August 10, 2006

Press and influence on society

(Quis custodiet ipsos custodies)
The above phrase roughly translates as"Who will watch the watchdogs"

Newspapers are the watchdogs of the new government. They are what give the individual power over the government and over the various forces he could never fight on his own. They keep the gangsters in control; they keep the policy makers in control. You can tell about the health of any society by the freedom it gives its press. To muzzle them is to muzzle the very idea of democracy being the government of the and by the masses. They play the part of Cerberus who not only protected Hades but also protected from Hades. It keeps the proverbial wolf in the form of unrestrained government from your door.
The best defense for the press is also the best offence against it as when the press loses its flexibility and serves other masters than the people then true rot of society sets in. It is similar to when the watchdog turns and bites the master. The press controlled by the powers that be, is as safe as a match on a powder keg; you know its not going to blow up now but eventually someone is going to get the bright idea of using the match and then all hell breaks loose. I don’t say that our politicians are a pack of ravening wolves but they are no puppies either and should be kept away from all things by which they can hurt both themselves and more importantly those around them. To have the press under government control would defeat the very purpose of the press i.e. that of an independent and unbiased reporter of government action; because if we don’t kid ourselves we know that any other issue is just gravy around the meat of governance.

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