How Would I Judge a Good Newspaper?

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Technology has given immense new possibilities to the newspaper and it has thus increased its power. But what we often see today is the deteriorating morality of the press, represented by a number of newspapers in almost every country. These do a disservice to the public by being part of the cheap press and their aim is to make money, to mislead people, to exaggerate events, to publish abusive advertising. But a good number of other newspapers aim at high levels of respectability. We may judge a good newspaper by the standards it tries to uphold as well as by comparing it with the defects of other newspapers.

I think a good newspaper should aim at variety. The first newspapers, almost everywhere, were understandably limited and were aim at a small number of readers, especially man. Now, the newspapers, for obvious reason, aims at the entire population. A good one employs a large staff or journalist – “correspondence, reporters, editors and photographers” – so as to publish a variety of fresh news all the time. A newspaper declines if it does not capture the imaginations of the readers. Its aim is to appeal to a large circle of readers – from the child to the old man, from the factory worker to the office manager. To cater for all taste is difficult but it is one of a test of a good newspaper. The reader wants to get as much information and as many views as possible on a large variety of topics.

We can judge or differentiate the good from the bad newspaper. The cheap newspaper thrives on sensationalism. It tries to be popular by publishing sensational news which catches attention either by the headlines or by the scandalous aspects of the information. Often, the sensational headlines have no relation with the article itself; or the article itself may be of poor journalistic composition. It appeals to people thirsty for gossip and has no real informative value. Seriousness, therefore, and a sense of purpose are essential...
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