MĀRGA

DAKSH is delighted to announce the launch of our new initiative ‘MĀRGA’ – Media And its Role in Governance and Accountability. As part of this initiative, DAKSH will examine the role of the media in governance and accountability, and explore avenues to deepen democracy through strengthening the role played by the media.

The idea of MĀRGA arose from a realisation that the quality of media reporting on the functioning of the justice system and other public institutions has a direct bearing on the level of public trust in these institutions. This in turn affects the manner in which the public engage with such institutions or approach them when required. It is imperative that the media be provided sufficient freedom to report on the functioning of such institutions to hold them accountable to the society. The balancing of such freedom with the responsibility it carries needs a recognition of the symbiotic relationship between the institutions in fulfilling their roles.

IN THIS REGARD, UNDER MĀRGA, DAKSH WILL WORK ON THE FOLLOWING AREAS:

  • The manner in which the media can improve its reporting on the justice system and other public institutions.
  • The nature of specialised training required for media practitioners in this area.
  • The mode through which interaction by the media with such institutions could be made structured, reliable, and timely.
  • Building a community of practice to share ideas, experiences, and best practices
INITIATIVES AS PART OF MĀRGA:
    • DAKSH announced the launch of MĀRGA on Republic Day, 2021 through an inaugural discussion on the media’s relationship with the law and justice system. The panellists for the discussion were Hon’ble Justice Rajiv Shakdher, Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel, Apruva Vishwanath, and Harish Narasappa, with Surya Prakash B.S. as the moderator.

    • DAKSH organised a webinar focussed on media coverage of law enforcement agencies and interaction between the two institutions on 26 February 2021.The webinar discussed how the relationship between these institutions has evolved and how they can develop mutual respect while advancing the fair administration of justice.
    • DAKSH organised a discussion titled ‘Over the Top: Rules for digital media’ at the Bangalore International Centre on 19 March 2021. The speakers discussed the recently notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 to regulate digital content. They discussed the need for and nature of these regulations. The focus was on whether these reforms align the benefits of social media platforms with the welfare of citizens, while protecting the right to free speech and expression.
    • DAKSH has entered into a collaboration with the National School of Journalism and Public Discourse (NSoJ). As part of this collaboration, the organisations have published articles on legal actions taken against dissenterscustodial deaths, and cases against Bihar’s politicians.