Editorials have social impact, provided….

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 15 July 2015 14:37 IST

How relevant are the newspaper editorials till date? Do people read it? Do they impact the society?

Yes.

Felt most of the journalists and even the readers.

The occasion was the release of three books published by the Directorate of Official Language, two among which were the collection of editorials – ‘Goff’, a Konkani book of Sunaparant editorials by Sandesh Prabhudesai and ‘Smruti Vishesh’ of Navprabha editorials by Suresh Walve.

Instead of regular speeches on books etc, the organisers preferred to utilise the occasion to discuss the most relevant topic: ‘Social Impact of Editorials’.

Prakash Kamat, a senior journalist writing for The Hindu, moderated the session while dividing the media into three eras – pre-independence, post-independence and the current era where electronic and social media has become more influential.

Suresh Walve, former editor of Navprabha was the only journalist who felt that editorials make hardly any impact on the society as miniscule population of the society reads it.

Paresh Prabhu, his successor, disagreed stating that society gets influenced with editorials provided it plays the role of a guiding torch.

Sandesh Prabhudesai, editor of goanews.com, feels the old style of editorials need to change as most of the information regarding any issue is nowadays available for every citizen on mobile smart phone through Internet and on TV channels through debates.  

“What we need are short, to-the-point and well-analysed editorials rather than filling it with the same information which the reader already has”, he said.

 

Adv Prasad Shapurkar, a young activist from Pernem, said editorials still influence his generation provided the editors take up burning social issues and guide the society on how to go ahead.

Milind Mhamal, a librarian at Fr Agnel Institute and a writer of a book of Bibliography of Goa’s Marathi books that was released at the function, said he experiences almost 35 per cent newspaper readers reading editorials in the library.  

Participating in the debate later, Navhind Times editor Arun Sinha said editorial reflects more of a personal opinion of the individual editor rather than policy of the newspaper and thus has a limitation.

Raju Nayak, editor of Lokmat, Goa edition, felt that editorial can be the most effective part of the newspaper if the editor takes up burning issues fearlessly.

But are the editors writing fearlessly?

Adv Shapurkar says: Unfortunately No, very rarely.

In fact he fully supported Prakash Kamat’s contention that many newspapers write on national and international issues while completely neglecting current burning issues in the Goan society.

R V Joglekar, an age-old reader and columnist, warned that the editors should not take the reader for granted and should also publish contrary views of the readers fearlessly and in unbiased manner.

Prashant Naik, a political activist, asked why not a single Goan newspaper wrote an editorial when the whole national media pounced upon lose statements made by defence minister Manohar Parrikar. Was there a political pressure? – he asked.

Paresh Prabhu said he wrote on it.

The issue of plagiarism was also discussed while the speakers objected to the trend of lifting some write ups from the Internet and publishing them as editorials.

Paresh Prabhu in fact told how a district-based newspaper in Maharashtra was publishing his editorials by lifting it from the Internet. 

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