The press performs a very important role as a means of mass communication in the modern world. The press tries to inform its readers objectively about what is happening in their country and the world at large. To bring certain developments into the focus, editorial comments on the news are also given. Newspapers also play a very imperative role in eliminating undesirable conditions prevailing in the society. Sometimes, newspapers carry campaign for some highly desirable civic projects and serve the society in this way. There is four most important function of journalism:
- to inform,
- to interpret and educate,
- to guide and
- to entertain.
The details of each one is given below:
This function of journalism intends to inform the masses that include all reports, news and happening concerning their daily lives. It does not include any information involving or concerning the pursuit of leisure. But it does cover all news regarding government, politics, foreign affairs, weather, accident, business, labor, education etc. This function consists mostly of matter, which is given, in news broadcast, on the radio and T. V. as well as in the news columns of the newspapers and magazines.
The need for interpreting and explaining the news in our day and age is readily manifold because even the specialists at times become baffled by their own fields of knowledge. The ordinary mortal caught in a maze of economics, science or invention needs to be led by the hand through its intricacies Accordingly, the present day journalism see to it that, along with its announcement of a fact, event or theory, the reader or listener also gets explanation, background material, interpretation and diagrams. These are all aimed at helping an individual to achieve a better understanding of the significances of what he/she reads or hears.
From the earliest days journalism has sought to influence mankind. Journalism endeavors to sway the minds of men through the printed words, cartoons, and pictures as they appear in newspapers, magazines, pamphlets and books and through the spoken word over the air. To meet these ends it uses all the nuances of arguments and all the devices of propaganda News is the raw material of opinion and opinion may be indicated without a word of the comment being uttered by the way in which the news itself is announced, either prominently or inconspicuously. Avowedly the newspaper strives to influence its readers through its articles of opinion, its editorials, its cartoons, and its signed columns Avowedly the radio seeks to influence through its commentators, its interviewer and its many speakers who advocate varying points of views.
Side by side with its most serious roles as a purveyor of information, interpreter and molder of opinion, journalism lays increasing emphasis on its function as an entertainer. Under this function can be included all types of fiction like comic strips, stories amusing aspects of everyday life etc. It also includes factual material, sports news, theatre reviews and hobby columns, which deals with leisure. The entertainment function of the press is very important. This function only competes for space and time with other functions, but it can also exert indirect influence and impart information, incidentally