Television vs. Newspapers

News coverage over television is different from reading newspapers. Newspapers were primarily established to cover the news and later on they added entertainment. On the other side television was mainly invented for entertainment and then it became an effective news medium. Now television news has become a powerful rival to newspapers. Though both of these medium cover the news effectively, there are distinct differences in the way they do it.

Newspapers do not require us to visit at a place and read the news. Busy people may read the papers anytime of the day. They may read the news that is important to them early in the morning, and carry the paper with them to reading the bus or van. They may also choose to omit certain aspects of the news that they are not interested in.

Television, on the other hand, requires its viewers to be at a certain place, at a certain time in order to watch and listen to the news. If they are busy people, they will miss the news. They cannot choose to read it on the move or throughout the day. They cannot even choose which piece of news they wish to skip. One way could be to record it and watch it later. But the point here is that it is not that convenient.

Television brings laziness in us. We can view the news with a little or no effort since it is practically a form of entertainment. If we have the leisure time, we can view the television news anytime of the day and night. It broadcasts the news as it is happening. Much mastery of language is not necessary for the person who prefers to view the news on television because everything is visual and auditory. A person with a basic knowledge of the broadcast language will be able to view and understand it. In comparison, the reader of a newspaper needs to be proficient in the language in order to understand it better.

Although television can give us the most updated news and visuals, newspapers can give us more in-depth coverage. Editorials and column writers can give us their expert views and analysis that we can digest slowly as we read them. Many people also opt to read more than one newspaper a day so as to get different viewpoints of the story and to check for its validity. Readers can also give feedback to the articles by writing to the forum pages. Viewers of television news do not have this luxury as the news files too fast to any feedback to be relevant.

Each medium has strengths that the other does not. Each makes use of strong points that the other lacks. Television news is like having a fast food meal whereas reading newspapers is like having a ten course dinner. The ideal seems to be, if one has the time, to both read read the news and watch it on television.

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