Thursday, September 30, 2010

Warning: Reading this newspaper in the morning might spoil your day

The first thing in the morning across the world that none of us can make do without is reading the newspaper. However busy one's morning is, one cannot resist the urge to quickly skim through at least the headlines. Even with T.V where one has access to news 24x7, there is nothing better than having a hot cup of coffee and opening the crisp newspaper and inhaling the delightful smell of that fresh ink.
Did you know that as early as 59 B.C " Acta Diurna" was published on the orders of Julius Caesar who wanted his citizens to be made aware of the major political and social events of the day? Phew! what an idea! And then, Johann Carolus produced hand written news letters called "Relation" and in 1605 he switched over to printing  newspapers. So imagine right now we are celebrating 405th anniversary of the birth of the first newspaper in print. What a journey, don't you think?
Despite its glorious history, somehow over a period of time, the ubiquitous newspaper seems to have become more of a fiction thriller. Gory details of murders, thefts, war and killings, vandalism, corruption (most accentuated by vivid pictures) now seem to be the staple diet of all the newspapers. Somehow I guess the editors and the journalists must be feeling that if the news reported is not sensational then it is no news. Accordingly, when we start our day afresh, reading the newspapers only ends up giving more and more negative vibes and we invariably start our day on a morose note. Because all that we seem to be reading is how the whole planet is at war, how the people's representatives are making money, how our neighbouring countries are always trying to make a mockery of peace and so on and so forth.

Articles related to positive side of human nature, courageous acts, developmental work done by some of the most ordinary people which has brought about positive changes in the lives of many people,all these and more seem to be relegated to cameo pieces somewhere in the corner of the newspaper as that does not seem to sell more copies. Many a time I cringe when my children open and start reading the newspaper. There have been plenty of  times when I have felt that the news items are so gory that I hide that particular page from my children. Or do you think that our children are getting so used to reading these kind of news and think that is normal? A very dangerous thought, don't you think?  Have you ever felt this way? Aren't our children at an impressionable age when these kind of news have a deep impact on their psyche? Should newspapers now have a mandatory warning on the front page - "Reading this newspaper in the morning might spoil your day"? Is there something that can be done? Shouldn't the newspapers make every one of our mornings more positive and pleasant? What do you say?

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