I’ve always been an avid print newspaper reader but I got away from it in recent years and have been primarily catching up on news listening to NPR and spending my free time reading my favorite bloggers. Lately, I’ve been hungry for hard news beyond what a well-respected blogger could deliver in a short post. So I’ve returned to my print newspapers ways. I ordered a print subscription from WashPo and NY Times and it has filled the void in so many ways. A few observations:
Print newspapers deliver well-researched and detailed topics in a manner that allows you get the full backstory opposed to just brief points you would get from other media formats. Large media houses such as WashPo and NY Times have reporters on payroll spending hours researching stories, getting firsthand accounts, accessing databases with rich information to write just one article. They are held to account to make sure their stories have legs, well-researched and include legitimate sources. This means you get information from reporters who have combed through trash cans or other unsavory means to get all of the facts for their story. I just don’t see my favorite blogger having the same resources to pursue a story with such care so it makes sense to have a balanced approach to my reading list.
Additionally, sitting down with a cup of tea to read print newspapers allows you to focus and absorb what you are reading without distractions such as a message popping up on your phone while reading an article or clicking on links in an article which takes you down the tunnel of no return.
I had forgotten how rich newspapers were in terms of reading front page news on politics or the markets to reading a scientific finding or the latest fitness craze. The array of information you can read in one sitting can certainly boost your worldview which at the end of the day is golden if your aim is to build your confidence through knowledge gathering. Have you ever been stumped at a work setting when people were debating recent headlines, but you didn’t feel like you had enough information to contribute to the debate? I’ve been there. Creating a daily habit of reading print newspapers can help with that and give you the confidence to join in on debates.
I noticed that I am able to recall more information from print media compared to online media. I had a hunch that there was scientific research behind my recall ability from print media so I did some research. I stumbled upon this article touching on how reading on screens can inhibit comprehension among other things. No surprises here.
Why is it important to consume current news anyhow? Because paying attention to the world outside of your bubble allows you to noodle on new ideas and place them in context within your own worldview. And it just makes you smarter. Seriously, you get smarter because the information groom you to pause and form your own opinions about the world and connect the dots. I am convinced that taking an interest in reading newspapers is just one opportunity to build on the self-confidence continuum.