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The power of press in any country depends on the number of newspaper readers; and this in turn depends on the

spread of education. Where readers are few, newspapers are few and will appeal directly to only a small minority of population. In a country like England or America where even the poorest working man can read, the reading public is practically the whole nation. Hence the large number of newspapers, and their great influence on public opinion. Now the great majority of newspaper readers is uncritical. Only a few think for themselves and form their own opinions. Most accept what they read without any question and take their opinions readymade for their favorite papers. Newspapers, therefore, mold public opinion. In democratic countries, whereby the system of election and representation the people control the government, public opinion is the chief power. No democratic government can long neglect or oppose a strong public opinion on any question. Sooner or later the government will have to yield to public opinion or be driven out of office. It is, therefore, obvious that if press controls the government, the press is ultimately controlled by the public. Such is the political power of the press. This great power may be used for good or evil. If the great newspapers are serious, disinterested and clean, and give their readers a wise, courageous and great national question, the power of press will be blessing. But if the papers are frivolous, prejudiced and corrupt and pander to the worst tastes of the people by filing their pages with scandal and sensationalism, their influence must be bad and even disastrous. The commercializing of the modern press is an evil. A newspaper is a business concern and is meant to sell. To get a large sale, it must give its readers what they want. And the more extreme and sensational and exciting it is, the better it will sell. It, therefore, cannot afford to be lofty, serious and moderate: A country that has an independent and clean press is blessed indeed.

The power of the press is very strong. It can shake the very foundation of the government. A government which is playing with the lives of the people and doing injustice to them, can be set right with the help of the press. The press helps prepare public opinion. It throws a feeler to the people. These days the people have realized the value of the press. During the days of the English, it was the press which lay exposed the black deeds of the British imperialism. Therefore, it was muzzled and gagged with a rod of iron. Censorship in it was extremely severe. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak reached the minds of masses through their papers. The Harijan, The Maratha and The Kesari. Their sole aim was to mobilize public opinions against the worst type of exploitation by the atrocious (extremely cruel) English Regime. The press fought tooth and nail and the results were very handsome.

Now we see this powerful source of mass media is working wonders. People read more and more newspapers. They want to keep themselves abreast of the latest information. They want to know quite at once what is going on around the world. They read news and views of the country and beyond the country. The newspapers are available in all languages. Even the Vernaculars are not lagging behind. The local newspapers have flooded the market. Each home contributes one or two newspapers atleast. It is an age of newspapers. They have come to stay permanently. A hey are the part and parcel of the modern civilization. A day without a newspaper is stale and tasteless. We feel that we have missed a very important business of the day. We can miss our meals but not the daily newspaper. One likes to read the hot news of the day on his breakfast table! ‘Evening News’ is there to heighten the charm of the supper. Without a newspaper, the world will be plunged into darkness. A newspaper is a mirror on world events. It covers both news and views of global importance.