The Quality of a Newspaper

That a newspaper less than three years old can emerge as the print media of the year in a field of decades–old reputable newspapers can be rather quizzical. Even to have been mentioned in dispatches was hardly dreamed of.
It’s like jumping the gun. Newspapers are regarded by some readers as villainous, licentious, abominable and sometimes infernal which is why they can be ignored in preference for the electronic media even online reading. The scenario of a government without newspapers could well be imagined. Those would be its darkest hours.
‘’Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter, wrote Thomas Jefferson in the 18th Century. In that distant century he was just underscoring the importance of the newspaper when the electronic media was non-existent. The Fourth Estate of the people was still necessary for the wholesomeness of governance.
This is not to say that they sometimes have irresponsible power over human thoughts. Unpaid and unbidden newspapers help to complement the work of official opposition parties in democracy of a Western nature.
While there is no newspaper that can pride itself as absolutely neutral, pro-government newspapers overtly help readers to position themselves.
The diasporas are a desperate group not easily susceptible to lobbying and their collective judgment cannot be easily discounted. Their yardsticks would conform to what a good newspaper should contain.
As all the non-party newspapers essay to be neutral the diasporans would have been mindful of the direction each one is pursuing.
Newspapers are torn between the pursuit of sales and advertisers who prefer more circulating newspapers to market their products and services.
An acceptable newspaper should put nothing in the paper that will destroy the appetite of the reader in concise and attractive form.
It should speak the whole truth without fear or favour. It should praise where it is deemed and blame when necessary. The good newspaper should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It should contain something suited to every palate.
The journey to this award so far has been strewn with disappointments and encouragements according to the publications of the day which testifies to the middle course we are pursuing.
Sometimes we are constrained to throw in the towel thinking that the game is not worth the candle. We and some other newspapers not on the government list are constrained by the relatively few advertisers who delay payment as long as they can as we rely on them for their valuable financial inputs.
We are humbled by this award realizing that there is room for improvement. We hope to attain higher heights with the support of you, the readers and advertisers without whom there can be no newspaper and no award.
Season’s greetings.

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