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The role of newspapers
The press furnished not only politico-economic facts but picturises social scenes. The power of the press is felt on all activities. It controls the rise and fall of kings, cabinets and presidents. Once an editor said, "I care not who governs the country so long as I can govern the press. The press has rightly been called the "fourth estate". Such an influential organ has to shoulder great responsibilities. The power, unless used with great care will cause severe damage.
The first and foremost duty of the pres is to furnish uncoloured news. But at the same time it should furnish news on all fields such as science, economics, politics, etc. The news should not be suppressed. Nor should undue emphasis be laid. Some sensational newspapers now a days print unimportant and trivial news in the front page, while world wide important news is not given place in the first page.
Another great responsibility of the press is to represent public opinion without fear or favour. As the press is called the eyes and ears of the world, it has to keep an eye on what happens and reflect views of the people on those happenings. The press is a medium not only to give news to the public but to express the public opinion. The letters of the public men published under 'Letters to the Editor' or 'your views', etc. initiate a debate on a controversial issue. It will help definitely bring out the best of it. Thus the press is not only a mirror of what the people think, but it is also a school of instruction, a source of guidance to the common people. Journalists have to throw light on the significance of the problems facing their country. The average reader is not intelligent enough to form correct opinions. So he looks the press.
The press has to keep itself free from party politics. If the press is under the complete control of political parties a civil war may result. The worst example of the abuse of press was seen in the Nazi German pres under Dr.Goebbels. When the press of a country follows sectional or narrow interests, disaster follows.
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