Posted by / Monday 4 April 2016 / No comments

How Newspapers help in the formation of Public Opinion

News, Daily Newspaper, Press, Newspapers

Through Published Articles
There are no newspapers with empty pages. It is the news and feature articles that actually, make newspapers what they are. When people buy these newspapers and read, it helps to shape their opinion on one issue or the other.

Through Editorials of Newspapers
In every newspaper house, there is editorial policy. This editorial policy reflects in the editorial columns of the newspaper. The editor takes one or two national issues and makes his opinions on that matter known to the reading public. By the time the issues expressed in the editorial column is digested by the public, opinions are formed.

Through Newspaper cartoons
A cartoon is defined, on Google, as a simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in a humourously exaggerated way, especially a satirical one in a newspaper or magazine. The cartoons in newspapers have their own way of influencing the opinion of the readers. So cartoons are great tools in the formation of public opinion.

Through those who pass on Newspapers information
In societies where few people are able to afford the price of newspapers every day or those who themselves cannot read, they depend on information relayed to them by those who can afford to buy or who do get the chance to read the newspapers. Such people are also indirectly influenced by the newspapers to form their opinion.

Letters column of newspapers
Newspapers have letters column, and the editors encourage people to express their views in the form of "Letters to the editor". The editors have confirmed that the letters they receive, cover a wide range of issues. Many people read these letters as seen in the responses to these same letters, also published by the editors. So the letters column of newspapers can also help in the formation of public opinion.

Newspaper Circulation
The wider the reach of the newspaper, the greater the number of people it is able to influence. Some newspapers only circulate in the urban centres and therefore are able to shape the opinion of just a few people. Some other newspapers have national coverage. As many as read these newspapers, the opinions of that many are formed. So the circulation of a newspaper can determine how opinions are formed. 

1. Highlight six ways in which newspapers mould public opinion? [12 marks]

2. a. What is a newspaper? [2 marks]
    b. Explain five ways in which newspapers mould the opinions of the people?

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