In the world of today, newspapers have become almost as necessary as food and clothing. They are the most powerful media of mass communication. The morning newspaper, today, has become almost indispensable. A modern educated man cannot enjoy his morning cup of tea unless he has the morning’s newspaper before him. The spread of education has created a very large reading public in every country and every educated person finds his newspaper a daily necessity. Thus newspapers play a key role in the life of modern man.
The primary function of a newspaper is to provide news of all kinds. Local, national and international events are reported in a newspaper. Newspapers inform the public of the policies and programmes of the government. They carry news and articles on politics, science, religion, sports, commerce and trade. There are news items for politicians, lawyers, businessmen, sportsmen and job-seekers in them. Thus a successful newspaper satisfies all kinds of readers like politicians, scientists, cinema fans, sportsmen, businessmen, lawyers and jobless workers.
Newspapers provide a great incentive to business. We get up-to-date market positions from newspaper. Dealings at the stock exchanges, level of prices, news about manufactured articles, rates of gold and silver and other commodities are published in them. Various types of advertisements are published in the newspapers and magazines. Advertisements of the sale and purchase of cars, houses and plots of land are found in them. Thus newspapers bring together the buyers and sellers, employers and employee, lost children and those searching for them. Matrimonial notices, job vacancies and a score of other categories of advertisements appear in modern newspapers.
Newspapers possess literary value. They are very powerful means of propaganda. They form and mould public opinion. A common can express his view and ideas very easily through the sections of complaints and letters. Burning problems are reflected in the complaint section and also in the editorials. The national leaders convey their message to the people through the newspapers. Thus newspapers create direct contact between the rulers and the ruled.
Newspapers play an important role in educating the people. The news reports and their interpretations given by the papers can influence the thinking of the common man. So, newspapers have got a responsibility to give the news correctly. Often people form their opinions from what they read in papers. So, newspapers should report news in such a way as to educate the nation and to help in the growth of the nation. Social evils can be eliminated to a great extent through newspapers. Newspapers have made the world smaller. They tell people what is happening in other parts of the world.
Newspaper should be impartial in nature. The press in the modern world does not sufficiently recognize its duties and responsibilities. Newspapers are the only source for getting news and views correctly. They can also misguide the masses. Distorted news can cause agitations, strikes and communal riots. In the name of freedom of speech, newspapers cannot publish absurd things which will disturb the peace of the nation. Thus a good newspaper shouldn’t serve party, a set or a group of people, but the whole nation.