The Role of Newspapers
Essay No. 01
It is not wrong to say that newspaper has become omnipotent to a great extent. It is no longer merely a piece of paper carrying some news but a powerful mass media and a mighty force having all pervasive sway. Today it is custodian of truth and a sentry of human rights and liberties. It spreads ideas, educates the masses, comments on government activities and checks the rulers from being autocrats.
A newspaper has become our staple diet. It keeps us in touch with our country and the world and happenings in the world of politics, sports, business and what not. It helps the, consumers and the producers with the advertisements and keeps a tab on the economy health. Sports enthusiasts get their daily dose of sports. A newspaper has something -or the other for every strata of life. No subject, under the sun, remains untouched and like the sun it reaches everywhere.
Whatever happens in any part of the world is reported through the newspaper. That way the world has truly shrunk. The newspaper has boosted internationalism.
The newspaper is the spokesman of human conscience. It keeps the authorities on their toes. It is an ever watchful sentinel of public morality. In a way it keeps checks and balances on each and everything.
If the newspaper is not honest it can disinform and create dissensions. Partisan press is dangerous. Even today it has not become ideal because of the pressure from big houses and the government. So a neutral and objective press is indispensable. Public must help in keeping this mirror of society clean. Press must follow codes of conduct to remain reliable, honest and trustworthy. The press is mightier than Presidents and Prime Ministers in the modern world. It can make and unmake leaders. To be sensational it has no business to stoop low and place codes of conduct on the shelf. An editor must be a man of integrity. A newspaper is a mirror. It should show things as they are and no distortion whatsoever.
Essay No. 02
Role of Newspaper
“Newspaper is today considered as a powerful source of knowledge, a vigorous critic of government actions, a social reformer, drawing the attention of public towards the maladies and abuses prevalent in the society, as the champion of freedom, justice, as the best tool of communication and so exercises a tremendous influence on the minds of public.”
Newspaper is the greatest and the most useful gift received by man with the invention of the printing press. A newspaper keeps a man fruitfully busy. It keeps in touch with all that is happening in the world. It is a powerful mass-media and a mighty force. It is the custodian of truth and sentinel of human rights and liberty. It propagates ideas and philosophies, comments upon them, criticizes governments, peoples and their activities. It is a powerful organ of public opinion. That is why the freedom of press means a freedom to the masses. In the words of H. Greelay :
Then hail the Press ! Chosen guardian of Freedom !
Strong sword – arm of justice ! Bright Sunbeam of truth !
Newspapers have a large part to play in providing us with the latest on the national and international front. During the period of a war newspaper provides an hour to hour report of the war front. Newspapers do not only inform us; they even instruct as well as help us to form our opinion on important issues. The leading articles appearing in the newspapers or their editorials created an awareness regarding the CTBT or about the Pokhran nuclear test, or the environmental pollution. We hear about these matters but newspapers through articles by the specialists on the subject educate us, enlighten us.
Newspaper have become a part and parcel of our daily life. A newspaper provides us all kinds of news about our own country and about foreign countries. A reader of newspapers remains in touch with public affairs. The newspaper educates him in many branches of knowledge and fetches him with a lot of information. Knowledge is developed by reading a newspaper. One can know about all the new discoveries and inventions. It also tells what their rights are how they can protect them. Many newspapers have started columns like help desk which rescue the individual sufferers solve their problems by highlighting their grievances and problems. Newspaper have also become very important from the point of view of students for whom the question papers, guess papers for an academic and competitive exams are being supplied through the newspapers.
During election period, the newspaper plays fundamental role by publishing the bio-data of candidates, merits, demerits of the candidates. Criminal cases filed against the candidates etc. which creates awakening among the general people about the candidates to whom they are planning to vote. India is a developing nation where 70% of the population live in villages, where the facilities of TV, internet, and other means of communications are beyond the reach of common people so the newspaper are the only source of ‘news’ and knowledge of common mass. It is from the newspaper, the villagers and enlightened to the political, social, economical events happening in our country and throughout the world.
Abuses of Newspapers:
The newspapers have so far traveled a long journey of about 350 years, yet it is not looked upon a source of perfectly authentic news or information. Prejudiced or willful perversion of news, or favoritism to a peculiar group or party have seen in the news published in several newspaper thus creates a doubt of the truthfulness of the news. Many capitalists hold some newspapers, many news published in such newspaper are not impartial and thus brings about biased attitude and induces the mass to rely on something wrong. In the name of freedom of press, some newspaper, blackmail the innocent corporate, public in their own interest. And where there is no freedom of press then newspapers become as tools of propaganda in the hands of governments. The press then is nothing more than a pile of lies.
But despite all the weaknesses of journalism, newspapers it can be concluded very well that if honestly seen, impartially worked, it is one of the potential tools to enlighten the people, to look into the wrongs done by government, to make the people aware to their rights. An impartial and fearless “Press” is the basic need for success of a democracy.
Therefore, It is rightly said by William Cowper “Thou god, our idolatry the press Boy thee, religion, liberty and laws Exert their influence, and advance their cause.”