Competitive Exams Essay: A Newspaper Is Always A Weapon In Someone's Hands

By a definition given in The Spectator, a British newspaper, the chief role of a newspaper is to spread intelligence. Intelligence may be defined as information, news, especially that related to important events. The importance of newspapers cannot be underestimated in a democracy. They act as watch for the people. They are responsible for enlightening the people about various events and their importance. The role that a newspaper plays as an educator for the people makes it one of the important pillars supporting the super-structure of democracy. That is why press is called the fourth estate along with legislature, the executive and the judiciary.

Newspaper not only informs people about events by reporting them as news but also analyses news and presents it as editorials, comments and lead articles. These analyses are carried by editors and columnists. What they present is their own view point and the way they judge an event, a happening etc. In fact, a newspaper's articles thinking are nothing but the editor's line of thinking. However, this bias is not harmful as long as the objective of the editor or the columnist remains unmotivated by extraneous considerations. For interpreting a fact that is news, a number of viewpoints can be given and there is nothing wrong in a healthy discussion. However, the interpretation and analysis should be done objectively and rationally. The aims should be disseminating knowledge and not propaganda. However, due to various types of pressures and pulls, we find that objectivity and rationality is being compromised by the newspapers and instead they are appearing to become pawns in big games of money and power.

The biggest pressure that newspapers face today is the pressure from the administration. In India the administration holds the life to press by supplying them with concessional newsprint. Also, government notices, circulars and advertisements are important sources of revenue for a newspaper. The administration uses this relation to pressurize newspapers not to print the misdeeds, abuse of power and authority by it. Use of various rules and regulations is made both in peace time and troubled times to harass the newspapers. Another source of pulls and pressures is the big advertisers and businessmen. They are. The biggest source of revenue to the newspapers without which they cannot even run. So, in this way, they are the most important guarantors of newspaper's independence. However, where they try to misuse their clout by pressurizing newspapers into publishing favorable reports and hiding their mis-endeavors and misdeeds, they become a challenge to the integrity of the newspapers. Especially when potential investors read now-a-days, annual reports and financial estimates and take their decisions on that basis, a report in the newspaper may make or mar a company's fortune. So, newspapers may be forced by big businessmen in distorting the facts by their interpretation and explanation.

Today when he has become old, he wants the youngsters to follow the same life, the same values that he did when he was young. Little does he realize that by trying to do so he is trying to fit a man into. a coat and not coat onto a man. So many changes have taken place so fast that the generation of today follows entirely different set of rules from those followed by the generation of yesterday. Today, young men have no time to sit to share small joys and sorrows with others. They are to go to one or may be two jobs in the day. In the evening, they are to go to health club. The night time is party time. In the jet age of today, a man may be taking his breakfast in Delhi and lunch in Cairo and Dinner in New York. When he sits down to rest, he is too tired to know what others are up to. The result is that he is unable to cultivate relationships. He becomes lonely in the vast concrete jungles of the cities. Loneliness and lack of love may drive a man towards drug and alcohol, in fact, in alcoholism has taken alarming proportions.

The result of such a rapid pace of modernization is that while old people are finding it difficult to adjust to the changed life style, the young people are unable to accede to the old people's demand. Today, a young man doesn't go to the old for solving some problem, he has no value for their advice and wisdom. He thinks that money can solve everything. Money has become a deciding factor in his relationships. He thinks that if he has money, he will have all the pleasures. Sadly, he is not always true and when he realizes his mistake, it is usually too late.

The children are the worst sufferers of the ills of modernization. The childhood may be spent in material fulfillment but emotional. Deprivation. I hey thus develop a distorted personal they grow in an emotional vacuum. They learn about the hard facts of life outside world and do not even realize that there is much beyond the mad race in the modern world.

It is not that modernization has no positive aspects. In fact, the forces of change has broken the fetters of decay and chain of irrational, cruel and obscurantist customs. Today, a modern young man believes in reason, rationality, justice, fair play and equality. For him, religious fundamentalism, casteism have no value. Talent and merit are the only deciding factor for finding a man's worth. He refuses to accept anything out of blind faith. In fact, democracy and secularism is being sustained by the forces of modernization only.

The process of modernization cannot be stopped or reversed. In fact, any attempt to do so would be suicidal for the human civilization. What is important is that we learn to reduce the negative impacts of modernization and instead try to reap maximum benefit out of it. Also, it is important that we learn to adjust to the changing realities. It becomes the duty of the young people to try to balance the needs of the time and the demands of the old. Also, it is for the old persons to see that they do not impose their own value system upon the young. Above all our faith in the higher human values and ethics must not weaken.