Comprehension PassagesPractice Sets - English

Solved Comprehension Passage 5


Edmunde Burke called the press the Fourth Estate of the realm. I think he did not use this title for the Press thoughtlessly as social ruling group or class. The three Estates or Realms in England Lords Spiritual (i.e., the Bishops in the House of Lords), the temporal, (i.e. other Lords) and Commons, i. e., the common people). The Press has been rightly called the Fourth Estate as it also constitutes a ruling group or class like the Lords and Commons. It cannot be denied in a free country that the Press exercises good deal of influence in shaping public opinion and pointing out the weaknesses or defects of society or of Government, and in general bringing to light all those good or bad things in society which would have otherwise remained unnoticed. The power is not limited or put under any check. The Press, instead of, being controlled by anyone controls life and thought of a nation. Hence the Press constitutes an Estate by itself.

Obviously. thus power which the Press in an country wields depends upon the number of newspaper readers. The opinions. and comments of newspapers can influence the life of a nation only when they are read, by people. Reading in turn, requires that the general mass of people should be educated. Thus, the spread of education determines the extent of the newspapers. Where readers are few; newspapers must necessarily be few. Their influence, in that case can extend only to a small minority of population. In a country like India, the percentage of literacy is very low and the standard of journalism is not very high. So Press has to play the role of a teacher here.

1. Edmunde Burke called the Press
A) Instrument of Public Opinion
B) Distributor of News
C) The Fourth Estate
D) Lord Temporal

2. The term Fourth Estate stands for
A) An area of land
B) Landed property
C) Social ruling group or class
D) Instrument of power

3. Out of the following the one which is not included in the Three Estates is
A) Lords Spiritual
B) Justices of Peace
C) Lord Temporal
D) Commons

4. The Free Press does not perform the function of
A) Shaping public opinion
B) Supporting at all times the official policy
C) Criticizing government
D) Exposing social abuses

5. How much power does a Free Press possess?
A) Only that much power which is allowed by the government of the country
B) Unlimited power without any check
C) Unlimited power subject to the maintenance of law and order and public morality
D) No power at all

6. The secret of the Press is
A) the money which the newspaper owners can wield
B) The number of newspaper readers
C) the extent to which it supports official policy
D) The patronage enjoyed by it of the government

7. The number of newspaper readers is determined by
A) The low price of newspapers
B) The patronage extended to it by the moneyed people
C) Education of the general mass of people
D) The availability of newsprint

8. The Press exercises power by
A) Enlisting the support of the people
B) Keeping watch over the acts of the government
C) Controlling life and thought of a nation
D) Because it is a great moneyed concern

9. The state of journalism in India
A) is up to the mark
B) is rather low
C) is in its infancy
D) is not very high

10. The Press has the greatest chances of flourishing in a
A) Monarchy
B) Aristocracy
C) Democracy
D) Limited Dictatorship


Answer Key

1. C 2. C 3. B 4. B 5. B 6. B 7. C 8. C 9. D 10. C

Solution with explanation

2. Option ‘C’. First two sentences of the passage are clear to understand that our correct option should be ‘C’.

3. Option ‘B’. Read the third sentence of the passage, you’ll know.

4. Option ‘B’. Fifth sentence of the passage is telling us which functions the free press perform; they are:

i) shaping public opinion (in shaping public opinion) – Option ‘A)
ii) criticizing government (pointing out the weaknesses or defects of society or of government) – Option ‘C’
iii) exposing social abuses (all those good or bad things in society) – Option ‘D’

5. Option ‘B’. Third last sentence of the first paragraph one of the passage is clear to understand.

6. Option ‘B’. First sentence of paragraph two is clear on this point.

8. Option ‘C’. Second last sentence of paragraph first is clear to understand it.

10. Option ‘C’. The fourth sentence of the paragraph one is clear to understand that DEMOCRACY should be our answer.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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