Newspapers have become an enormous influence on people's ideas and opinions. Why is this the case? Is it a desirable or undesirable situation?
The nickname of the "Uncrowned King" given to the modern journalist is by no means an exaggeration. In almost every modern society, newspapers have been playing an essential role in shaping people’s thoughts on a wide range of issues and are always regarded as an indispensable source of information. In my opinion, this complex phenomenon can be boiled down to several key factors, and both its positive and negative aspects need to be analyzed thoroughly.
To begin with, human curiosity is an underlying factor in the growing popularity of newspapers. As the only species on the planet equipped with extraordinary intelligence, humans are inveterately curious about the latest events around the globe. Therefore, all kinds of newspapers prosper in such an age that is gushing with information, appealing to people's increasingly strong desire to know more about this constantly changing world. It is little wonder that numerous readers are lured into heavier reliance on those well-established and internationally renowned newspapers.
To a large extent, this situation is a desirable one with its many positive aspects. First of all, in order to maintain their good reputation, most newspapers and magazines report actual events in a detailed way, providing not only factual information but also deep insights into complex social and political issues. In addition, circulated on a daily basis and across an extensive demographic region, major newspapers have smoothly operated branches, seasoned correspondents and a highly efficient system to collect local news with the swiftest actions. Most importantly, their coverage and insightful comments can encourage young readers to form their own opinions on current affairs.
On the other hand, people should be fully aware of the downside of the journalistic dominance. More often than not, newspapers of national importance are largely controlled by the government and act as the organ of the authorities. By furnishing citizens with prejudiced and self-opinionated reports on sensitive issues, such as foreign affairs and national security, these newspapers can manipulate their perspectives and attitudes and exercise a sort of monopoly on their way of thinking. On a less serious level, flooding the pages with trivial pieces of entertainment news and celebrity secrets is the usual way to divert the public’s attention away from government scandals and to eclipse such social and economic ills as unemployment, crime and judicial incompetence.
In conclusion, although the positive functions of modern journalism are to be sufficiently recognized, people must not slacken their vigilance against the possible abuse of such a tremendous power that newspapers possess. In other words, while absorbing bits of information in the newspapers, readers are advised to adopt an objective approach and cast a discriminating eye on their way of presentation, comments and implicit assumptions.