Newspapers, the indicators and controller of civilization, sometimes cause havoc when they fail to give us objective news and views. Different newspapers appear in the market nowadays representing different sections of people. Uniformity is hardly discerned in this regard though conscious readers expect it from newspapers. Most of the time it is seen that particular newspapers work as the mouthpiece of some sections standing away from the real objectives of journalism. People live in a society with different views and opinions. Necessarily different sorts of opinions must be reflected in newspapers. I don’t know how the theories of journalism suggest addressing this issue of providing objective news for objective and neutral readers who constitute a large portion in every country.

The role of it nowadays makes us confusing particularly some Bengali newspapers in publishing some sensitive news. General and common readers get baffled to extract the real incident or happening from a news item. They really fail to find out the real truth. They take the rope for an elephant. It is not possible for the majority of readers to go through several newspapers for extracting real news. The price of it falls back than our neighbouring countries. It is also a bar to reach newspapers to majority readers due to this high price. Reaching the newspapers to the citizens at a lower reasonable price indicates the degree of civilization.

Our English papers accommodate commercial and sports news very significantly. I don’t blame them for harbouring commercial news as the world sees the thriving phenomenon of commerce. But the covering of many pages with sports news germinates questions among the English readers. The time has come to conduct a survey of how many English readers go through this sports news. A lot of scope remains to squeeze the sports news leaving place for citizens’ opinions, literature and other important portions. No English daily bothers about catering for the needs of students ranging from secondary to tertiary level.

Of course, Bengali newspapers play this role satisfactorily by introducing and publishing necessary information and academic articles and discussions which give many benefits to the students and readers are also increasing through this process. English newspapers should take up this step to increase the number of readers. Another duty rests with English newspapers of our country to teach English to their readers, students, different professionals and commoners. The way of teaching English in our country has not yet got any solid foundation. As a result, most of our graduates remain weak in English in spite of reading as a compulsory subject up to intermediate level. English newspapers can play a vital role in teaching English to the citizens by introducing various steps according to the needs of different professionals and particularly for the students.

It is the expectation of many readers to see a literary page at least once in a fortnight with discussion, features, criticisms, academic subject discussions of different classes. If students get their necessary elements in papers, they will develop a strong desire to read English papers. Creating new readers and writers is another responsibility of newspapers which they must give serious consideration. Newspapers control the flow of civilization. It also carries the tradition and cultures of a particular country. So native writers must be given importance along with the foreign writers to keep pace with the flow of globalization. Not only our country the whole world now suffers from moral degradation. Newspapers can play an important role to inculcate morality in the readers contributing to the establishment of a peaceful society. If newspapers publish biased news and views, how they will play this sacred role?

About the author

Masum Billah

Masum Billah works as an Education Expert in the BRAC Education Program, BRAC, and President of the English Teachers' Association of Bangladesh (ETAB), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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