao, beti padhao, and swach Bharat. It also provides aid in adverse circumstances and ensures fair access to the airwaves during elections.
  • Media freedom significantly impacts social, legal, political, economic, and cultural factors. In countries with government interference, people are less informed about political issues and corruption. Media extracts information, making corrupt officials’ lives tough. In countries without government interference, people participate more in governance and can punish corrupt politicians. Free media reports government actions, allowing people to decide if they are right or wrong.
  • Free media plays a crucial role in enhancing voter turnout, as it helps people gather information about political leaders and parties. Lack of information leads to voter disinterest and inaction, resulting in either voting in darkness or choosing not to vote. Media contributes to transparency, publicity, and accountability, which strengthen democracy by making facts available to the public and making them accessible.
  • Indian society once believed women were weaker due to patriarchal values and gender discrimination. This led to gender-based violence and crime. Media, through television dramas, animated news packages, radio documentary, and persuasive films, raised awareness about these issues. The government used media to eliminate social evils and bring positive change. The media, as an unbiased informer, educated, mentored, and guarded the public, promoting equality and strengthening democracy in India.
  • Media plays a crucial role in shaping a healthy democracy, reminding politicians of their promises during elections and encouraging illiteracy. It serves as a mirror, reflecting the bare truth and harsh realities of life, and serves as the backbone of a democratic system.


Brij Bhushan V. State of Delhi; The Supreme Court of India ruled  that freedom of speech and expression in India is guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) and encompasses freedom of the press, print media, and electronic media. Anyone who violates or infringes upon the rights of the media may file a complaint with the Supreme Court under Article 32 and the High Court under Article 226. 

Indian Express Newspaper v. Union of India (1985), a case that ensured press freedom from government constant interference through circulation. 

Romesh Thaper V. State of Madras: Patanjali Sastri Justice noted that freedom of speech and expression encompassed the dissemination of ideas, which is guaranteed by freedom of circulation. By bringing up significant issues like poverty, corruption, caste-based discrimination, and election transparency that might never be discussed or addressed in public, the media serves as a crucial accountability mechanism. Additionally, it encourages the government to implement social and public policy. “A free press is the best assurance of a free society, and its survival is largely dependent upon it.” 

Md.Ajmal Amir Kasab V. State of Maharashtra was held there was a risk of terrorist assistance from live broadcasts. Therefore, it is crucial that the media operate impartially and without favoring any one party over another. 


Watergate Scandal (1972–1974): President Richard Nixon resigned as a result of The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigative journalism exposing the Watergate scandal. This instance shows how the media can expose wrongdoing and make authorities answerable.

Panama Papers (2016): The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) conducted an investigation into the use of offshore tax havens by wealthy individuals and corporations as a means of concealing their wealth. Several countries changed their policies as a result of the revelations, causing political backlash.

Arab Spring (2010–2012): Through promoting information, coordinating protests, and facilitating communication, social media was instrumental in the Arab Spring. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were crucial in getting the public involved and capturing evidence of government repression.

Media coverage of the #MeToo movement (2017-present): Media scope of the #MeToo development brought broad consideration to issues of sexual harassment and assault, driving to critical social and approach changes. 


Press freedom should be used with the utmost safety, meaning that no attempt should be made by the media to raise awareness about a topic that could lead to a violation, protest, or serious attack. To protect democracy or the media’s status as the fourth pillar of democracy, it must be independent and operate without bias or influence from any political party, association, or business. The freedom of the press is granted to the media; however, Article 19(2) imposes reasonable limitations, prohibiting the publication or portrayal of any material that could sway public opinion. 


1. Is there any restrictions on media as it has freedom of speech and expression?

Yes, along with the freedom of speech and expression, the media is restricted under Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution.

2. Can media be termed as a pillar of democracy?

Generally we see that media is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy along with other three pillars such as legislature, executive and judiciary.

3. Is media helping democracy?

Media is playing an important part in the democratic country like India and will continue to play an important part of the democracy by pointing out the wrong and making leaders and other people in authority accountable.



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