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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Importance of Newspapers

The Importance of Newspapers

As a future teacher, I see that newspapers are very important to the education of our students. It has become a necessity for the common citizen to be educated on global events. By encouraging students to read the newspaper, it not only endorses life long learning, but it also promotes unity throughout the globe. When people are aware of what is going on around the world, they are more likely to interact between countries. The world of technology that is blossoming before our eyes makes global interaction a reality. Newspapers that are on actual paper are becoming objects of our past. It is now very common to have the full published version of a newspaper on the World Wide Web. This makes accessing newspapers very simple. The online version of the papers is not only easier to access, but they also contain more information than the hard copies.

The online versions of the newspapers contain links that give you more information on any given topic. As a teacher there are many resources that could be very useful. There are lesson plans that have to do with any topic that a teacher would like to teach. In these lesson plans there is a great amount of interaction between the student and the web. In a lesson plan that I looked at on voting in the New York Times, there is a way that students can have a mock vote, and see the results via the web. This teaches students such a huge amount of skills in just one lesson. It teaches them to be more comfortable using computers as well as something about voting. There are so many other ways that newspapers can help students become more successful in the world of today. Children, who know more about current events, often find it easier to talk to adults because they have more subjects to talk about. I am speaking from experience because when I am more aware of what is going on, I find it much easier to strike up a conversation with people. By teaching our students conversation skills, it will show them how to network; making them more successful
When I was in elementary school, I was often assigned to report on a current event on a weekly basis. I was never too thrilled about doing this because it was not very interesting to me. By having student interact with the web, I think it would make it more interesting. I think students would realize that current events do effect them and they need to be aware of them. They should be aware of global issues such as destruction of rain forests and pollution. They can see that they can make a difference in the world. This is very important because it not only builds self esteem, but it also helps the earth be a better place.
I look forward to assigning my students to read the newspapers. I think that I will use them on a daily basis to show how much information they contain. I will show the students how to use the newspaper to find jobs as well as to find out about current events. I will show them about the way they can find out about local entertainment attractions and how they can look up the weather forecast. I will try to make sure that all of my lesson plans are full of action so students will be attracted to the newspaper, rather than dread reading it. I hope to be able to show my students that the newspaper is a well of knowledge that can be a useful life long tool.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why is the media here so negative?

Why is the media here so negative? A speech by Abdul Kalam in Hyderabad
Why is the media here so negative?- Former Indian President Abdul Kalam

Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements?

We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?

We are the first in milk production.

We are number one in Remote sensing satellites.

We are the second largest producer of wheat.

We are the second largest producer of rice.

Look at Dr. Sudarshan, he has transferred the tribal village into a self-sustaining, self-driving unit. There are millions of such achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures and disasters. I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert into an orchard and a granary. It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news.

In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime. Why are we so NEGATIVE? Another question: Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign T.Vs, we want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology.

Why this obsession with everything imported. Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance? I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is. She replied: I want to live in a developed India . For her, you and I will have to build this developed India . You must proclaim. India is not an under-developed nation; it is a highly developed nation. Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a vengeance.

Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice is yours.

YOU say that our government is inefficient.

YOU say that our laws are too old. YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage. YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke,

The airline is the worst in the world, mails never reach their destination.

YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pits.

YOU say, say and say. What do YOU do about it? Take a person on his way to Singapore . Give him a name - YOURS. Give him a face - YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your International best. In Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground links as they are. You pay $5 (approx. Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU come back to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status identity... In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU? YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai . YOU would not dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah. YOU would not dare to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds ( Rs.650) a month to, 'see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone else.'YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop, 'Jaanta hai main kaun hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks and get lost.' YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand .

Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo ? Why don't YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston ??? We are still talking of the same YOU. YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own. You who will throw papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country, why cannot you be the same here in India ?

Once in an interview, the famous Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay , Mr. Tinaikar , had a point to make. 'Rich people's dogs are walked on the

streets to leave their affluent droppings all over the place,' he said. 'And then the same people turn around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they expect the officers to do? Go down with a broom every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels?

In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job.

Same in Japan . Will the Indian citizen do that here?' He's right. We go to the polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility.

We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms. We want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least opportunity.

This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on the service to the public. When it comes to burning social issues like those related to women, dowry, girl child and others, we make loud drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuse? 'It's the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my son's rights to a dowry.' So who's going to change the system?

What does a system consist of? Very conveniently for us, it consists of our neighbours, other households, other cities, other communities and the government. But definitely not me and YOU. When it comes to us, actually making a positive contribution to the system we lock ourselves along with our families into a safe cocoon and look into the distance at countries far away and wait for a Mr Clean to come along & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep on his hand or we leave the country and run away. Like lazy cowards hounded by our fears, we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system. When New York becomes insecure we run to England . When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight out to the Gulf. When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is mortgaged to money.

Dear Indians, The article is highly thought inductive, calls for a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too.... I am echoing J. F. Kennedy's words to his fellow Americans to relate to Indians.....



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