The UOS Times
OpinionEditorial
What Is the True Role of the PRESS?
Yoo, Ji-youn Editor-in-Chief  |  rani305@hanmail.net
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[0호] 승인 2004.09.09  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글
After I became the Editor-in-Chief of this magazine, I have asked myself a question: what is the true role of the PRESS? Simply reporting facts is not its true mission.

It should also help to form public opinion and lead society in a positive direction by informing people of the truth and disclosing the true essence of events. For these reasons, the press has been described as the fourth estate. However, some members of the press forget this inherent mission and waste valuable space on biased and trivial articles.

Basically the press cannot help having a popular and commercial character - the specific characteristics of capitalism - in respect of its interaction with the general public through the mass media. For example, it often focuses on ratings and sales rather than on reporting reality.

Just this point brings about a sensational tendency. In other words, it gives consequence to reporting incidents and trivial matters which are a topic of conversation for a while, rather than informing people about the causes and background of events.

By doing this, the press may attract the public gaze, but cannot develop a truthful view of things. As a result, the press, which has to be eyes and ears of the populace, cannot fulfill its primary mission.

The real duty of the press is to serve truth before everything else - neither compelling the masses’ concern nor yielding to vested interests. The press should independently reveal and notify people about facts. Dealing with forgotten matters as well as hot issues, it has to pursue them to the end and inform people about their consequences.

Of course, this ought to be done without unilaterally prescribing the truth but rather by gathering various opinions, and creating a medium of social communication. These days, when mass communication is so widespread, the authority of the press has greater influence than ever.

Above all things, the PRESS should be conscious of its original task - the reporting of the truth - avoiding a sensational tendency in order to use its power in the right way.
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