June 29, 2017

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Newspapers We Loved to Read Once

I am really a journalist manque. Abortive as my ambition was, a burning desire to see a developed press world still existed in my heart. Among mass media—radio, television & newspapers, the last one is my favorite. Being a rustic brought up in a small town, I was familiar with newspapers only. It was over 50 years ago. Perhaps someone will not believe my saying that radio, in my childhood days, was a rare means of communication in our locality. I had no access to it, which was nearly always occupied by my elder siblings. Thus the then dailies became my friends. Unbelievably the whole town had only a meager amount of radios. So, most of the townspeople relied completely upon those papers to know about Myanmar and the world, one day later than usual. Here I would like to call it “a country crier” to coin a phrase “a town crier.” Some of my father’s colleagues, who were illiterates, did not subscribe to dailies. So, my dad made me read them aloud, thus helping a habit of reading newspapers to develop in me.
When I was young, I tried my best to read them with the help of a dictionary [U Tun Nyein Eng-Bur Dictionary]. Those reading materials included the then state-run paper “the Working People’s Daily” issues. “The Guardian” was its contemporary one. At first, I found it very difficult to peruse them. Very often, I had to read local news in consultation with those which appeared in papers [Myanmar-version_Loke Thar Pyithu Nezin]. Thus, reading English newspapers became an acquired taste for me, before I recognized it. I had mostly acquainted with Saya Tet Toe’s writings. Motley Ko Ko, U Thet Tin[lecturer], U Myint Thein, U Chaw, U Than Myint[Aba], U Ye Dwe, U Mya Thaung were my favorites. I had many other writers who were worth emulating in my life. Some were prolific writers while some wrote only sporadically. I profited a lot from their works: vocabulary accumulation, various writing styles and literary elements.
Facts and figures are important in a news report, as is the presentation. In news writing, we should several important facts. In writing news, we need to avoid using euphemism. Especially reporting news in a chronological order is unacceptable at all. Sentences in a news item should be written in active forms as much as possible. Reports must be simple, correct and concise, unlike articles and perspectives. In fact the scope of my knowledge is not wide. I firmly believe that there are many knowledgeable experts who will be able to produce promising new generation of journalists. Moreover, enthusiastic newsmen can get what they want through internet.
Nowadays the bonanza year for the press media in our country is coming in. From now on, youths ought to prepare themselves to vie for a rightful place. I admit myself that the nation’s future really belongs to them. They all are ebullient and they have potentials each.
Today in building up our nation, media plays an important role as the fourth estate. Now our press let us have an opportunity to take part in this challenging campaign, working hand in hand with vested interests.
Regarding the progress of journalism world, language skill should not be neglected. An able writer needs to be capable of manipulating the language, and must have had fundamental knowledge on writing.
As a grammar teacher, I would like newsmen to pay an attention to grammatical rules. Certainly, readers will not argue with errors as a hair-splitter. But we believe that press media’s prestige and dignity depend not only upon its stance, its acquirement of people’s credibility but also on its accuracy, its standard size, its writing style and its layout. Especially we should be careful not to write down noticeable errors, just at a glance at a sentence.
Grammarians consider dangling participles and split infinitives incorrect, but we accept these kinds of writing today.
Editors need to be ready and get ready to correct such a trivial but inexcusable error. I would like to suggest newspapermen to sustainably motivate themselves to be well-equipped with professional qualifications and progress of media world.
An expert, ipso facto, cannot stop their learning. We all are always learners to our last hours.

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