Mass media is a term given to various sources like print media which includes newspapers, digital media which includes the Internet, and Television which carries information about different issues related to almost all fields which makes it one of the most important and efficient sources of news and information. These Mass Media devices have proved themselves as an efficient source of acquiring statistics and investigating a case or event. A branch of Mass Media i.e., Investigative journalism in modern times has become very crucial for bringing offenses, allegations, and malpractices into the light. Mass media performs various roles in order to investigate and examine the negative as well as the positive consequence of an incident or an event.
ROLE OF MEDIA IN INVESTIGATION
Mass Media in the modern-day context has great relevance to the field of investigation. Here are some of the major points where Mass Media assists in investigation,
1) Mass Media provides a solid source of investigation on specialized issues like business, government, politics, and the like from archives, and records gathered from various sources which facilitate investigations.
2) Interviews, Oral Statements recorded and broadcasted or published on various mass media devices establish a point to concretize a fact which in turn would help in building up a case thereby facilitating the investigation.
3) From the very advent of Mass Media, it has been the most credible source of gathering preliminary information to facilitate an advanced investigation. In many landmark cases of India, mass media has played a pivotal role by establishing important links to support the investigation.
4) Mass media aids in formulating policies and effectively enforcing them. This has made it an adaptable method for procuring data and an effective tool altogether.
5) Investigative journalism which is a conglomeration of Mass Media and Investigation has become very crucial for bringing the allegations, reasons, corruptions and consequences of criminal actions into the light. It promotes good practices in society and enables the parties to face challenges in the consequences of cases.
6) It has also enabled people to develop proper understanding to form their own opinion about a certain case. Mass media has created a huge impact on highlighting some of the most controversial matters, and also encourages people to make their own judgments.
7) Mass media has become an important part of police investigations as it helps investigations with the release of CCTV footage and other similar sources. The broadcasting of criminal trials in recent times has added an extra level of transparency to the overall justice delivery system.
8) Mass media has a very crucial impact on the investigation of any case. The information circulated through the sources of mass media forms the very basis of the investigation of the case. Following are some points to explain the role of mass media in the investigation:
9) Mass media has become an important medium of investigation as it releases CCTV footage which eventually helps the police in their investigation. These footages and other similar things help the justice delivery system.3
10) One of the most important pillars of mass media is ‘Investigative Journalism’ which throws light on the allegations, proofs, and consequences of the case. It is considered very crucial because it promotes good practices.
11) Mass media has the power to create an enormous impact by calling attention to the most controversial and high publicity cases. It gave people a better understanding to form their own opinion about a particular case.
12) Mass media has also helped in advancing the investigation by providing the very base of the investigation i.e., the preliminary information. It has proved its role in the investigation by establishing important links in many controversial cases in India which facilitate any investigation smoothly.
13) Mass media provides a source of information on various issues such as politics, celebrities, business, etc. It has played a pivotal role by providing the information gathered from various sources which helps in the investigation of any particular case.
14) Another important role played by mass media is the interviews and statements published through various platforms of mass media which help in the strengthening of any case thereby helps in the investigation.
MASS MEDIA AND MEDIA TRIALS
When we talk about media trials it means when the media takes a case into its own hands irrespective of the verdict of the court. It describes the impact of mass media (television or newspaper coverage) on the reputation of the accused person. In other words, it is a worldwide perception of the guilt of the person accused. The media creates an opinion and it becomes a widespread perception of guilt. Media trials can become very dirty as they declare the accused as a convict before any judgment of the court. Media trials impact severely on molding the opinion of society and they also can impact the judiciary. Thus, declaring the accused as a convict irrespective of the verdict of the court is considered as a ‘media trial’. Some of the infamous cases which are the prey of media trials are the Jessica Lal murder Case (2010), the Aarushi Talwar Murder Case (2008), and the Sushant Singh Rajput Suicide Case (2020). Media trial happens when cases are of high publicity and due to this, it becomes nearly impossible that the trial of the case to remain fair. Some of the reasons that media trial happens includes when the case involves some celebrity or when the case is so gruesome that the media consider it essential to sensationalize the case.
FAMOUS INDIAN CASES OF MEDIA TRIAL
-SHEENA BORA MURDER CASE
Within the 12 months, in 2012 Indrani Mukerjee become arrested for the homicide of Sheena Bora, the surprising news, at some stage, in this case, become that Sheena become the daughter, now no longer the sister as claimed with the aid of using Indrani Mukerjee. The media highlighted the case or even after her arrest Indrani in no way ordinary that she had kids and become caught to her declaration claiming Sheena as her sister. The homicide additionally delivered into mild the murky economic dealings of Indrani Mukherjee and her husband Peter Mukerjee. They efficaciously manipulated records as a result no path become initiated in opposition to them for three years. The private life of Indrani Mukerjee was pierced with the aid of using the tormenting eyes of the media which paved the manner for clean debate in the homicide trial trouble of the accused. Indrani’s person and personal life, all of the factors which don’t have any ration with the research of the homicide of Sheena had been below the overall public lens of scrutiny thru media. The journalism ethics were once more below the arguable debate way to their meddling with the personal count number of the accused.
–JESSICA LAL MURDER
In 1999, Jessica Lal (version became barmaid) running at some stage in an eating place owned with the aid of using socialite Bona Ramani in Mehrauli, South Delhi, become shot useless with the aid of using Manu Sharma (alias Siddharth Vashisth), son of Congress former Union Minister, Vinod Sharma after Jessica refused to serve liquor to him and his friends. This case right now won media insurance after the homicide while the accused become acquitted with the aid of using the tribunal. This case has become one in all of the maximum instances wherein the popular public stress and media pressured the justice device to require a re-exam of this case. Though Manu Sharma become acquitted, to begin within the 12 months of 2006 due to the fact the Delhi police didn’t maintain the grounds on which they’d constructed up their case after public outcry because of the media insurance of the case, the Delhi Supreme Court sentenced him to imprisonment.
–DELHI RAPE CASE
The brutal gang rape on the night time of sixteen December 2012 of a 23-12 months-antique physiotherapy intern who except being raped become tortured and crushed in very a personal bus inside which she become traveling together with her male friend. Including the driver, and six guys on the bus who raped her and beat her friend. She become admitted to the clinic and after 11 days she become shifted for an emergency to the clinic in Singapore however died after days. Since the legal guidelines in India don’t allow the click to show the call of the game sufferer, the sufferer has come to be extensively referred to as Nirbhaya, meaning “fearless”, and consequently, the girl’s war in opposition to the incident and her demise has come to be an emblem of resistance with the aid of using the girls in the world. This incident infected massive country-wide and global insurance. The incident becomes criticized extensively, each in India in addition to abroad. Thereafter, there had been a couple of protests in severe elements of the united states of America in opposition to the primary and country governments for failing to deliver the right protection for women. Thanks to most outrage within side the media, there had been a couple of amendments in the legal guidelines which include the Juvenile Justice Act, wherein for the heinous crime the age for punishment was decreased to from eighteen to sixteen.
There are severe times wherein the media has been blamed and accused of undertaking the trial of the accused with the aid of using passing the “Verdict” consistent with research earlier than the judgement is long past alongside the Court. It’s vital that the trial ought to be meted out with the aid of using the Court and now no longer the media. The trial with the aid of using the media is in reality an undue interference in the process of transport of justice.
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