“Newspapers and periodicals; people involved in producing these,” is the definition of the term ‘Press,’ according to the Oxford Dictionary. That is not quite a satisfactory explanation for ‘Press’ means a lot more beyond that. It can be called as one of the features that characterises the life of any modern country and of the world in general.
We are often perplexed by what passes for news in the daily newspapers. A glance through the newspaper gives us a chance to recognise what the ‘real news’ is. It is a common sight to see people pacing up and down if the newspaper does not come in time. They feel like a new discoverer, a sense that the whole world is at their fingertips, when they see the newspaper boy coming around the corner. Their faces light up with the most anticipated pleasure.
It is said that a doctor’s profession is the most noble one. Why not that of the presspersons too? Isn’t creating public awareness among the masses on matters of public interest and thereby educating the public noble? Isn’t trying to make every citizen aware of what is happening in society, in turn directly giving them a chance to enjoy the much hyped ‘Right to Information,’ noble?
“Four hostile newspapers are to be feared than a thousand bayonets,” said Napoleon Bonaparte at a time when the world was in the early ages of reformation. But now the ‘Press’ is considered as the fourth estate, the fourth most powerful institution influencing social order. It is indeed the chronicle of current history. In this era of democracy, we must remember that it is the Press that has made this possible.
The Indian Press has raised questions and discussed topics ranging from dowry to child marriage, eve teasing to rape, purdah to polygamy, suicides to murders, poverty to discrimination, democracy to dictatorship, nationalism to regionalism, narcotics to terrorism, commerce & trade to sports & athletics, education and employment to environment and health. It has hardly left anything untouched, working as the watchdog of the Indian Republic. Kudos to the Indian Press which has upheld the true spirit of patriotism, being responsible and responsive.
(The author is a student of St. Aloysius College, Mangalore)