Physical newsprint becomes history, in my world

The unthinkable has happened.

I’ve stopped buying a newspaper at home. Yes, permanently.

I’ve never considered that the digital medium would obviate the need for a physical, printed news copy at home, so soon. And definitely not when the balance in web-vs-print hasn’t started shifting as much in India.

Firstly, some context on why this is big for me. Of over 15 years of subscribing to newspapers, I’ve been on Economic times for the past 10. Newspapers have steadily grown into an obsession for me over time, so much that I usually hoard papers through the week to catch up on unread stuff over the weekend! I had such an obsession for ET Sunday that I’ve regularly carried around the past several week’s editions for well over a month, at times while travelling as well, until I’ve fully ‘finished’ them. And there are times when my days started gloomy because the vendor accidentally skipped the daily newspaper at home.

Going from there, not too long ago, to a state of taking a decision to stop the newspaper for good, has been too rapid, even for my own senses to fathom. There’s an interplay of several channels that have made the newspaper redundant for me:

  • Firstly, there’s a steady set of feeds that I’ve subscribed to online and set them up for consumption on my feedly channel spanning my core interest areas.
  • I’ve setup a similar lists across interest areas, for some of the notable users that I follow on twitter through Tweetdeck. This has evolved into a great medium for news discovery and aggregation.
  • I have experimented with inshorts app (the fast-growing Indian startup) on my mobile, which surfaces top headlines couple of times during the day. This covers the national, local and other breaking global news.
  • These channels pretty much cover everything that I’d like to catch up on. Anything missed here or trending viral stuff surfaces on whatsapp, facebook or other medium — all of which I use sparingly.

Over the past month, I had started noticing the newspaper gathering dust at home. Time bandwidth issues apart, I’ve seen a better customized match of news and articles of my interest online and the availability of apps & aggregator feeds only makes it all the more easier to create your custom digital newspaper. And that explained why the physical newsprint has lost much of its original sheen.

It remains to be seen if this decision will be persisted, but directionally that’s where I’m headed, for now.

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