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The Press and Its Functions

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“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets” – Napoleon. “The power of the press is very great, but not as great as the power to suppress”__ Lord Northcliffe. The press is at the present day, a great power in the land. Newspapers have become an essential part of our daily life. No literate person can do without newspaper these days. The first thing one does in the morning is to seize the paper and glance through its pages hungrily. Newspapers contain a tremendous amount of news, news of every country and of every clime. They keep us in touch with the entire world, a railway collision, a social gathering all these find a place in newspapers. Travel exploration and scientific research are also described. During time of war, they particular satisfy for information. Every movement of the armies, every military plan, every battle lost or won, is accurately described. Indeed we feel considerably annoyed if we do not get our daily paper at the accustomed hour every mooring. The press is the most powerful of all the organs for the expression of the news and views about men and things. The press is by economists as a necessity of modern life. With the growth of literacy and the development of the means of communication they are playing a very important of the means of communication they are playing a very important role in society. What are the functions of the press?

To Serve the Economic System
The United States economy is fueled by advertising, which brings buyer and seller together. Both the media and advertisers earn profits, and both are highly criticized, yet they help keep the economy moving. The media in some countries are financed or partially financed by the government, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); some are totally owned by governments as a way to influence what is published, as the newspaper Pravada was in Russia. To Entertain

This is the biggest function of American mass media. Television is the nation’s No. 1 entertainment medium, and film and radio are not far behind. Blockbuster movies such as Lord of the Rings , Star Wars, and Spiderman, remind us of the entertainment power of the media. Interestingly enough, the print media also succeeds or fails in terms of its entertainment value. What kind of entertainment do you see in the print media? Comics, humor columns, feature stories, crossword puzzles and other word games, and, one of the biggest, sports coverage, draw millions of readers every day. The Internet also provides countless hours of entertainment for today’s society. To Inform

The most important function of a free press is to inform. Without current information about government, there can be no representative democracy; therefore, this is the most important information available. The power to inform is incredible, particularly today, with television, radio, newsmagazines, newspapers, and now the Internet. . Some hear news directly from the media; others hear through what is called the 2-step flow. What this means is that those who hear important, often earth-shattering news from the media immediately inform others. This happened, for example, when Kennedy was assassinated, when the Challenger, which carried the first civilian into space, blew up shortly after takeoff in 1986, when former football player O.J. Simpson took his famous freeway ride in his white Bronco after his ex-wife was found murdered. The power to inform has changed countries and their cultures. Italy, for example, was a country with two different populations, a wealthy, metropolitan north and a poor, rural South. They even spoke different dialects. Within a few years of the advent of TV in 1954 Italy became a more homogeneous nation. They saw the same things, heard the same things, learned from the same sources. To Influence

Although the power to change people’s minds directly is limited, the media does influence our lives and our thinking, usually in more subtle ways rather than what we could call a “hypodermic effect,” which, like a shot, would bring about immediate change, in this case a change of opinion or call to action. For example, the likelihood that an editorial that advocates a three-day work week would sway people to that point of view is slim. In addition, the media is more likely to influence those who are on the fence, those without strong opinions. Even less effect occurs with controversial topics, such as abortion, where the audience is likely to have strong views already.

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