In the world of today news-papers have become almost as necessary as food and clothing. This is especially true in the case of the modern educated man, who can not enjoy his morning tea unless he has the morning’s paper before him. The world moves very fast, events happen so quickly in every sphere of life that success is impossible without keeping in dose touch with the latest development. One must be posted upto date if one desires to make any progress.
The primary function of a news-paper as very name suggests, is to provide news of all kinds. The statesman is anxious to know the latest developments in the political sphere, the businessman wants correct information about market conditions, the common man has natural curiosity to learn about almost everything in general.
A successful news-paper caters for all kinds of readers—scientists, sportsmen, cinema-fans, politicians, businessmen, lawyers and jobless workers and youth.
Besides their informative character, news-papers possess a literary value. Articles by well-known writers, commentaries by great men, book reviews by expert critics, all find their way into news-papers. It is a fact, that in addition to the news which has only a passing interest for us, newspapers contain a lot of material of a permanent and lasting value.
News-papers are a very powerful means of propaganda. They form and mould the public opinion. The editorials or leading articles in a news-paper have much effect on its readers who tend to form their opinions in accordance with the ideas expressed there. It is news-papers that enable us to form judgments upon situations or incidents of national importance.
News-papers also serve as a mirror of public opinion because the public can express its views in letters to the editor which are published in the papers and also the reports sent by the reporters throughout the country on various public opinions and matters of interest make news-papers a mouth-piece of the people at large. In this way news-papers create a direct contact between the nation and the leaders.
News-papers provide a great incentive to business by advertising. Advertising in papers had become a great source of boosting the sales of the goods and launching the new products. Matrimonial notices, Situations wanted and vacant and scores of other categories of advertisements appear in the pages of news-papers to make it more interesting and useful.
At the same time the news-papers do a great harm sometimes. If the press does not recognize its duties and responsibilities it can do a lot of harm than good. Instead of giving a moral boost to the readers, sometimes news-papers exploit some soft sentiments of the readers thus resulting in situations like communal tension and undue harming the image of a personality or exploitation of a minor issue for some vested interest. Such news-papers are not sincere to the interests of the nation as they give only the half truths. They mislead people to serve the selfish interests of a section of people.
The press should be free without any restrictions whatsoever but they have also to respect a certain code of conduct and honesty and keep the honour of the country high. The press should be a beacon light of truth and justice, independent and classified from crippling ideologies or party politics.