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5 Journalism

The history of journalism is a romantic tale. It is said that about two thousand years ago Jklius Caesar ordered the publication o a kind of official gazette in which were printed the speeches of the Roman Senators. In China, printing from movable types had been practised many years before the system was actually re-invented in Europe., In the early centuries of the Christian era, it is claimed, a sort of newspaper was in circulation. The earliest known specimen of newspaper was printed at Frankfurt in Germany in 1615. the first English newspaper, The English Mercurie, was published in London in 1588; it was followed about 45 years after by Publick Intellignecer in 1632. One interesting principle emerges out of the above historical facts. The newspaper, first appearing as an Official Gazette, later developed into a record of contemporary events for the consumption of the public. In Pakistan at the present day, journalism has made rapid strides. The newspaper is a powerful weapon in the hands of the people. The functions of a newspaper are numerous; its responsibilities are great. The chief function of a well-edited newspaper is to furnish the public with the latest news of the happenings of the world. As modern science has annihilated both time and distance, it is not difficult for a good newspaper to provide the subscribers with the latest news. The front page of a newspaper publishes the news of utmost importance. The sporting columns publish news about sports while some space is reserved for stage and screen. The City Editor of a newspaper is in charge of news about the share market, the Exchange and Banking; and the editor of the paper writes the editorial for the daily in which he comments on the subjects of topical interest, social, political or economic. Several columns - sometimes even whole pages - are set apart in a newspaper for advertisements: The advertisements are usually a large variety; they include advertisements of posts, legal notices, announcements of goods on sale, notices of auctions and obituary notices as well as announcements of births, betrothals and marriages. The newspaper list of births, engagements, marriages _and deaths is sometimes humorously described as the column of hatches, eatches, matches and despatches. We see how a good newspaper has to cater for the needs and interests of a wide variety of people. The editor of a widely read newspaper has great responsibilities to fulfil; special responsibility attaches to the editors . office in Pakistan where communal feelings run high and almost every problem is viewed from the narrow communal point of view. In England or America, the editor of a daily concentrates more on news than on the views expressed in the editorial columns; therefore, the editorials in an English or American daily are usually .short. But in Pakistan the case is often otherwise. The editors duty* ; often ,s to write long, explanatory editorials in which the problems of topical interests are discussed from all points of view. A responsible editor of a Pakistani newspaper, published in English or any of the

vernaculars, has to rise above party strife and communal passions; he should be a person above reproach and beyond corruption so that he may take a detached, dispassionate view of men and things. In Pakistan as elsewhere, the average man forms his opinions on the topics of the day under the influence of the newspapers he daily reads. Therefore, the editor of a newspaper, whether an English, Urdu or vernacular daily, has to steer clear of communal passions, in the discussion he initiates in the editorial. Napoleon truly observed: Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets! The press is at the present day a great power in the land. In spite of censorship, the Pakistani press is the potent voice of the people. The editors reference always fights for the freedom of the press. The press does in fact educate the conscience of the people, discusses the measures and policies of the Government, exposes the defects in the social, political and economic structure of the land and guides and moulds the conduct of the Government as well as the people. The freedom and dignity of the press may be truly called the standard by which the nations greatness should be judged.