Ritual of News Paper Reading for CSE

Many aspirants ask me what Newspaper should I read and how much time I should dedicate time to read the newspaper. Although this question is very common, but this is a oversimplified question for something which is important. Aspirants expect me to tell one or two newspaper name which they can subscribe and start reading for Civil service exam so that they can get updated themselves on current events.

My father was working in the police department and many years back there was a situation in which the police caught old of a bunch of Sri lankan people who were involved either directly or indirectly in one of the most crucial cases in India. These people are not the actual criminals but they are important evidences in the case.  In order to protect them, they were kept in an isolated place which no one will suspect. High profile security provided for those people. My father with his team is assigned to source them with food and other amenities. They had their own way of communicating with the central security guards as it is a sensitive situation. The list of amenities to be sourced to them includes food, water and other basic refreshing kits and newspaper. Among which sourcing newspaper was a real challenge.
Now guess what newspaper they read. They were isolated from the entire world, no mobile phones, TV etc., the only source through which they can understand on what’s happening outside world is the newspaper.  Did they read a regional newspaper or a leading English daily or both? May be your mind says they should have read both. But they did something different, they requested for 13 newspapers of which 5 were regional dailies, 4 english national newspaper, Other papers included International papers. Is it possible to read all those newspapers, yes it is. They not only read the newspaper but they took some notes in paper as well, all complete in less than 3 hours. Why they didn’t settle with one newspaper, anyhow the same news is going to be repeated again and again.  One newspaper is enough if you want to just know the news, if you want to know the cause and effect of the news see the various dimension of happenings and analyze the situation to take any decision, you can’t settle with one newspaper.
If you don’t read the newspaper your are un-informed. If you read the newspaper, you are mis-informed
Mark Twain

Once a Chief Minister of a specific state was detained in a prison her prison diary states that she read 8 newspapers in less than 2.5 hours. 
            Near my home there was a personal assistant of a political leader who was the chief minister of an Indian state for more than 4 terms. This person receives more than 15 newspapers at his door step at morning 5.30. He reports to the party leader at 8.00 am with the complete notes of all relevant information. The political leader’s agenda is to have breakfast from 8.00 am to 8.30 am in that time none other than the personal assistant will be present by his side to convey all the important news relevant on that day which he synthesized from all the 15 newspaper.
Chief Editor of one of the most reputed English National Daily  is my family friend. I often visit their house and I have seen him receiving not less than 8 newspapers. He himself is an editor of a leading national daily what is the purpose of purchasing so many newspapers?
If you are an intelligent investor you can read either Economic times or Business line, but if you want to be an intelligent investment advisor you have to read both Economic times and Business line and all other available material in your field.
Now tell me what newspaper you should read for Civil Services Examination? The answer is at least 2 or if you dont have a good reading stamina, at least settle with one daily news paper complemented with few monthly/fortnightly magazines. Don’t settle with extracts provided by coaching institutes and other civil service exam prophets. It is sheer waste of time. To tone your body you have to do the pushups. To tone up your wisdom you have to read the information from the source i.e from news papers and PIB websites, not from second, third or fourth hand information.
The problem with reading newspaper is most of them don’t know how to read. When to skeptically scrutinize news and when to skim through and ignore the irrelevant information. In the following passages I shall give you some tips to quickly read newspapers without much effort. Although there are various methods, I share only few workable ones that practically worked for my students.
            While reading newspaper or any other contents both soft and hard copies, a typical reader employs either of two types of reading. One is skeptical reading and the other is skimming. Skeptical reader is the one who carefully reads the entire content and tries to check whether the information is substantiated with facts, numbers, proofs etc., Alternatively a skimming reader just sees the message and tries to get as much information by glancing the information for a while, probably 8 seconds per information. Most of the newspaper readers just skim through entire newspaper, and stops only for the articles that is relevant to them. They read the articles relevant to them skeptically word by word and try’s to check the validity of the information.
            A newspaper is compiled to appeal a diversified population and we should not assume that we need to read all the content available in the newspaper. Break the myth that we need to read the entire newspaper. No it is not required.
Usually a sport oriented person skim through the entire newspaper and skeptically read the sports page, whereas a banker or an economist skim through the entire paper and skeptically read through the Business and Finance page. Similarly, a Civil services candidate shall skim through the entire newspaper by only reading the headlines of each article. Stop only in case the article title and image of the article synchronizes with our exam syllabus/requirement. An idea about what is required for the exam can be arrived by reading the advertisement copy of the exam and reviewing the previous year question papers.
            Each article in a newspaper is written in a format called Article triangle. The first paragraph of all the articles in a newspaper is termed as lead paragraph that gives all the essential information. Read the lead paragraph to check whether the content is relevant to the exam. If it is relevant go ahead and read the content skeptically.

Step 1: Skim through the entire paper quickly
Step 2: Filter the articles to be read based on the headlines.
Step 3: Read the lead paragraph of the chosen articles to identify whether it is worth to proceed in reading it.
Step 4: Have a marker or color pen to high light key words and important points.
Step 5: If required take notes of the key information in your note book.
Step 6: If there is location mentioned, try to locate the place in Atlas Map.
Step 7: Google the key words and try to get answer for all the question words ‘why, what, when, how, who’.
Hope the above tips would be of help to you. Additionally I have covered similar information on reading news paper in youtube video which covers all important factors about civil services exam. The video can be accessed by click the link

All the best
Kind Regards
Purush & Team

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