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Switch it off

After watching cable TV for a year, I have come to the conclusion that newspapers are a far better and worthwhile option. Of course, TV has its own positives, but I feel newspapers have more, writes Manisha Gopal.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2007 23:50 IST

A photograph says a thousand words. That is why television, “the source of talking pictures”, dominates our lives and all channels of communication in this information age.

But dominating does not always mean it is the best. After watching cable TV for a year, I have come to the conclusion that newspapers are a far better and worthwhile option. Of course, TV has its own positives, but I feel newspapers have more.

First, the biggest advantage of newspapers is that readers don’t need to alter their time schedule or pace of life for reading them. In the case of TV, you’ve to adjust your schedule according to the timing of your favourite programmes. These days when everyone considers time is money, reading a newspaper means saving a lot more of it.

Second, you can watch only one programme at a time. The remote control stays in the hands of one person, who dictates the choices of others. But this is not so with newspapers — family members can read different pages according to their interest and availability of time.

Next, of course, are those irritating advertisements. Newspapers don’t compel you to read them. You can flip the pages or just throw the ad supplements away. But on TV, there is absolutely no way out. Watching a movie or a discussion on TV has become a nightmarish experience.

Jokes apart, let’s come to the moot point. TV information is so rapid that it does not give you time to think, analyse, evaluate and form your own opinion. Consequently, viewers become a slave of the opinion-makers. But newspapers? Read at your own pace, analyse each news item and build your own opinion.

So after knowing so much, would I ever leave newspapers for an idiot box? No, I’m not such an idiot.

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