Newspapers have an enormous influence on people’s opinions. Why is it the case? Do you think it is a positive or negative situation? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
No all news consumptions shape public opinions to the same degree. For that matter, newspapers stand out among other media outlets in having the power to tell people what to think about. Why is it so? Is that influence positive or negative?
Newspapers, despite decline, still have the power to influence people’s opinions. Even though gradually being eclipsed by TV and radio, the print press is the dominant power in the political and business landscape, and likely to remain in that position for some time to come. While the long-term trend of newspapers is irreversibly downwards, they share much of people’s media consumption by providing balanced information on which many readers form opinions. In a wider mass media system, nothing can beat newspapers in shaping the desires, wants and thinking of the majority of people.. That is why anybody who says that they can predict the death of print journalism may be either a liar or a fool.
In a mixed situation, the impact of newspapers on public opinion could be good, bad or somewhere in between. To begin with, effects are not the same from one country to the next, or even from one person to the next. The good part is that, since newspapers exercise so vast a power, the great body of readers take the print stuff seriously, so the influence goes a long way. The bad part is that a number of newspapers are biased due to pressure from owners and investors who intend to make more and more money, which is likely to threaten the independence of some newspapers. In this case, much of what appears in the editorials and comments might be propaganda in politics and businesses.
To sum up, the role newspapers play in the modern society is unique when it comes to having the power to influence people’s opinions. To what extent that influence is positive or negative may depend on whether a newspaper is independent or biased.