Advantages of Reading Newspaper for Students & Tips to Cultivate the Habit

Reading is a pertinent and advantageous habit for students. It helps them gain knowledge in a self-paced manner and adds to their intellectual development. Reading books is the most common activity among students, but reading newspapers must be encouraged too. It has its distinct advantages since newspapers provide information on varied topics, as well as general knowledge. Newspapers include details about economic conditions, trade and commerce, healthcare, sports, entertainment, world news, fashion, environment etc. Reading newspapers thus helps widen the students’ outlook and enriches their knowledge base.      

Some of the benefits of reading newspapers for students can be outlined as below:

* Improved knowledge and vocabulary

With a wide variety of topics covered in the newspapers daily, every student will find news articles that interest them. From discoveries and innovations to climate change and environment to art and culture to sports, politics and finance, there is a plethora of information to soak in. This helps enhance the general knowledge as well as the vocabulary of the students. New words, writing styles and thoughts expressed better the students’  writing prowess too.  

* Enhanced critical thinking skills and exposure to different perspectives

As students read news, views and critiques by subject experts in newspapers, their ability to analyse and reflect upon what they read also improves. They may agree or disagree with opinions and perspectives expressed in the news articles. This raises their quotient for creative and critical thinking, logical deduction and making connections between seemingly diverse aspects. This also helps the students to develop the skill to respect divergent views, and understand the context within which such views are formulated. 

* Awareness of current affairs

In today’s competitive parlance, it is necessary that students have knowledge of the dynamically changing world scenario. An ideal way to enable this is through regular newspaper reading. The importance of newspaper reading is evidenced from the fact that no other publication includes as many varieties of news and other information that newspapers do. They also have information on current affairs, which are written in very simple to increasingly complex formats so that students of all age groups can find age-appropriate reading materials. The best schools in Pune, including MIT Gurukul, thus subscribe to newspapers and have dedicated libraries and reading times for their students.

* Development of reading and literary acumen

If students read newspapers in different languages, it has its added advantages. They are exposed to different literary and linguistic traditions, grasp the nuanced variations in language expressions and get exposed to creative writing styles in various languages. It provides them a vast canvas of thoughts and the ability to engage in fruitful discussions with their peers, teachers and family. Over time this becomes a healthy extracurricular immersion that also prevents students from excessive social media indulgence. This becomes a lifelong habit and a beneficial outcome of reading newspaper.

Considering that newspaper reading has immense benefits, a few tips can help students develop consistent reading habits. Teachers at school and parents at home can support the students in developing these reading disciplines.

Tips to Cultivate the Habit of Reading Newspaper:

* Set aside dedicated time for reading

The advantages of reading newspapers can be best reaped when the student is attentive and focused; hence the choice of reading time should be made by the student. Every student has their preference for the time of the day when they like to read. Newspaper reading can be incorporated within such preferred time so that a dedicated time each day can be set aside for this activity. 

* Choose a newspaper that suits your interests and level of comprehension

Reading information or news that the student can easily understand helps keep the motivation for reading intact. Different newspapers contain sections for quizzes, Sudoku, joining the dots activities, news about schools and children appropriate events etc. The newspapers also have different sections for news about finance, politics, international affairs and the like. Newspapers such as Economic Times focus more on trade, and the education section of newspapers offers information on national and international universities and courses. Students can choose the newspaper that best suits their interests and the level at which they can comprehend the information.    

* Make notes and summaries to retain information

When a student finds a news article that syncs with their academic subjects, a good practice to retain information would be to take notes. Summarising such news articles in one’s own words can also help tackle specific aspects of International baccalaureate subjects. Some examples include extended essays and the theory of knowledge assignments, for which such summarised notes can prove very useful. Further, notes become a ready reference and build upon the formal classroom learning of the student. 

* Discuss news articles with others

Discussing what one has read in the newspaper with classmates, teachers, friends and family can also boost the reading habit. Sharing information, ideas and one’s views on the read news or articles also provides the student with the aptitude for gathering a variety of perspectives about the same set of information. It also helps them generate ideas for work and school assignments and produce high-quality academic output. 

* Use technology to access newspapers

If newspapers are easily accessible, the chances that students will read them regularly will be more. Reading online versions of newspapers makes them available at the click of a button and keeps the students on track with their reading time each day.   Students can also send their classmates electronic copies of interesting articles and initiate a knowledge-sharing practice. Thus leveraging technology to develop this fruitful habit is a positive way to hone reading among students. Within international baccalaureate diploma programme curriculums, emphasis is laid upon reading, which includes various newspapers being made available to students at all times.    

In developing the newspaper reading habit, initially, students may face challenges. Over time, with consistent effort and encouragement from teachers and parents, this becomes a regular part of the routine.  

Potential Challenges and How to Overcome Them:

* Lack of time

Time can be a constraint in developing newspaper reading habits within the busy school calendars. The best way to tackle the obstacle is to formulate a schedule for daily activities and add reading time to it in time slots that best allow for focused and attentive reading. Even ten minutes daily would suffice for young students, and may go up to twenty minutes for secondary and high school students.    

* Difficulty in understanding complex articles

Sometimes a student may find a particular article or news difficult to understand or the concepts outlined in it may be new for the student and beyond their comprehension. This difficulty can be overcome by asking their teacher or parents to explain the same to them or watching a YouTube video explaining the concepts in simpler terms.

* Overwhelming amount of information

With a lot of information in newspapers, sometimes it can become daunting for a student to decide what to read and which article to skim through. Also, the overload of information can be distracting. To address this, a student can either decide some topics to concentrate on for a period of time, or read specific topics each day of the week.  

Conclusively,newspaper reading is a positive interest that should be cultivated in students from an early age. It is educational, informative and an interesting way to spend quality time. Newspapers carry everything from serious and thought-provoking articles to interesting world news and scientific information to art or sports information. Like books, newspapers are best resources for the development of intellectual and mental faculties. At we encourage parents to inculcate newspaper reading among their wards and motivate them to pursue it as a lifelong interest. 

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