Mass Communication: Role of Newspaper in Society
It is a matter of fact that media has a profound influence on modern society. What is the role of newspaper? Does older generation have different attitude to them the younger does? How can press “sectioned off into neat little columns and headings” entertain people? In order to shed light on the mentioned dilemma Mr. Davis (a fifty-five years retiree) agreed with pleasure to be interviewed. Although he belongs to older generation, he approves the importance of press in the world. He was asked about the role of newspaper in his life, about information he prefers to read and how can press entertain him. Below is the summary of the findings.
Mr. Davis was brought up with the idea that printed media is aimed at educating people and shedding light on main political and social issues in the country as well as throughout the world. Newspapers contain information about happenings that may affect people’s lives and may agitate, resolve private conflicts by providing advices and actually protect interests of all society layers. Furthermore newspapers according to his mind set a certain code of private and public conduct to follow and to obey.
Mr. Davis states that the aim of the newspaper in modern society is to inform population about achievements in health, medicine, agriculture, industry, education, science and technology. In his opinion, newspapers “carry into every home the fruits of research in these and other fields in as simple and plain language as possible and help individuals in self-advancement”. When Mr. Davis was young, he had no opportunities to buy TV-set and the only source of information was newspapers opening the doors into other countries and places before him. Therefore he is a strong proponent of printed media. He prefers to read columns related to the latest political debates as he had been working as political scientist before retirement for almost 25 years. Nevertheless newspapers are different now, he suggests; they are perfected, because they provide different points of view a certain subjects. Earlier, he claims, all newspapers were shedding light only from one side without paying attentions to other relevant ideas and concepts.
Mr. Davis thinks it is the best achievement of newspaper to provide as many opinions as possible. In youth Mr. Davis read newspapers to entertain himself in the long winter cold and summer hot evenings, because, as I mentioned above, he had no money to buy a TV-set. Newspapers, he thinks, are really entertaining as they contain not only political and social news, but also puzzles, crosswords, funny stories and jokes. Every reader can found information he interested in.
I’d like to say that I completely agree with Mr. Davis, because newspapers are inexhaustible source of relevant and interesting information. I think newspapers provide tolerance and brotherhood, divisiveness and unity, enmity and hatred. What is more important for me is that they are able to prevent conflicts and violence and to call to peaceful relations and actually respect for law. Nowadays newspapers seem to move a nation to progress, happiness and prosperity. Newspapers focus public attention to needs and suffering of individuals in poor countries.
Our outlooks seem to be similar, although the differences are apparent. We are born in different times – he is born with the idea that television is evil whereas I am brought up with the idea that television is the most powerful source of information. Mr. David doesn’t agree with me admitting that television nowadays is “gratuitous depictions of violence and cruelty”. Nevertheless we agreed on the idea that newspapers have to play a significant role in society, not television, as they are able to stimulate developments and social change that are considerably accelerated by the development process. I managed to understand why Mr. Davis so disguises television – he is simply not acquainted with its advantages! In the end of interview Mr. Davis presented me the rare newspapers printed in the beginning of the 20th century.
Philo, Greg, ed. (1996), Media and Mental Distress. London: Longman.