Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why you should stop reading newspapers! : 7 Reasons

Post written by Anshul Gupta. Follow me on twitter.

Newspapers, companion for people, helping them relieve their internal worries (during toilet time!!!) and ask them to focus on external. This same medium of mass communication in true sense has become a medium of mass miscommunications, since the day it took birth.

I have pointed out 7 principal reasons for a rational person to stop reading newspapers, but sure, there can be many more (you can help me out by posting them in the comments' column!).

The main point on which the premise of this article is based is that, “Those who read newspapers can easily be manipulated”. Why??? Watch out following points:

1. Repeating a mantra heard from a figurehead or leader of a tribe without considering whether it's true: newspaper. They are in so much hurry (like TV news channels, and I think the title of this article should include TV channels too) that having the responsibility of checking the validity of the arguments is of little concern for them!

2. Desire to stick with previously made decisions because cognitive dissonance is strong. Rarely will you ever find a newspaper debating/questioning its own earlier published unexamined facts!

3. Newspapers now a day are more focused on how should news are presented, and hence present manipulated facts and figures to increase circulation.

4. They try to reach on the judgments before anyone can!

5. All news papers are patronized by political parties in the countries. Well…these parties are their biggest source of earning revenues. (You must have seen thousand of ads during election time/winning/birthdays/ independence days etc etc.

6. Today, newspapers (like TV channels) are full of absurd and ill-informed content. They have mastered the skill of exaggerating the extreme news like: adoring/deriding the national sport's team -depending upon the situation, national calamity, gossips and millions more…

7. And the final and the most import reason for quitting newspapers is that, “it kills our ability to make a view of a situation.” For example; when we read a story on a newspaper, we either align our thinking to that of the writer of the story or simply oppose to what is written there, but never (leaving few cases) we try to make our own judgments on something. And you can never make one, till you know the truth!

So, does that mean, we should not read anything else? Because, by the same logic everything can be manipulative! No!!! Don’t you ever stop reading books, blogs etc. (but certainly those who talk about development and from where we can understand our own ability to be conscious of our cognitive dissonance); I have quit reading newspapers one and half year ago, and would never ever turn back!

3 symptoms of newspaper readers:

1. These people do not have their own opinions. When they argue or quote, they simply say that 'A' once said this - 'B' once said that…!

2. These people always have a problem centric view point. They would blame everybody on this earth but forget their own responsibility. For example: They would say, why people promote child labor? (But would employ child labor at their home for day to day jobs), why government departments are not efficient? (Would never worry about their own efficiencies!), why politicians are so corrupt? (But they would never go for casting their own vote! they don’t have time…you know!)

3. Finally, these people are fond of reading newspapers!

PS: [Same is true for TV news channels’ followers]
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