DailyPost 1124


Nobody knows that in the fast moving pace of today’s world, how many of us read newspapers. The newspapers readership claims are just distribution numbers multiplied by the average family size or does it actually connote to real reading is very difficult to say. Most likely the latter is true. Very rarely in any conversation do we find references of newspapers today. If the newspapers articles / items are referred to, it is with the only intention of substantiating  their viewpoint. Regular readers seem to be very few but for the ones who are, reading a newspaper is turning out to be a  horrendous experience.

Depending on the season of the year; festivals or festivities, the front pages of the newspapers have advertisements only; designs, products, colors and pages cut and created in different ways to suit the product and catch our attention. Given our contempt for reading and more so analytical ones, there would be a large chunk of readers who would be getting satisfied with these front pages. These front pages play into minds and hearts of the consumerist generation. The newspaper finally seems to be ending up like a poor variant of the once famous Yellow Pages.

What a sad commentary for a medium which has been in the vanguard of news, incisive / investigative reporting, intelligent opinions / editorials, knowledge updation science / technology / business et al for centuries. Newspaper reports have changed the destinies of individuals, leaders, enterprises, communities and nations. The health of the newspapers, their objectivity, fearlessness and equally supportive managements have been a true reflection of the health of the democracy. This was the only fourth estate till the time other forms of mass media appeared on the scene.

Is there a need to resurrect this extremely useful multifarious medium, indicative of lots of goals which we cherish and aspire of, in our democratic societies and polity or should it be allowed to continue with the downslide, to whatever would be its final destination. Will the electronic media and the newest avatar social media be able to provide the required intellectual vigour / vibrance, societal guidance and equanimity to all stakeholders of the democratic system during the most challenging times democracies are facing globally?


Sanjay Sahay

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