News is one of the essential parts of most people’s lives. No matter what we do to survive, chances are you’re engaged with the story at some or another point in your life. Every single day, some or other things are happening around us – locally, regionally, nationally or on a global scale that took the headline of every newspaper.
For most of us, the first thing that comes to our mind each morning is, “Where is the newspaper/ what are the new news headlines or hot news?”
Whether a piece of particular news is exciting or uplifting for you, it can be tragic and scary fro someone else, some people are attracted towards the sensationalistic and trivial news, it’s likely you would be discussing it in your conversation at some point in the hours and days ahead because as human beings we like to talk, to the family and work colleagues, as well as with the random strangers at grocery stores and coffee shops.
The dawn of the Internet brought a new kind of lifestyle to newsreaders and subscribers of a particular newspaper or magazine. However, most of us are used to read the papers in the morning- It’s an essential item while drinking morning tea for our parents. The people who subscribe to magazines and daily newspapers have their reasons, such as – Lack of time, newly parents who need to take care of their kids first, etc. To summarize, here are the five main reasons why people read the paper.
Most people have a lot of resources to get their news these days from a variety of sources, such as- television, radio, magazines and the Internet. However, newspapers remain the most honoured medium by which news is delivered to people every single day. As per the recent study- Half of the world’s adults read a paper every single day and to be more specific- in the mornings or evenings.
The Advantages of Reading a Newspaper for Civil Services Preparation
There are numerous reasons why one should read a newspaper. For starters, a paper is a source that provides the coverage of global and local news, with weather forecasts and a whole lot of entertainment news and sports topics. Newspapers are also great to know about the things that are happening in your locality, etc. Forex- It can keep you informed about the nearby store openings, sales offerings and most importantly – about the job opportunities.
Nearly 90 per cent of Americans as per the recent study – say they usually prefer to get their news/information from a trusted source such as – a newspaper rather than hearing it from an online source or the other sources for that matter. The newer form of media come and go, but the format of papers has held firm throughout the decade’s thanks to the following features.
- World News- One of the most significant benefits of reading newspapers regularly is a well-informed mind about all the latest world events around the globe. Depending on recent happenings in the world, the news could involve matters of high consequence as a warning, such as – war, climate, the economy and national elections, or topics that are arguably more trivial, such as – political scandals, celebrity gossip news and debates on minor issues just to fill the papers.It will help you stay updated on the news articles as they unfold. By reading the newspaper daily, you’re well educated or better equipped on the topic to form opinions, and you’re also prepared for it- just in case, it has a direct impact on your life.
- Local News – Another significant advantage of reading newspapers every day is – you are always up to date on important local news, and you can quickly start a conversation or join a discussion about the same.No matter where you live – in a big city or a small town, things are always happening that can affect your community in various ways, and it’s still good to be prepared in advance. Some news might involve local elections or public policy. At the same time, other stories might concern the teens – because of the special events, such as – the unveiling of bridges/buildings or public monuments, or the opening of a new cafe in your locality.Of course, there is bad news too and hardly a day goes by without some bad local news, whether it happens to involve the fire, a traffic accident or maybe a holdup. Still, it’s vital to be informed about both the good and the wrong thing that affects communities, because that way you will know how to keep your kids up-to-date on – public safety issues, new attractions, the upcoming elections, or the changes in local policy, and other things that concern adults in general.
- Weather Forecasts – Newspapers are also a great source of information regarding the daily and weekly weather forecasts. Because whether it’s a day of work or some function, the weather circumstances could largely determine what you’ll decide to wear and what transportation mode you’ll choose.
- If your daily route to work contains numerous blocks or walking and at least one connection on your local public transit system, bad weather could quickly impact the duration, it will take time to make that commute, not to mention the warmer or more clothes you’ll need to wear to reach your final destination more comfortably and efficiently.
- In the event of snow or the massive storms, your regular commute might be get delayed, or it can also become impossible. That’s an essential thing to know before you head outside as a necessary safety measure.
- Likewise, the vacation plans and short trips to the mall can also be impacted by unusual weather.Weather is just one of those factors you must take into consideration, regardless of the nature of your plans.
- Entertainment- This section is for entertainment lovers- because serious topics are not the only things covered in most newspapers. Fact is, the majority of readers gives equal importance in the areas of leisure, etc.
