Why I have stopped ‘studying’ newspapers
I recall that an article titled “Plebs and Princes” written by Frank Moraes was published in Indian Express about 45 years ago. I think I read this article, word by word, at least two times.
Interestingly this article was republished by the newspaper after a gap of month or two. I thought the newspaper had made a mistake. But then I saw that there was a small clarification. It was mentioned that the article was being republished on the demand of readers. The article was directed against the political class, particularly those who were members of Parliament and were being giving privileges befitting princes. Despite obvious bias against the politicians, it was fair analysis of the realities. And, therefore, one was tempted to read it word by word.
And it won’t be an exaggeration if I say that most of the reporting by newspapers in those gone by days was professional. It was ‘reporting’ in true sense of the term. Facts were reported and analysed; judgements were rarely passed by the press people. At least I enjoyed reading newspapers. In a sense I was studying the newspapers, many a time reading an article or news report two or three times.
But things appear to have changed quite a lot. Now, by just knowing the name of the newspaper and that of the author one can know as to what the news report or the article would contain. The biases are so obvious that objectivity is at a total discount. And reporting is, more often than not, pathetic.
For years I was subscribing to one newspaper only. Generally it was Indian Express; but in between I switched to HT, Times and Pioneer. And I used to spend quite a bit of my time reading the paper. These days I buy three papers, but hardly invest any time in reading them; most of the time I like to read sports news only, and even on sports page I look for Tennis news, rather Nadal news. Rest appears nothing but bunkum.