Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “Role of the Newspapers” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “Role of the Newspapers” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Passages with Solved Precis

The production and distribution of the modern popular newspaper, which reckons its readers by the million, entails a vast expenditure of money and an elaborate business organization such as only highly capitalised firms can afford. The intense competition for the pennies of the vast reading public and for the patronage of advertisers has caused newspapers with insufficient financial backing to be eliminated or absorbed by their stronger rivals. The result is that most of the popular press is in the hands of one or other of the great newspaper combines.

In judging the value of the news provided and the opinions expressed in the average popular newspapers, these are the first facts to be taken into consideration, the running of a newspaper is a business in the hands of private enterprise; being a business it must be made to pay its way; and its policy must be to maintain and, if possible, to expand its circle of readers, for only in this way can it continue to attract advertisements, without the revenue from which wide distribution would not be possible at a cost that the humblest pocket could afford. These economic and other circumstances that govern the publication of a newspaper with a wide appeal, therefore, greatly affect the methods of presenting news and comments.

People are naturally suggestible to constant reiteration of the same statement. The use of this device to advocate a particular policy in one daily newspaper mayor may not be successful. But a reader may see the same statement repeated, not perhaps in so many words in an evening paper also and in several provincial papers; and if he is not aware that all these papers may be Oontrolled by the same syndicate, he may be tempted to conclude that he has seen separate and independent testimonies to the truth of the statement.

One common journalistic device in the popular press is the short pithy and arresting headline. This in itself may have a suggestive influence. The fact that it is printed in bold type gives an impression of weighty importance. The reader is meant to assume that it gives a reliable clue to the core of the news printed below it. They busy or lazy reader often goes no further, or carries away with him nothing more than this ready-made summary. Even the more careful reader is sometimes tempted to do little more than read the headlines, for frequently after he has read a couple of short paragraphs of the news text, his attention is distracted to something else. The headline, the short paragraph and the splitting up of items on different pages, all tend to discourage concentrated reading or sustained thought. The introduction of one emotionally coloured word into a headline may beg the whole question; and the reader may at once come away with a biased view of whatever is reported; he is presented, in fact, with a ready-made opinion which saves him the trouble of thinking for himself. The headline may be deliberately misleading; it may effectually disguise comment as news; and it may have the same suggestive effect as the confident, dogmatic assertion. News and comment may also be subtly mingled by the insertion of paragraph headings in the news column, so that the uncritical reader may fail to distinguish between them.

The ostensible object of a newspaper is to provide its readers with news. Exactly what constitutes news is a matter to be decided by the editor, who, in making his decision, has to take into account the general policy of his paper approved by his employers. But, he also has to study the tastes of its readers, who have come to expect not only news, but also light reading and entertainment, besides the inevitable advertisements. The result is that news of serious matters of political, economic and social importance at home and abroad is apt to be crowded out to make room for more frivolous and perhaps more sensational material. Even when newsprint was cheap and plentiful, the amount of space devoted to serious news was not much; and nowadays, when newsprint is dear and scarce, the restriction on the publication of such news is almost equivalent to the imposition of an unofficial censorship.

Therefore, the task that faces an editorial staff of selecting; and compressing items from the spate of information that is bound to pour in every day from every quarter of the globe must be truly formidable; and to do it finally, impartially objectively and with a high sense of responsibility must be well-nigh impossible. The selection of one item in preference to another may give that item an altogether disproportionate emphasis and in the end result in giving a misleading or false impression. Suppression, the inevitable corollary of selection, may lead to serious, distortion and misrepresentation. And in compression, it is fatally easy not only to oversimplify, but also to give a summary a twist in some direction away from the objective truth. It is therefore clear that a careless and uncritical reading of a newspaper may lead us wholly astray.


Role of the Newspapers

Newspapers due to their nature of work and business motive mislead the readers in different ways. Their working conditions demand newspaper combines. The production and distribution of the newspapers need heavy expenditure and huge organisation. Similarly, acute competition eliminates small newspapers. Thus, it becomes a huge business organisation with profit motive. Firstly, it tries to become financially sound by increasing readership and attracting advertisements. As such they tempt the readers to believe the statements to be true. They repeat the news through the different papers and the readers by reading in different papers, believe them. Another method to misguide the readers is through headlines. By their pithy nature and bold type headlines give undue importance to certain news. The reader’s opinions are prejudiced by giving emotionally coloured words and disguised comments in the headlines. The busy or lazy reader does not go beyond the headlines, even the careful reader is satisfied with the first few paragraphs. The reader is not allowed to concentrate; short paragraphs and splitting up the item on different pages discourage it. The selection of the news also lead to the misguidance of the readers. Editor must conform to the newspaper policy and the tastes of the readers in selecting news. Thus, objective selection is not possible. Otherwise also the information is so huge that the editor cannot remain detached. Sometimes the tastes of the readers force him to present serious matters in a crowded form to find room for sensational material. Moreover, selection involves preference, suppression and compression of the news. Preference, would mean undue importance whereas suppression and compression distort the truth. Thus, truth is falsified.


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