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October 24, 2019

Writing for the Newspapers

  • By Lokethar

Newspapers are an important part of the “Media” for informing the public what is happening from day to day in the country and abroad. It is a print media that is accessible by most members of the public who are literate to the extent of being able to read the newspapers. It’s in fact of far greater value than it’s price which of course is affordable to most people. Even if one can’t purchase a newspaper, one can “borrow” it from someone who has read it or failing that one can read newspapers in the community library.
Besides the news, the News Papers are a source of information on a great many matters which are of interest to the public, including Advertisements, Notifications, Market Information, Entertainment Information, Articles of Opinions of Citizens, Weather Forecasts, and of course Obituaries.
If I may, I’d like to point out some aspects of news items carried by the newspapers. Some news item often have repetitions in them. Some don’t go straight to the point in giving factual information. Some news is generalizations and may even be just the opinion of the news provider and/or the reporter. For example, stating that a motor vehicle accident happened was because “the driver was not able to control the vehicle” is an obvious generalization. The real cause of the accident would be known only after an accident investigation by the experts concerned. The same holds true for reporting “fires” as being due to electrical “shorts”. Where adequate protections had been taken to prevent failures due to “short circuits”, the real cause could be something else. If the real cause can be established at the place of the accident, then reporting it would be just fine.
Besides the news written by the reporters of the newspaper, there are writers, notably columnists who write articles expressing their opinions about matters of interest to the public on a more or less regular basis. Many of the columnists are of course not trained in journalistic writing; they just write as a hobby. Retired Government servants, who have time on their hand, and who would wish good things to happen to the country, write articles mostly based on the knowledge and experience they had acquired throughout their life.
About the articles written for the newspapers, as a rule the Editorial Board, if there is one, would go through the text and decide if it merits publication in their newspaper. I guess that if the Article is too critical of an organization, or does not contain enough factual information, then perhaps they may decide not to publish it in their newspaper. In such a case it’s the normal practice for the editor to pen a note (or in this age send an e-mail) to the regular writer expressing regret for not being able to publish his Article it this time around.
Another point about “Articles” published in the newspapers. They should preferably be in simple language which can be understood by the layman. After all the newspapers cater to all the people in the country, the majority of who are not well educated. Hence complex thoughts and articles full of “Technical Jargon” and complex statistics should preferably be published in the professional journals and magazines instead of in the newspapers. The editors of the newspapers should decide whether the article submitted is way above the “head” of majority of the readers in deciding whether to publish it or not.

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