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How to start reading a Business Newspaper – PART II

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PART II

So, here you are again! Congratulations!! Because the fact that you are back to read this proves that you are REALLY interested in inculcating this essential habit. We hope you have already started implementing the tips that we suggested in the previous article, if not, please do yourself a favour and start ASAP!

Once you start following news regularly on TV / the internet or magazines, the task of reading a business newspaper seems not-so-petrifying! Well, the petrifying part of business newspapers is in their ‘language’. English, it is! But if you are reading a Business newspaper for the first time you’ll realise how English can feel like German!! So, in this case, reading isn’t a big deal, ‘understanding’ it is the challenge that faces a newbie reader.

Note: Again, I’m assuming that you are a newbie reader and that you are not / have not been an avid newspaper reader!

To start with, there are quite a few renowned Business papers in the market – The Mint, Business Standard / BS, Economic Times / ET and Financial Express (in increasing order of complexity/difficulty, personal opinion!). All of them provide the same news, but each with a different treatment. ET is most recommended in B-schools, while BS is also a good business daily.  But the fact is whichever newspaper you choose to stick to; each of them is simply an overdose of information. So, it is wise to not start reading a newspaper with the aim that you will finish reading all of it! Trust us, no one does!!

What to read?

The newspaper is wisely divided into sections to cater to the interests of a diverse variety of people. So most people only read sections / headlines / news that interest them. And that is what you can do too! The first page of any Business daily, gives you the top stories and several headlines that are continued in the subsequent pages. Reading the first page gives you an idea about what may / may not interest you in almost the entire newspaper. Also, most articles feature an ‘in-set box’ that gives a gist of the situation / news. That could also help you gauge whether you want to read further or not. However, as a Business student there will be certain sections like the Editorials, Finance & Economics in which you might have to ‘generate’ interest! So start with areas that interest you and slowly, but steadily, move to these ‘heavy’ sections! Especially for those intending to specialise in Finance, once you start getting a hang of the Business daily (and possibly fall in love with it), try developing a taste towards a particular sector and analyse the industries in it. Start with a small one and slowly move to bigger industries. This is a little far-fetched, but surely you could take help from your Professors or your ever-helpful seniors!

When to read?

You could read whenever and wherever it suits you. People read them while travelling in trains and buses, while having breakfast, during the break in college. …You could decide on whatever suits you best! Just make sure you do allocate time for it!

Don’t just READ!!

Well, let’s consider, it’s your first encounter with a business daily and you start reading the top story on the first page. It reads, “IIP shocker dims hope of recovery”. Hmmm….IIP!! Now, this is where no matter how many business magazines you’ve read, no matter how many top stories you’ve followed, nothing will come to your rescue, ‘coz this is hard core economics! And most often, business dailies are teeming with Finance and Economics terms. So, what do you do? There are two ways to deal with this:

One, you read through the entire article and chances are that you will understand what the term means by the end of it.

Two, you fail to understand what it means and so, you Google it to find out. But, this isn’t feasible for each & every article and for every term that you come across. So, most people let the term linger in their minds till they come across the same term in a book/ in a lecture/ or may be in an article the next day or they ask a friend to get better clarity on it.

But, we’d suggest that, every day make it a point to Google / read up on at least one difficult term that you come across. Maintain a book / a Word document of such terms and their definitions. This would mean some value-addition every day. For a newbie, reading a newspaper is on such high-priority that she can be greatly satisfied with herself if she spends 2 hours ‘reading’ the newspaper. But then, did you gain anything out of it? That is the question.

Read & Reflect

Edmund Burke says, “To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” You gain nothing out of either of the exercises. So, even if you read just two articles of the newspaper in the one-hour that you’ve allocated for newspaper reading, make sure you KNOW what you read! After reading every article, take a few minutes and explain to yourself what you read. This will give you a better understanding of what you read and will also help some questions surface. Let those questions linger, if you don’t have the time to sort them out. Sooner or later the answers will surface, too. But, take 2 minutes and do reflect on the Who, What, Why and How of every article you read, that should be your take-away.

Discuss & Share

Whenever you are with a friend or a group of friends and you are short of things to talk about, the day’s headlines can be good starter. I know, you must be thinking that you’ll rather strike a discussion about the latest movie than talk about IIP or Maruti’s Manesar issue. Well, the choice is yours. It’s just a suggestion!  Sharing & discussing news with friends is a good way to learn & understand things better. It helps you form opinions on issues and helps you understand other points of view that your friends may bring up. So, Movie or Maruti…you choose!

So, here we are at the end of our wits, having poured out all possible tips that we’ve learnt over a year of trying to learn to read Business newspapers. What we have tried to do is make you aware of all the possible issues that you will face and how you could tackle them. But remember, reading this article does not empower you with supernatural abilities to master the art of reading and understanding business dailies. You will have to sweat and diligently devote time and efforts to this task. Trust us, the long term benefits that you’ll reap are worth the pain!

So…..Go ahead! And enjoy the journey!! We really hope this helps!!

Sharon Mary John

With Valuable Inputs by:

Rohan Pinto, Sneha Shenoy, Preeti Singh, Ankit Shah, Riddhima Sharma, Ashwin Balakrishnan, Sindhu Sundaresh


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