It is not often these days that news consumers have something good to say about newspapers.
And TV stations.
Individual and institutional transgressions—paid news, private treaties, medianet, Radia tapes, shrieking anchors, sensationalism, jingoism, corruption, etc—have all contributed enormously to the cynicism of the media among the consuming classes.
How heartening therefore to hear Debasweta Banik.
At 22, one of youngest to pass the civil services examinations this year, the NOIDA girl tells the Wall Street Journal‘s India Realtime, that she didn’t reach out for textbooks or attend coaching classes. Instead, she dipped into newspapers to keep abreast with current affairs and frame her essays better.
“A typical day, Banik says, would begin by studying three out of seven English-language news dailies her father – an engineer at a Noida-based state-run firm – subscribes to. Her staples were The Indian Express, Hindustan Times and The Hindu, but she would also dip into others.
“‘I made cuttings out of articles – commentaries and news stories – which interested me,’ said Ms. Banik, who ranked 14th in the exam. ‘These were my notes.’
“Opinion pieces written by political analyst Ramachandra Guha and economist Abhijit Banerjee helped her better frame long answers in the exam, she added….
“‘People underestimate the knowledge in newspapers,’ said Ms. Banik, who is from Noida. ‘I don’t know how I would have done this without them. They were my lifeline,’ she said.
Image: via Facebook
Link: courtesy Nikhil Kanekal
Read the full article: How I aced India’s toughest exam
Also read: Shekhar Gupta on Express and the Hindu