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Pte 70 Score Essay on “Write a Critical Account of the Newspapers and Popular Magazines Produced in your Country”.

Write a Critical Account of the Newspapers and Popular Magazines Produced in your Country.

In a democratic country, every aspect of the popular press is constantly under review by parliament and the general public, ownership, management, political shade, production method and freedom under the law are factors perpetually in dispute. This essay attempts to comment on the press in Britain. It excludes the multiplicity of learned and technical journals which cover every imaginable private interest ranging from theology to karate, from motor cars to bee-keeping. These are not controversial.

In Britain newspapers are privately owned by wealthy individuals or consortia. Foreigners are free to buy in. Australians such as Rupert Murdoch own several nationals; however, any attempt by one person or group to buy an excessive number of titles would be denounced in the House of Commons and probably be brought before the Monopolies Commission. The government neither owns nor controls the press. Hence the freedom of the press remains a jealously guarded privilege. How therefore is the situation saved from the irresponsible individual?

Language. English, French, Russian, German and Italian are international languages. They have the capability of dealing with modern technology. English has been taught for decades in schools all over the world as the second and sometimes the first language. Politics may dictate that English is given less prominence. However, trade, industry and technology nowadays demand two=way travel, and a lingua franca is essential. So to preserve the national language it is necessary for schools to give both it and the international language about equal prominence. Dress. Clothes which are native to a country have evolved in relation both to climate and to artistic tradition. It is tempting for both men and women to adopt foreign styles imported by those who visit or settle for commercial and industrial reasons. International fashion affects choice of dress, particularly among young people. In a free country it may be wrong to dictate what people shall wear. However styles can be heavily influenced by the personal choice of prominent men and women. It would be a great loss if all countries assimilated to the styles traditionally worn either in the West or the Eastern bloc.

Social customs. These are most easily lost. Traditions in respect of births, marriages, deaths, agricultural festivals, attainment of manhood and womanhood and all other indigenous customs must be maintained if a country’s culture is to be preserved. Again, this requires the help of government by way of positive encouragement in the shape of leadership and the granting of paid holidays or time off work without loss of income.

Arts and crafts. In developing countries there is often a strong input of foreign consumer goods. Every country has its own indigenous products, ranging from household utensils to clothing, sandals shoes, leather and goods, pottery, pictures etc. Despite balance of trade requirements there must be some control over imports of consumer goods and encouragement to continue buying goods of local manufacture. This may mean government subsidies to keep cottage industry financially viable. The continued production of all these items is crucial to the preservation of a country’s culture.

Way of life. The traditional roles of men and women are always threatened by the working hours demanded by imported industry and commerce. The agriculture-based work-cycle is easily lost in the five-day nine-to-five working week required when labor is transferred from the land to the factory or office. So also is traditional village housing when new housing is built near the major work places. Inevitably a new Westernized pattern involving shared household duties is imposed and when traditional male and female domestic roles are modified by the new job requirements. Little can be done about this. The upgraded status of women has come to stay.

Religious observance. Enlightened governments always ensure religious freedom and declare national -holidays so that the major festivals of all religions may be observed. Taken in aggregate, this free time may be excessive and compromises may have to be reached. Whatever one’s personal faith there is little doubt that strong religious conviction continues to exert a beneficial social effect. The bad features of Western culture, the break-up of family life, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, resulting in AIDS, and crime and anti-social behavior can be blamed, at least partially, on the breakdown of religious faith.

Literature, music and drama. It goes without saying that governments should encourage the support of all three, if necessary by financial subsidies. They all contribute to the richness of indigenous culture.

In peacetime, basically by a body called the Press Council. The government or the individual can complain about unfair reporting, the disturbance of personal privacy by journalists, sacrilege, immorality and other abuses. Editors usually take note of this body. The laws of libel of course apply.. Material sensitive to national security can be stopped by legal injunctions, sometimes at the order of the Speaker of the House of Commons. In wartime, sensitive material is banned by a ‘D Notice’. Otherwise editors can print material which they know will result in libel suits, and sometimes do so. Circulation benefits offset court damages.

The powerful unions, SOGAT and the NUJ, have hitherto controlled not only printing methods, but also to some extent editorial attitudes, but recently their power has been broken. Fleet Street in London had been hidebound by overmanning and antique printing methods. Rupert Murdoch set up a modern establishment in Wapping, north of the River Thames, and manned his printing works behind barbed wire by non-union labor. Thus he remained viable financially and was free in his editorial comment. Violent picketing continued for a year, but Murdoch set a trend which is being followed by other nationals. His methods were unpopular, but they were direct and effective.

Newspapers in Britain are subdivided among major national dailies and local papers. Evening papers are on sale actually from 10 a.m. and are aimed at commuters. Many provincial papers are weeklies, and sell on local news combined with some national comment.

The national dailies and Sunday papers, with their color magazines, all have a political bias, based in the paper’s history and tradition. These range from Communist papers such as the Star, to right-wing dailies such as the Express and the Sun, so that – every shade of opinion is catered for. Such a wide spectrum gives the public a wide choice. In most cases their reporting is fair and factual, though naturally their political interpretations of both home and foreign affairs vary widely. All, including the establishment dailies, the Times and the Telegraphs compete for circulation in various ways. Many run competitions and games of chance. Some seek exclusives to increase sales. The gutter press prints. soft-sex photographs and goes in for lurid reporting. All contain news, sport, politics, leaders, features, letters and advertising. At about 25 they are mostly good value for money.

Apart from technical journals, magazines in general have lost their hold on the British public because they were largely pictorial. The television has overtaken them. However, women’s magazines are as popular as ever. They range from the intellectual — feminist to the establishment social scene to the traditionally bland and non-controversial women’s interest types of periodical.


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