During last three centuries, reading newspapers entered our life so deeply, so desperately became a part of us that we can demise it as an inheritance. We can safely claim that it has become a normal physiological necessity of human organism, as, say, dieting, observance of the personal hygiene, sex and so on. However, if the vital functions listed above are under permanent medical control of dietitians, sexologists, dermatologists, and other health care professionals, the opinion of newspaperologists yet are extremely rare.
The absence of any developed in newspaperology is pernicious not so much for the science, as for many ordinary readers, who, avoiding following medical recommendations, expose their health to the permanent danger.
The clear evidence of the heaviest consequences of the newspaper hunger are well known quite for long already. For example, absence of newspapers in prisons and penitentiary establishments affects the health of prisoners and leads to the protests and even riots. We all remember the mass escape from a Chinese prison of group of the prisoners exhausted by prohibitions on newspaper subscription. They were grasped by a police at the first paper shop, where they had lined up for the fresh issue of their favorite Renmin Ribao.
Redundant newspaper information conducing to the manic-depressive psychoses is no less dangerous. A wide fame has known the case of the Australian official Edward Brown, whose friends for the sake of joke subscribed at once on half hundred of various newspapers as a present for his birthday, after what, Brown, being quite a stingy man, not only agreed to get all these newspapers but also read them voraciously from the first to the last line.
As a result, he began to go blind little by little, and from complete blindness he was saved only by his sudden death. On the Sidney cemetery, where the poor fellow is buried, a marble monument is set in the shape of the unfolded newspaper, dated the year of his death, i.e., by the last major news for each of us news that we cannot possibly read in the periodic press.
Made examples eloquently talk about the truth tested in practice: an average person needs not too little and not too much of, but exactly as much, as his temperament requires. To someone two newspapers a day is enough, and someone needs five, and someone is fully satisfied with only one and is happy, as is happy a faithful husband in bed with his beloved wife…
So the benefits of newspaper reading is quite evident. However, there are opponents of this brave idea, suggesting to replace newspapers by modern media: television or the Internet. All these objections were swept away by saying of the well-known professor Patrick O’Brian. His passionate speech in the Congress became famous for these words: “Never, ladies and gentlemen, a civilized man will give up possessing his favorite newspaper. If, sitting after morning coffee, I will not be able to look over a today’s newspaper, and after, sitting in a rest room, to finish reading yesterday’s, I will know that civilization ended!”
I have nothing to add to these words.
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