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Rola prasy - The Role of the Press

To begin with I would like to say that the press is undoubtedly of paramount importance and is one of the most powerful sources of information in the contemporary world. To keep abreast of the times - that is to say - to know what is going on in our hometown, homeland and in the world one must read newspapers. Nowadays we have got a wide range of newspapers including such kinds of papers as dailies, weeklies, monthlies or scientific magazines both for men, women that can be a form of distraction for a reader. But generally you can divide the press into two types: quality and popular papers. The first ones are characterised by a sophisticated language. The latter contain colloquialisms and want to invoke sensation. As far as British papers are concerned you can rank them as quality papers; The Times, Daily Telegraph, supporting true blue views, The Guardian, following the Labour Party, The Financial Times, Observer, The Independent and The Economist. All these newspapers cover news about politics, finance economics, science, arts, literature, theatre and sports, and are a reliable source of information. One can mention popular newspapers such as The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Express, The Sun or The Star, which can provide a great deal of both entertainment and sensation but their main aim is to entertain rather than to inform.

There are plenty of news agencies that send their reporters are all over the world to cover events. That is why every day one can buy a newspaper reporting on the most sensational events in the world. The press has limitless opportunities to attract a potential reader's attention. But should it have limitless rights as well? No way! Unfortunately there are some kinds of newspapers, the so-called tabloids, which report on scoops, that is sensational events. Tabloids must know on which side their bread is buttered. Sometimes it can be very harmful for an ordinary citizen but first and foremost for public persons. Paparazzi, who work for tabloids, are very inquisitive and want to take some pictures by hook or by crook to expose big shots to public ridicule. Prominent figures would like to have some privacy and tabloids - quite the reverse - are keeping on transgressing the law by invading their privacy. Tabloids should be answerable for the information they expose and brought to justice where foul play is proved.

However, the problem of the press is still unsolved and sometimes it is difficult to determine if it offends the law. It is not an easy problem but anyway everyone should think for themselves and be able to make out the difference between the truth and lies. On the other hand the freedom of the press is a fundamental law which guarantees the press objectivity and independence from political power, for instance, in Poland more and more newspapers are privately owned, but 80% of the press belongs to foreign publishers - that is a dangerous phenomenon in our young democracy.

The next point is to ask a question: which sort of the mass media do we trust? Some of us say that they prefer watching television to reading newspapers because the latter requires more attention. Others claim that words run away and letters remain. As a result of that difference the press is supposed to pay more attention to what is published. Philippe Breton, a research worker in sociology of European culture, points out that the press is undergoing the loss of trust as the society survives the crisis of objectivity and this domain is dominated by many manipulations.

In conclusion the press has large influence on an ordinary citizen's life. If we take into account the fact that the press is able to impose its point of view upon some people, we can realise its potential impact. People should be more sceptical about the information they are provided with. On the other hand there are some newspapers whose information is reliable and professional as ,for example, in Poland Gazeta Wyborcza, Wprost and others. Moreover thanks to the press we keep on getting to know more and more about the world which surrounds us, we are cosmopolitan, we feel cosmopolitan.

[Arkadiusz Szymczak]

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