In almost every country there are laws regulating the content of films, videos and books and newspaper. Should the media be controlled in the way? What are the benefits and risks of censorship?
Every country has a censor board that controls media and regulates their content in the interest of the citizens and the nations. Even in democratic countries where people and media enjoy freedom of expression, some regulation of this freedom is still there. Mass media can be very influential to the public.
Newspapers publish news daily and give constant updates on the internet on which people rely for information. Hence newspapers have to exercise caution in writing news and expressing opinions, for they can easily mould people’s thinking and sentiments on various subjects. Over-exaggeration or blatant truths can upset the readers. Newspapers have to be particularly careful in seeing that there is no exaggeration of truths or misinformation that can lead to gossip and rumours. Such propensity to rumours can be facilitated due to social media websites.
Film producers often take up social issues, historical happenings, mythological or fictional stories in order to entertain or educate the public. They also like to toy with national or international events or issues. The censor board needs to review the content of such films and all other films to ensure that they will not provoke or incense the public over any matter.
Individuals and celebrities have a right to privacy but often films or documentaries are made on their lives or achievements. Such individuals can appeal to the censor board if they feel their social respect or image is being compromised with.
Videos are made for the purpose of entertainment and circulated on media. These videos that are made by individuals or professionals must have the sanction of the censor board for anything offensive or vulgar or causing disrepute to an individual, society, culture, nation or cause will not be excused or condoned.
Often dilemma arises as to how much content should be published or how much truth facts about any matter can be revealed. The public on the other hand has the right to gain complete truth or information about any event or matter. It is in such situations that the censor board can appear as too controlling.
Finally it can be concluded that some control or regulation over media is desirable in the larger interests of the public or nation. Some news or posts that deem provocative can lead to social unrest or provoke debate and conflict among the readers.