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Getting familiar with the fourth pillar of democracy

Apeejay Model Town students visit a newspaper Press to understand the functions of a media house

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Advances in communication have improved community access to information. The media without a doubt plays a pivotal role in this regard. It acts as a source of information in society. However, the role of media does not end at merely being a source of information. It also functions as a “watchdog” of democracy. Perhaps rightly said then, the media indeed is the fourth pillar of democracy. It has an enormous social responsibility. Besides its duty to provide an accurate and detailed account of events, the media also provides a forum for people to express their opinions and share their views with a larger audience. Understanding media thereby becomes crucial to comprehend the functioning of the modern world.

As part of the experiential learning programme, Apeejay Model Town, Jalandhar students visited Dainik Jagran Press to understand the various functionalities of a media house. The students were very keen to view the technical aspects of printing a newspaper. They were made aware by the press officials about the four functions of media:  to inform, persuade, entertain and present facts. This was followed by an interactive session with each department of the printing house.

Social Studies teacher Maninder Kaur accompanied the students on the visit. She said, “We had a chapter in our syllabus named: Understanding Media. I thought it would be better for the students to visit a media house and see for themselves. They learned about the four fundamental processes behind the making of a newspaper: writing, editing, designing and publishing. They saw the machinery as well. It was a very educational visit.”

Dhvani Gupta, class seven student stated, “It was a wonderful experience for us. In this educational trip, we spoke to various officials of the media house. We asked them a lot of questions, such as at what time is the newspaper printed, who collects the news for the paper etc. They answered all our queries very elaborately and nicely. We enjoyed it a lot. All our doubts were cleared and on coming back to the school, we could understand our chapter very easily.”

Samar Bhatia, class seven student said, “It was a huge building, a bit old as well. I noticed that some of the desktops and the operating software in them were outdated. The officials explained to us how to set an agenda and write news articles. We then saw the publishing room. It had 4-5 interconnected machines. We saw plates of different colours. They explained to us that newspapers have four colour dots at the bottom of the page. They also gave us some information on how to licence ads for the newspaper. It was a very informative visit.”

“Often called the fourth pillar of democracy, the media has an enormous social responsibility. As a part of experiential learning, grade seven students visited the Dainik Jagran Press to understand the various functionalities of a media house. Students got to learn about many media concepts and terminologies. All their queries were addressed by newspaper officials very nicely. An interactive session with each department of the printing house was also conducted. For the window to the world can be covered by a newspaper.”

-Ms Sinia Sajith, Principal, Apeejay School, Model Town

Arijit Roy is a trainee correspondent at Apeejay newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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