The answer lies in newspapersReading newspapers helps students’ academic performance and raises their chances of getting good jobs, an empirical study showed. According to a study of the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training that tracked the lives of 4,000 high school seniors over a span of 11 years from 2004 through 2015, those who had read newspapers during the school day scored six to eight points higher than those who had not throughout all subjects in the college entrance exam.
When they grew up, 32.2 percent among those who regularly read newspapers were able to get decent-paying jobs at large companies employing more than 300 employees as well as state and foreign enterprises, while the ratio was a meager 26.5 percent for non-readers. Those coming from newspaper-reading families earned 100,000 won ($88) more than those who did not. Those who read literature and non-fiction books scored well on their college entrance exam, but those who read newspapers on top of books did better.
The study was the first of its kind in Korea on the influence of published materials on academic performance and job potential. Traditional reading remains valuable even in an age where the Internet and video media has come to dominate. Newspapers have been proven to help the mind broaden its spectrum as well as train itself to accumulate information and knowledge for better reasoning.
A survey by Japan’s education ministry and newspaper association also showed a noticeable gap in the grades of students who regularly read newspapers and those who don’t. The results of a separate survey of American college students were no different. It showed that the more they read newspapers - and the less time they spend time on SNS - the better their academic performance.
The latest local study also showed that students from a lower-income family scored better than their well-off counterparts if they read newspapers. Reading, especially newspaper reading, can be helpful for young minds regardless of family background. But as traditional newspapers are being challenged by the ascent of new media, it is important to remember how pivotal they truly are.
JoongAng Ilbo, Oct. 28, Page 34