This dual role worked in an ideal manner in the good old days when the cost of production was low and advertisements did not matter. That is why writers of repute and intellectuals with a mission entered the newspaper world. They made small investments and though aiming at making both ends meet economically, were content with a small profits and gave the main emphasis on promotion of ideals and were always ready to make any sacrifices, both physical and financial, in that direction.

As their personal magnetism was the Chief sanction behind their venture, it often happened that in case their newspaper was closed down by the authority, they could file a fresh declaration for a newspaper with a different name and make that too a success. They could also take care that nothing cheap appeared in the newspaper and that it performed its threefold function of informing guiding and educating the public, with all the seriousness they could command. Thus they were the true harbingers of the newspaper as an institution of society.

With the growth of democratic institutions, emergence of political parties and the resultant sharpening of political controversy, partisan journalism newspaper presented a slightly lower standard as objectivity was’ often a casualty and a certain amount of slanting of news, editorial content crept in their reader audiences know the alignments of the editors.

Fundamental Change

The major and fundamental change came in the wake of industrialization and urbanization when newspaper readership expanded at a terrific pace and side by side with the elite, the common man felt a thirst, for news. In England, two types of journalism is not as sharp as elsewhere and the emphasis has been on producing newspapers acceptable to the largest number of people. The following developments invariably take place in an industrial or developing society :-

  • Increase in the cost of production.
  • Price of the newspaper to be kept at the minimum possible level.
  • The production cost per copy of a newspaper is always much more than the actual price.
  • The deficit is met through advertisement revenue.
  • The greater the circulation, the more is the revenue from advertisements.
  • Greater circulation is attained through improvements both in the technical quality and in content. That requires heavy investment and more staff and an elaborate structure.
  • Thfese factors convert the newspaper business into s an industry with still more emphasis on profits.

Emphasis on the profit motive leads to still greater efforts at increasing circulations which in turn lead to lowering of standards by introducing sensationalism, play-up of crime and sex news, scandals of film stars and public figures, frivolous ways of dealing with public matters, comic strips, , movie gossip, advice to the psychological notes and a predominance of pictures.

These developments lead to the following:-

  • The newspaper editorial giants with missionary zeal disappear as individuals with limited financial means can no longer remain in the arena.
  • Their place is taken by non-writing editors known as Managing Editors or Publishers while editorial writing is done by Assistant Editors who remain incognito.
  • The owners generally belong to big business as they alone are in a position to make heavy investments. In order to become more powerful, they organise chains of newspapers and try their best to have monopoly of information.