Published:  02:41 AM, 07 September 2023

Newspapers' Roles for Enhancing Our Intellectual Worth

Newspapers' Roles for Enhancing Our Intellectual Worth

Syeda Rizwana Hasan

Newspapers keep us updated with the latest incidents happening across the world. This functionality by newspapers is known to all but very few people are aware of the fact that newspapers can play fruitful roles for widening knowledge among readers with facts and figures representing various pastures like domestic events, economy, international issues, science and technology, banking, business, literature, entertainment, sports etc. By going through newspapers people have the opportunity to expand their learning on all these things. Journalists who are occupied with newspapers across the globe are thus serving the worldwide masses with invaluable endeavors to deepen the intellectual worth of countless numbers of readers.

Currently in Bangladesh there are lots of Bengali and English newspapers including both print and online versions. We are receiving news items on latest incidents just with a click or turning over newspapers' pages but one question remains unanswered whether we have been able to transform our newspapers into knowledge institutions. While looking for an answer to this question, another query comes up whether we have enough numbers of qualified and intellectually competent journalists who can truly work for enhancing our knowledge. Some well-known journalists of our country are involved with teaching at universities and writing research papers which are scholarly avocations but such newsmen are very few in number. It seems to be the fact that we have not yet succeeded to interrelate journalism with intellectual practices.

People, particularly students can learn a lot of things by reading newspapers. It has been observed that students getting ready for job tests peruse newspapers very inquisitively to attain vivid ideas about important things happening all over the world. But students should build up the habit of reading newspapers all the time as part of everyday life, not just when they face competitive exams.

Many famed writers, poets and essayists have emerged through writing in newspapers across the world including Bangladesh. This is an undeniable evidence displaying the immense contributions newspapers have been making for exploring people's authorial and artistic prowess.

Despite high numbers of newspapers all over Bangladesh, journalism has not yet acquired the status of a lucrative job in our country. For example, parents of prospective brides in our country attach high importance to eligible bachelors like government officers, bankers, physicians, engineers and businessmen while looking for grooms but journalists are hardly found on this list of top priorities in the present era. Jobs associated with intellect and creative qualities are not much valued in our society which is why teachers and journalists have not been yet able to clutch the rung of being honored by most of the people. From one angle it may be envisioned as the reality that we have become extremely materialistic under the augmentation of ultra-capitalism. From another viewpoint it may be visualized as the fact that we are inclined head over heels to pay honor only to people who have the capability to show off power and pomp. Efficient journalists and illuminated teachers have knowledge and intellectual height but lust for money and power have overshadowed our thoughts so extensively that we have absolutely forgotten to salute our fellow citizens working for newspapers and academic institutions. Swallowing capitalistic precepts too blindly has caused this damage to our mindset. This is not a good sign for a society where intellectual exercise is not respected. Teachers and journalists are often assaulted by policemen and politicians in different parts of Bangladesh which are frequently reported by news agencies.

For this reason, we find very few young people in our country who are interested to pursue their passion through building up careers in schools, universities or newspapers. Rather young boys and girls of today's Bangladesh are far away from creative works spending most of their time on social networks. Most of the guardians put unbearably excessive pressure on youngsters for securing higher grade points in exams while nobody seems to be conscious about young people's intellectual growth as far as Bangladesh is concerned.

On the other hand, there is certainly a shortage of efficient and professional journalists in our country. Particularly English newspapers in Bangladesh are suffering from serious lack of employees who have high proficiency in English language, according to remarks from some of my intimate people affiliated with news organizations. English typing speed, sophisticated news sense and communicative skills are very poor among lots of reporters working for English newspapers in Bangladesh in light of observations from people who run English newspapers. However, all newspapers in Bangladesh are not alike. Some Bengali and English newspapers are doing very well with highly qualified staff members.

The most blazing point is directly connected with our academic system from schools up to universities where career-oriented education and lifelike acquisition of knowledge are still a far cry which are responsible for huge numbers of unemployed youths too.

Entrepreneurs who run or own Bengali and English newspapers in Bangladesh should lay emphasis on motivating their young employees to build up sound professional careers through the expansion of vital corporate qualities. Recruitment is another indispensable thing which deserves high importance too. Editors and higher officials of English and Bengali newspapers of our country should be very careful about the selection procedure through which people are recruited. Entrepreneurs should not risk their investments by appointing reporters who are not at all capable of writing two lines correctly. At the same time, coverage of authentic news items should be broadly emphasized too.

The authorities concerned should come up with all required support to sustain the newspapers of Bangladesh as millions of people depend on this industry for their bread and butter. Newspapers carry out the noble duties of guiding a state along the right pathway by means of objective reports on political and socio-economic fields. Constructive criticism by newspapers should be entertained while journalists should be doing their jobs with integrity in an unbiased way. Adverse censorship on media including newspapers should be avoided. No such laws should be enacted which threatens the dignity and safety of journalists. We should remember that freedom of press is one of the most essential things in the civilized world for any country to prosper.

Syeda Rizwana Hasan is Executive Director of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA).

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