In General

We have been subscribing to  at least one newspaper at our home right from my Grandfather days.We have  had ‘The Hindu’ for the longest but also dabbled with Times of India and Deccan Chronicle. We still continue to get newspapers to this day. But that’s going to change now. I have asked the Newspaper Agent to stop my subscriptions from March 31.

Reading newspaper in the morning is a habit that has been ingrained in me. I’m 38 years old. That’s 14,157 days since the day I was born. For almost every single day of my life, a newspaper has plonked on our door step every morning. My Dad had encouraged me to read newspapers early in life. As I grew up, waking up in the morning and reaching out for the paper has become an involuntary habit.

So, why am I discontinuing a habit I have grown up with? Here are my reasons.

It’s a Productivity Killer: When you wake up in the moring, your mind and body is fresh from a good night’s sleep. The first hour after you wake up is the most fertile hour of the day. Just the perfect condition to produce things of value. Author a book chapter, Write a blog post, Plan for the day…anything that makes you create. (Read my post: Be a Producer. Not a Consumer.)  Unfortunately, when we pick up a newspaper, we become a passive consumer. Not an efficient way to spend the fertile hour.

I Don’t Find 90% of News Useful: The only two sections I read are the front page and the sports section. I really don’t give a damn about politics which occupies the chunk of the paper. Buying a newspaper is like buying a whole music album when all you like is just one song.

Its Convenient Reading News Online:  With my iPad, the newspaper comes along with me and I get to catch up on news whenever I have free time. And I get to pick the news section that I’m interested in and ignoring the rest.

Why Pay for the Ads?:  While ads are important for the newspaper, they add no value to me. I can’t think of any ad that has profoundly impacted my life.  I totally understand that ads are how newspapers make their money but its time they revisited their business model.

Save the Trees: Really! If I’m given two options to consume news, I’d rather choose the more sustainable one. Lets spare the trees if we can help it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against news. I strongly believe that one will have to keep oneself updated. I’m only against the medium of delivery. I find consuming news on mobile and iPad not just convenient but also sensible.

In my opinion, while the physical newspapers will die a slow definite death, the job of newsmaking will continue to prosper. There is and will continue to be demand for news. Journalism as an occupation will continue to be an evergreen field.

Giving up a newspaper is far easier than you’d think. Especially when you have another way to get your news fix. The easiest way to get out of a habit, is to get it off your eyesight. Hence the unsubscription. When the newspaper no longer comes to your home, how can you be distracted by it!

Think of how we sent our letters 20 years ago. Didn’t we seamlessly move to emails. The same will happen to news consumption as well.

So, what do you think of the decision? Stupid? Sensible?  I would love to hear your opinion.