No civilised society can live without the press. Taking into account its utility in modern life one can understand very well why it has become so important. Let us consider its influence on masses. A good press educates and helps in forming sound and healthy public opinion. It has direct communication with masses and so can influence them both for destructive and constructive work. Through newspaper, the press gives us information about our day to day political, social and commercial activities.
The press serves the great task of bringing about social reforms. Many social evils like untouchability, dowry system, smuggling activities, etc. are ruthlessly attacked and criticised by the press. Government servants as well as public high-speed are now more careful because of the fear of being exposed by the press.
In democratic system the press has many important roles to play. It can harass any stable government by poisoning public opinion. It can also bring them a big success favouring government action and taking public opinion with them The press gives information about the proceedings of the parliament and Assemblies and all the important political events in the country.
But because its potential power is in the hands of vested interest, the press is sometimes employed for harmful propaganda. In a democratic country, where the press is mostly run by private agencies and big industrial houses, the press safeguards their own interest first.
In fact, the press is a two way weapon. If used carefully, it can help in building up the nation forming the right public opinion. If misused, it can erode the very foundation of democracy.
The press should, therefore, abide by the principal of truthfulness. The primary duty of the press is to establish the truth and work in the interest of the public.