Free Press: Fundamental Component Of Effective Democracy
Sparsh Sharma, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
In simple terms freedom of press can be defined as the freedom to print and publish what one pleases, without prior permission. A free press is very essential for the proper functioning of a democracy. It serves as a powerful obstacle to any abuse of power by government. The importance conferred to freedom of the press can be contemplated from the fact that in contemporary times it is called the fourth pillar of a democratic government. According to the Indian Press Commission, “Democracy can thrive not only under the vigilant eye of its Legislature, but also under the care and guidance of public opinion and the press is par excellence, the vehicle through which opinion can become articulate.”
This shows that freedom of press has an essential role in the success of a democracy. It is necessary to note that freedom of press does not find any explicit mentioning in the Indian Constitution, however it is implied under Art. 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.