- Sports/crosswords/coupons– For game lovers- who get the most out of their day just by watching and analyzing the ball games, cricket news, speed races and major wrestling matches, newspapers contain a single page/source of sports news. No matter which sports you are into, papers usually covers all the types.
- Crosswords and Horoscopes- The fun part of newspapers doesn’t end with the comic’s section. Many papers also feature word games, crossword puzzles, and horoscopes, etc.
- Coupons and Circulars– If you struggle to make ends meet- newspapers can be a saviour for you when it comes to saving money by checking out the circulars, or the items that are currently on sale at a nearby grocery and department store. And from food to toiletries, stationery supplies for children and furniture for the home, the coupon section is a must-check source for people who needs it the most or maybe for those who are wishing to get more bang for their bucks.
The Intellectual Importance of Reading Newspapers
Critical Thinking Skills-When it comes to the essential stories of news, newspapers generally provide in-depth and more than just coverage. They also offer insights that help readers from various backgrounds to form opinions on a wide range of topics/fields.
Forex- In specific ways, this can be a good thing, because issues are often very vague and abstract to various readers, many of whom might lack the background on specific topics that jolt the different news.
Things to keep in mind:
- Readers must know how to distinguish fact from opinion, particularly on hardball topics.
- Likewise, each journalist should make a by-line disclosure as to whether his or her pieces are straight coverage or opinion-based.
Balanced Viewpoints- Newspapers also help readers from various backgrounds keep a balanced perspective on multiple stories and the issues, etc. A lot of readers have biases, and a good newspaper will adjust information in a way that presents the news stories from all angles so each reader can draw his or her conclusion.
Enhanced Cognition- As people get old, one of the most significant advantages of reading newspapers like any other form of reading is on mental health. Reading is the best way to prevent or combat the latter process because the text is usually an act of mental training. When it comes to reading, newspapers and books are the best medium because most are printed every day with fresh news and even delivered to the doorsteps of subscribers.
How to Strategically Read the Newspaper
In the fast-moving world where time is a key to everything and its essential to have a time management strategy, we often forget to read the all the information in a more detail-oriented manner because of which we never get the most out of it. The main reason is – we do not know how to read and manage newspapers effectively.
To consume the critical content of your daily newspaper- you need a total of 15-20 minutes to break with a cup of coffee and your morning treat because then only you will be able to read the newspaper more effectively in a quiet environment.
Preparation– Before you even open your everyday newspaper:
- know what you want to read about.
- Where would anything related to your business or subject be?
- Where and on which page are the pieces located that will provide you with high-quality information on business-related topics, such as – essential seminars and conferences/meetings or tools?
Reading the newspaper daily is an excellent thing do to and the preparation to get the information on the desired subject before it is brought up in your work-related conversations or meetings. By having the idea about the topic, can help you draw your perceptions and approach the issue without anyone influencing your opinion about the subject.
Always know your requirements – like what you want from your newspaper, etc. to manage your time more effectively.
Navigation- Navigating a daily newspaper can be annoying depending on the structure of the paper. Luckily they are organized by their particular sections.
Newspapers structure their news with the trendiest topic on the front page. Finding the most valuable articles as per your requirements can be done with the table of contents.
Headlines- All you get is a headline, so how do you know the article/section is worth your engagement? The headlines often have a very strategic structure. Such as – Subject – Verb –Object is the standard way to write a caption.
Note- This means the first word or two is all you should care about to understand the topic covered.
Highlights- Highlighting the news with the help of marker- when reading a paper, you will need to keep a reference or something if you want to read it later in a day or week. The most effective way to successfully create notes in the newspaper is by using a highlighter.
“You don’t have to burn the books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury
Newspaper for UPSC CSE Preparation- The Hindu
The advantages of reading the newspaper can’t be described or overemphasized for success in the UPSC CSE.
Aspirants should know that it is not required to read the entire newspaper in detail as part of your UPSC preparation because there are some do’s and don’ts which, when followed, give maximum benefit.
The most recommended newspaper by [professionals for the IAS exam is -‘The Hindu’. And along with papers, aspirants must also refer to the following:
- Yojana Magazine
- Press Information Bureau (PIB)
- PRS India
- Websites of various ministries
Note: Check out our Current Affairs page for the gist of Yojana magazines, PIB summaries and the Daily News Analysis.
Tip: Time recommended for reading the newspaper for IAS exam: not more than 1 hour
Reading the newspaper for UPSC exam:
- Government press conferences are where – policies/schemes/reforms are announced.
