A newspaper may be described as a document which is printed and published regularly and consists of news reports, articles, photographs and advertisements which are on large sheets of paper folded together but not permanently joined. Newspapers may be published daily, weekly or every fortnight. Examples of newspapers are the DAILY GRAGHIC in Ghana and the WASHINGTON POST in the United States of America.
Newspapers are very important in the lives of many people in the world. As a section of the Press, newspapers have the main aims of informing, educating and entertaining the public. We the students of West Africa Senior High School at Adenta, a suburb of Accra, the capital city of Ghana, working on Learning Circle Project have found out from our research that newspapers are very important in not only educating the youth but also help in informing and entertaining them in our country, Ghana as well as in other parts of the world. Newspapers in Education:
-Articles from newspapers give facts about current affairs which may not be found in textbooks in their schools. -Students learn new or unfamiliar words, expressions and spelling which add up to their vocabulary. -Newspapers provide topics that students may use in their conversations with their friends. -The youth are educated on social, political and economic issues when they read articles in the newspapers. -Newspapers educate both the youth and adults on the opinions and feelings of people in the world on various issues.
-Newspapers educate people about new inventions, discoveries and developments in Science, Technology, Health and Diseases.
-When students read newspapers, they learn about different styles of writing. -Students who read newspapers regularly improve their reading in terms of fluency and speed as they become familiar with a lot of words.
Newspapers in the information of the public:
-Newspapers provide reports on both local news and foreign news. They provide news on crime, natural disasters, wars, the Stock Exchange, Sports, the weather and many other issues. These news are important in the lives of many people including the youth. -Newspapers give information on current and existing laws, rules, regulations and bye-laws. -The youth can easily obtain information on the problems facing their country and other countries e.g. food shortage.
-Through advertisements, information can be obtained from newspapers on types of goods one wants to buy and in which shops they can be located. These goods may be clothes, shoes, computers etc. Newspapers in Entertainment
We the youth are very much interested in entertainment.
-Newspapers provide advertisement on entertainment, that is, various forms, venue, date and time. -Some students read newspapers during their free time as a form of entertainment. -The youth find crossword puzzles and quizzes in newspapers challenging and entertaining. -Some youth also get a lot of fun from reading jokes, poems, comics and cartoons in newspapers. Although newspapers are advantageous in educating, informing and educating the youth, they also have disadvantages. Some newspapers, especially private newspapers, contain some articles that are not reliable and therefore not good or useful for the youth. From our research, about 55% of our students read newspapers regularly.
Most of them prefer reading youth newspapers especially JUNIOR GRAPHIC published by the Graphic Communications Group. The students were of the opinion that newspaper reading improves their reading. The students said the youth-focused newspapers write articles that are suited to their needs. Headlines of ten youth-related articles we selected from March 2008 editions of major newspapers are: NGO introduces new methodology for English; Social welfare looks for parents of missing children; Catholic Church announces new youth programme; Dadebo stresses the need for teaching ICT in schools; Child Protection committees set up in 11 districts;
Queen advises youth to be self-dependent; Academic excellence goes with discipline; President’s lifeline for BECE failures; NCCE expresses concern about child labour; ENO Environment members mark Day. We cannot imagine a world without newspapers. In view of the great importance of newspapers, we suggest that all youth should be encouraged to read newspapers especially those written for the youth. Schools should also be encouraged to publish their own newspapers where it is possible. All the youth are invited to the educative world of newspapers. Let us cultivate the habit of reading newspapers.