BAD NEWS

 

President Mamnoon in his address emphasized the importance of education and said the best time to grow mangoes is before the advent of summer.

National assembly started its session two hours late and found that a big quantity of wheat bags was missing.

The match took an interesting turn when Misbah hit three sixes and decided to call a meeting early next month to decide the matter.

On a surprise visit to the jail the minister checked the living conditions and food the total time taken to cover the distance was more than two hours.

Some people might feel puzzled by reading the above lines while some may take it as some sort of typographical error, but believe me this is what many times happen with a lot of people while reading an Urdu newspaper. It is really agonizing and sometime highly comical to read and then also understand what did he or she really read? This was not so some 5-7 years back, what really happened to give rise to this situation?

Previously the front page of Urdu newspapers had between five to seven main news stories, most of them completing on the same page. Then, out of the blue some newspaper owner stuck on an ingenious idea and decided to change the format of his newspaper. Instead of 5-7 the number of news stories was raised to 20-25. The result of this change was that almost 90% of the news stories could not be completed on the front- page and had to be completed on other pages of the newspaper. So if one was reading some front- page news he was suddenly confronted with the information to go to such and such page bearing such and such number to complete it. Not only the whole act of going through the news was blown out and one was made to engage in an exercise of finding the rest of the news and then reading it to completely read its contents. One can imagine how tedious it would become to read the complete newspaper.

newspaper readingUnfortunately the idea of having first page of this format soon spread like a fire and almost all the Urdu newspapers were converted to this format. For people like me who always read all the news it became so cumbersome that it started testing their patience and made them change that habit. Some of us, who were too addicted found a way out by reading pages instead of news. They would start by reading the first page without completely reading those news that did not complete on that page and then the next page having some more short news and then on to the next page having only the left over news from the front page and read that by relying on their memory of what they read sometime back and then on to the next page also having left over news and mutatis mutandis. But, here again when they could not recollect the news read on the front page they had to go again to the front- page and first had to go through all the news until they find the origin of the news. As this also took time therefore, sometime it was difficult to recollect the left part of the news after reading the front page part of the news and everything might got mixed up.

Reading the Urdu newspaper now means a real hard work with still a lot of chances that it was not completed the way it should have been. For people with old age it has become an exercise in futility and sometime in stupidity that makes them sick and tired after the so-called reading of the newspaper.

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