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Modern life is hardly possible without information. Of course friends & relatives keep us informed about what is happening in the world, but such information is second-hand, & therefore is not at all reliable. It is the mass media that provide us with first hand & reliable information.
The mass media plays an important role in our life. Millions of copies of newspapers are printed in our country every day. The role of the press can hardly be overestimated, particularly at present. It keeps you informed in the latest news, different events, home and foreign affairs, news of culture, science and engineering development. But publishing news is not the only purpose of the press. There are many other purposes, which can be achieved by the press. It enriches our knowledge and broadens our outlook. The press shapes public opinion, influences governmental policy, gives citizens a view of our country and foreign countries as well. It performs a few functions: informative, entertaining, commercial & is addressed to people of different political views & different stations in life. What is printed & what is not, largely depends on the publishers' concert of news. There is a well-known joke circulating among the publishers, which exactly defines their idea of news: "If a dog bites a man, that's not news, but if a man bites a dog, that is news". In other words, news must be something unusual, unexpected, and sensational. But with many papers & magazines there exits a funny tradition to mystify their regular readers with sensational & incredible stories, published on their pages.
Everyone knows that we get a great amount of information by mass media, especially TV. TV now plays an important part in many people's life. It is an immensely powerful medium, as it uses the most important from of communication, the visual image, it is essential for us to try to decide whether it is a blessing or a curse. It demands complete & silent attention. It is death to conversation & normal two-way contact between individuals. It makes passive non-participating spectators of us all. We begin to forget how to occupy our spare time. Now all our free time is given to television. Obviously TV has both advantages & disadvantages. But to the former outweigh the latter. Really if there is a TV set in your home all you've got to do is to turn a knob, or to turn over to another channel or to turn the sound up & down, &you see plays, films, operas & shows of every kind, not to mention political discussions & the latest exciting football matches. TV, it is often said, keeps one informed about current events, allows one to follow the latest developments in science & politics &offers an endless series of programmes, which are both instructive & stimulating. The most distant countries & the strangest customs are brought right into our sitting room. You can hardly find a corner where one cannot receive radio or TV broadcasts. Hundreds of stations speaking in every language of the world fill the air. Radio & TV-n are undoubtedly, the quickest means of spreading news & information. What a great amount of information we get! We watch TV to be well informed. It gives wonderful possibilities for education. There are considerable variety of programmers & we can select what we want to see: a film or a play, sport programmes, the latest news and so on. We find it pleasant to sit in our armchairs and glue to our sets & little by little people get accustomed to this mode of life & are cut off from the real world.
Another kind of link between the public & the media is advertising. The mass media helps us with information about new goods & services. But some people are tired of advertisements & don't like to see their favourite films or programmes interrupted by them. I hope some way will be found to solve this problem. For example, there are 2 organizations providing TV & radio services in Great Britain. The BBC is state-funded & there is ABC on lately no advertising in BBC programmes, & in the programmes of the Independent Television, the advertising is also restricted.
As for me & my family, we like the programme "My family", I think it is a very useful one, because it gives us many examples how to live, how to act in different situations. I watch this programme with admiration.
So to my opinion, I'll be quick right to say that the volume of information in the modern world is tremendous, that is why we should decide for our selves what is really necessary & what may some day appear to be useless.