Saturday, December 23, 2023

The day I stopped reading newspapers

Before Covid-19, I used to read a dozen newspapers almost every day—an old journalistic habit. Now I read none. I had cancelled the only newspaper subscription I had even before the pandemic. I miss the paper, not for the news, but for wrapping things.

These days I read news online on my laptop, mostly via media websites and aggregators; though I'm not always happy with what the algorithms throw up. Both in terms of the news content and the way it is reported.

For example, I have absolutely no interest in reading an "Exclusive!" about a couple of actors arriving in some city for someone's birthday party. Paid news? Or paid algorithm? If there's such a thing.

Also, like the palm of the hand, there are always two sides to a story. Unfortunately, that's often not the case. "What does the other side have to say?" The news report doesn't tell me. Probably because the other side wasn't asked. That's not fair.

My tab is a very convenient place to read. I have downloaded a few apps—Mint, The Economist, Moneycontrol, FT (London), Reuters, Bloomberg, WSJ, The Guardian (UK), BBC and CNN, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, AP News, Pocket and The New Yoker—which more than feed my curiosity for news stories and features, and other stuff. Some I subscribe to; others I read what's available for free.

In a way I have become my own news aggregator. Curating and gathering news, views and perspectives that I want to read. No longer bound by the limitations of what was often a depressing front page.

© Illustration: Arturo Navarro/


  1. I don't read newspapers any longer, Prashant. Like you, I found the news pretty depressing.

  2. I am sort of the opposite. I never read the news before Covid. When Covid started and I wanted to keep up with that, I read the LA Times, the only physical paper we get. But I also added The New York Times and the New Yorker. My husband added the Washington Post and the Guardian. All of those we access online, me on my computer and my husband uses his tablets or phone. And I have continued reading the parts of them I like the best, the book sections, the health sections, and some news, if I can take it. The New Yorker has been an eye opener for me; I like the variety.

    But I still like books best.