They provide the information that enables a free citizenry to make the choices of who governs them and how, and ensures that those who govern will remain accountable to those who put them there.
It is the media’s job to look critically at elected officials’ actions (or inaction), rather than at marginalia that have no impact on the public welfare.
Instead, the media’s obsession with the superficial and the sensational trivialises public discourse, abdicates the watchdog responsibility that must be exercised by free media in a democracy, and distracts the public from the real questions of accountability with which the governed must confront the government.
The free press is both the mortar that binds together the bricks of our country’s freedom, and the open window embedded in those bricks. No Indian democrat would call for censorship, or for controls on the free press: what we want is not less journalism, but better journalism.
Government needs a free and professional media to keep it honest and efficient, to serve as both mirror and scalpel.