By Atul Maharaj:
Even today in India, you are greeted by two visitors daily even before the cock crows or the sun rises. One of them is the milkman, and the other is the newspaper boy. One of the first things that you would see every morning is the newspaper lying in your courtyard or your balcony. Sipping hot coffee/tea while reading the newspaper was the trend. But in this digital era where there is a tsunami of news apps such that it is just a tap away, many would wonder if anyone still reads the newspaper. Well does this mark the death of the newspaper in the digital era? Well, I don’t think so.
With a sea of news applications in the market, the newspaper is still the only source of information for many, especially in a country like India. With a daily readership of well over 356 million, this is a clear indicator that newspapers are here to stay. For many, including me, the day doesn’t start with a newspaper. Even with a smart phone and the Internet, not reading a newspaper leaves a void in my day; the day is incomplete without it. Even when you walk into a good hotel, office or any public place, you will definitely find a newspaper stand. One of the most common sights you would come across would be of people reading a newspaper at the bus stand, railway station or even in the park.
Even though newspapers don’t have the feature for a breaking news notification, it does have a highly localised news section, which I feel, the apps lack. Most of the apps do have a local city section but it generally covers the metros.
A lot of people in India prefer reading news in their local language (not only because they don’t know English) but because they are more comfortable with that, even though the news apps are now available in both Hindi and English. They do miss out on other languages. Finding a Malayalam or Bengali newspaper is much easier than a news app in that language.
For as low as Rs. 5, you can get information worth a lot. It still has a great reach when compared to news apps, considering the fact that many in India still don’t have access to the Internet. From finding a job to finding your soul mate, everything is available in one single newspaper.
At last, the feel of a newspaper is priceless. It’s far better than swiping or flicking for news. Many including me would prefer reading a newspaper any day. It’s one way to keep ourselves away from the smart phone to which we are glued for almost the entire day.
In my house, everyday is a fight for the newspaper. Everyone wants to read only the main paper and that too before anyone else reads it. From sports to global news and from entertainment to finance, there’s everything for everyone. Reading a newspaper is a good habit that I feel every parent must inculcate in their children from a tender age. Because if you aren’t aware of what’s happening, you will be a mere listener during conversations.
This article was originally published in the author’s personal blog.