- Outstanding bills in the Parliament regarding the changes and developments.
- You can also see the ads by the ruling party where they list their achievement records.
- Election-related news like reforms, etc.
- News related to the Constitution, amendments, etc.
- Supreme Court/High Court verdicts are essential.
- Parliamentary debates.
- Note- Do not focus on unrelated topics:
- Press conferences by the various political parties.
- Who won the elections.
- Under national news
- Focus on news related to national importance, like- Always focus on the facts and implications of an event. Such as, if there is a massive railway mishap, focus on why it happened and what can we do to reduce the chances of uncertainties in future, like- how the country is lacking in a comprehensive disaster management strategies.
- Data reported to ISRO, any scientific advancements in the country are required.
Note- Do not focus on unrelated topics:
- Political news like an X-party member blames a person of another party for taking bribes, etc.
- Under the economy
- Government press releases related to SEBI, Planning Commission, RBI, banking reforms, reforms in the economy, agriculture, industry, etc.
- NASSCOM, ASSOCHAM – related news that affects business.
- Indicators like GDP, CPI, IIP, etc. The absolute number not as significant as the reason behind it.
- Note- Do not focus on:
- The nitty-gritty of the share market.
- Under international news
- Visits of the Prime Minister (PM) and the President of India.
- The treaties signed on such bilateral visits by PM and President.
- International organizations like – the UN, WHO, IMF, etc.
- Major political events are happening in other countries that have possible international ramifications like a military coup, uprisings, etc.
- General Knowledge (GK)
- Climate/weather change news/and global warming.
- News related to environment and ecology.
- Science and tech news like significant developments in the science fields.
- News about any endangered species, any species are becoming extinct, etc.
- Every UPSC CSE aspirant knows the importance of reading a newspaper for UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation. Among the papers in the market, ‘The Hindu’ is the most recommended newspaper, primarily for its high standards.
Why is reading ‘The Hindu’ newspaper essential?
‘The Hindu’ distinguishes between the news and the opinions. The Hindu gives priority to areas of national concern and usually avoids trivial issues/masala items.
How should an aspirant proceed with the newspaper?
- With the proper practice of compelling reading, you can gather everything necessary to form the UPSC exam point of view.
- This is by focusing on essential areas and just skimming over non-priority pages.
Note: Never miss Thursday’s edition of the Hindu Science and Technology. It covers many questions from both the prelims and mains exam.
Where should we focus?
- Functional analysis of current issues (Editorial page or Op-Ed page).
- Supreme Court and High Court verdicts.
- Issues of national and international importance.
- Parliamentary Debates.
- Government policies and orders.
Note: Make notes on the relevant topics (Have sample notes on – 1. GST, 2, Paris Agreement, etc. You may make notes on all recent bills, recent Supreme Court orders etc.)
Things to ignore in a newspaper?
- Local news – related to the new bakery, etc.
- Political news – regarding politicians sex scandals.
- Masala news like – film reviews, wardrobe malfunctions of celebs (which is not covered in “The Hindu” newspaper).
Note- Let’s understand the way to read The Hindu for UPSC:
- Front Page
- Opinion and Editorials
- Economics and Business
- Science and Agriculture
Tip: Immediate beginners should keep in mind the UPSC mains syllabus while reading the newspaper. This would help you concentrate on the concerned areas related to the exam (E.g., 1. NGOs, 2. Self-Help, etc. as they are covered in UPSC CSE syllabus)
Most candidates want to know: Can we succeed in the UPSC CSE without reading the newspaper?
The answer is NO. There are always substitutes – other magazines, current affairs capsules, mobile apps and so on, but they don’t usually provide in-depth information about the concerned issues, which is why- professionals advise reading of the newspaper as a daily exercise for all the students as this has multiple benefits.
Most important of the benefits would be –
- the ‘pictorial memory’ which would be of immense help in Prelims, Mains, and Interview.
- Also, to improve your vocabulary and communication skills.
The advantages of reading the newspaper for UPSC CSE has increased tremendously as a lot of topics and areas are covered in papers. The exam also focuses a lot on the essential daily happenings and the crux of these tips/notes is to manage your time accordingly and not to waste time over unimportant issues for UPSC exam and focus only on the areas where it matters.
Areas covered in this article:
- Why should we read the newspaper?
- Importance of reading newspaper
- Strategies to read newspapers
- Newspaper for UPSC
- The Hindu
- How to read the newspaper to prepare for UPSC?