The recent onslaught of digital communication which has taken over the world by storm may have put its humble predecessor, the modest ‘newspaper’ pale in comparison but the fact remains that peoplewho are passionate about their information gathering, still hold the paper as a cherished experience, as relevant to their daily lives as their morning cup of tea. India, till accounts to one of the largest consumption of newspapers in the world with over 100 million copies sold on a daily basis.
Newspapers, along with its digital counterpart ‘e-newspapers’ are a breakthrough in the humdrum of our lives as they help us to connect with the world beyond our regular spectrum and know about events that are shaping the world on a macro and micro level. As a chronicle and as anencyclopaedia in miniature, newspapers not only function by disseminating information nut also provide opportunities, stimulate interest, and excite passions. They help to shape thinking and mould ideologies and are such a potent tool in the hands of society and rightly called the ‘Fourth Estate’, the fourth pillar in the hierarchy of importance to a nation after legislature, executive and judiciary.
Nosingle person goes through each and every column of the paper barring a select few. For the rest, however it is link with the major event shaping the world. It allows them to skim over the affairs within their state, country and the world and help to keep them abreast and match their pace with the needs of a cultivated society.
There is a lot to write about its use starting from the information it disseminates to spread awareness, to the tone it assumes to shape ideologies, to the vocabulary and syntactical structure which helps to mould language skills, to the advertisements which bring latest trends to limelight, to keeping a person abreast with the current trends in politics, sports, current affairs, economy, entertainment, trade and commerce and laws of the land.
The use of newspaper in the lives of a student, a regular office-goer, a farmer, an elderly person, a housewife, a politician, a business man, an industrialist, a job-seeker, a matrimonial alliance seeker cannot be under-stated. Newspapers have the power to collectively rouse the conscience of the people by bringing to their attention the injustices meted out in the world. Events, which are completely outside a common man’sorbit are made a part of his world, through the written words of a paper. How the world at large is moving ahead and what consequence the fall out of the actions in remote distant lands shall have on the price of petrol or on the climate is brought to the common man’s realisation through this humble piece of paper.
The government’s proposed next step in the field of taxation, education, legal matters,economic, banking and health sectors are all brought within the gamut of our awareness, thanks to this invention. The advertisements printed in these papers help to reach out to make a difference in the lives of millions.
However, like all other sectors, newspapers are also subject to biasness and distortion of facts to suit vested interests. Incidents are rampant in which the print media has highlighted warped perception of news and enflamed communal hatred or indulged in gossip mongering or printed fake news leading to public humiliation without verifying their sources or given leverage to powerful people for spreading fabricated information. It is best then to use our prudence and wisdom while being guided by the news and views of particular paper and form a more rounded opinion, based on verification of facts.