Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Newspapers are more concerned with profits than with the truth. Discuss this statement.

Newspaper is a print media concerned with publishing news events and important information. However, because newspapers are business organizations, majority of their decisions are directed by profit motive. Sometimes, this motive is so great that they prefer this motive to truth. Although unethical, majority of newspapers are driven by their concern for profits rather than exposing the truth in many of their decisions regarding, headlines, front page news, different sections and sub-sections and so on.

Main news is placed in the FrontPage as headlines. This is intended to grab the attention of the buyers so that they purchase the paper to read the news. Although, it is difficult to say which news is more important and which one is less important, the perceived important news gets better place in the paper. Such news could have been placed in the inner pages, with the same level of coverage and focus especially by using big headlines and photographs if available. However, it does not happen since the motive is to attract the buyers to get them buy the paper.

Publishing of controversial materials, rumours, and the like also supports the theory that newspapers’ concern is to sell more only. The news regarding the personal life of stars is a good example. For example, if there is rumour of romantic relationship between two stars, especially during the time of shooting when the stars have to work together, such rumours show up as news in the paper. It is in no way news when a common person starts a relationship or decides to get a divorce. Shouldn't that be same with the stars as well? Especially, what they do outside their professional life shouldn't be made news until that is really news. Making such trivial matters of personal life news is not justifiable. The stars also have the right to privacy and the right to lead their personal life as they want. Dragging such matters into the news is an unethical act, but because such news or rumours sell well, the papers make such events news.

Almost all the major national dailies, also known as the mainstream media, place high priority on political news, mainly because many people find political news interesting. Most of the time, the political news are the only ones to hit the front-page. This is true even if there are other important news events related to discovery, development, research, and so forth. However, such intellectual things are not entertained much by the audience. Political news stories, mainly the debatable ones, make the newspapers more profits.

Similarly, there are separate sections for sports, entertainment and economy in majority of the mainstream media. These sections generally have the large audience, especially the former two. Many people, especially the youths, are fans of sports like football, cricket, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, etcetera and the popular film stars and celebrities. There is also huge interest among the people in movies. Therefore, these sections get special focus in the newspaper. They are indeed news, but not of the significance they are given in the paper, especially by placing one of these two sections at the last page so that they can be viewed quickly and even from outside. Economy section also has big audience of businessmen, job holders, scholars, analyst, brokers and speculators, which is why it is given considerable focus.

Although the above discussed sections are somewhat justifiable, especially the economy and sports, there is one sub-section in many papers, which doesn't serve any purpose of news, that is, horoscope. Many people believe in luck and fate, and therefore, have concerns about their zodiac sign. Although, it can be said with certainty that such prediction are incorrect most of the times, given that different paper have their own versions of contradictory predictions, people nonetheless cannot let go knowing how their day is going to be like. In many societies, horoscope and traditional astrology is given high importance. In such societies, the majority of newspapers have a sub-section for horoscope.

On the contrary, most of the real news events get focus in the newspaper. Such news reports illuminate the truth behind the events they are covered. However, such news also gets attention from public which is a good thing. Probably, this is why some newspapers employ their journalists to investigate the interesting events deeply and expose the truth behind the matter. Other newspapers encourage their journalists to find the ultimate truth, so that they can stay ahead of their rivals. Whatever, the reasons behind it, quite often, newspapers are concerned with the truth. At times, some papers have shown more concern over truth than profits also.

Depending upon the types of newspapers, daily, weekly and so forth, they include some materials, solely for the purpose of marketing rather than illuminating the truth. Selling is also important because without selling well, the papers cannot run their operation, and cannot spread their true news to a larger audience. Probably, because of this reason, the newspapers mostly seem to be concerned more with profits than with the truth.

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