Introduction: Press includes print media i.e. newspapers and magazines . Freedom of press denotes an atmosphere in which media-professionals like journalists, reporters, correspondents, editors and columnists can work and publish what is true and fact without fear or any threat. Freedom of press is an important precondition of a democratic and free society. In most countries of the world, freedom of press is guaranteed by the constitution.
Meaning and scope: As an important means of public media, newspaper holds and exerts immense influence on people. Freedom of press means newspapers can print news and views without being censored or barred by any authority. When press enjoys freedom, it indicates that the press can publish news and opinions on any issues without facing any restrictions and prohibitions. But it does not mean that this freedom is absolute and arbitrary. Newspaper cannot publish whatever they wish, rather they should publish things that are constructive for the society or the country and should refrain from publishing any propaganda or biased news and any thing that can harm society or the state. So press must realize the meaning of the scope of its freedom, otherwise their power can turn into an instrument of great public harm and damage.
Necessity of freedom of press: Press is called the fourth pillar of a state. And newspapers are called people’s parliament. Newspapers and journals give us current picture of life, of things happening every moment. Today right to information is considered one of the fundamental rights of a civilized society and free flow of information is also vital for building a corruption free, accountable and transparent society. Newspapers or press serve people with providing information.Hence their freedom is necessary in order to keep people informed of the affairs
going around. Otherwise people remain in the dark and in that case, confusion, corruption and abuse of power hold firm in the society.
Obstacles to its freedom: Realizing the far reaching impact of freedom of press and now it can pose a big challenge to abuses of power, corruption and monopoly or vested interests of any group, power- holders, despotic government, dishonest politicians or businessmen deny press of its freedom and whenever press becomes threat to their narrow party or personal interest, they attempt to stop its voice.So, an undemocratic society, a despotic or tyrannical ruler, monopolized corporate,or dishonest politicians all create obstacles to freedom of press because they see
the freedom of press as destructive to their uninterrupted misdeeds and wickedness.
Ensuring freedom of press: Freedom of press is the emblem of a civilized and enlightened society. Only a true pro-people government can ensure freedom of press.However, there should be a monitoring body to ensure both the proper use of this freedom and also to see that this freedom is not misused. Press should be prevented from publishing baseless, false and yellow news. They cannot publish distorted and fictive news and cannot harm any person or institution by attacking them on an ill-motivated interest. So Govt. must ensure freedom of press at the same time its proper and positive use for the country and the countrymen.
Conclusion: A free press plays the role of a watchdog in society or country. Their influence is great, so their role is also immense. And that is why freedom of press is also necessary in order to know what is right, what is true and fair. Only a free press can ensure people’s access to information and help to build a well-informed, transparent and accountable society. Press, for its part, as a conscientious body of the society, should not misuse its freedom.