Season 4

Newspapers (S04E06)

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This episode’s vocabulary

  • Subscription (noun) — an arrangement to receive something, typically a publication, regularly by paying in advance.
  • Opinion piece (noun) — an article in which the writer expresses their personal opinion, typically one which is controversial or provocative, about a particular issue or item of news.
  • Frivolous (adj.) — not having any serious purpose or value.
  • In my blood (phrase) — ingrained in or fundamental to one's character.
  • Overload (noun) — an excessive amount of something.
  • Appealing (adj.) — attractive or interesting.
  • Communication infrastructure (noun) —  it is the backbone of the communications system upon which various broadcasting and telecommunication services are operated.
  • Informed (adj.) — (of a decision or judgement) based on an understanding of the facts of the situation.
  • Mental health (noun) - a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.
  • Take on smth (phrase) - someone's perspective, opinion, or idea(s) about something.

We have also added these words to a “Quizlet” set for you to study and revise in your free time:


Questions and Answers

Maria: Let's talk about newspapers and magazines. Do you read news in newspapers or on the Internet?

Rory: It's usually on the Internet, actually, I can't really afford or organize a subscription... That's actually faster that way, I suppose.

Maria: Do you think the Internet is a good way to get news?

Rory: Um, I suppose if it's simple or factual information about events, then yes. But there are a lot of opinion pieces out there that I don't like.

Maria: Which do you prefer: reading magazines or newspapers?

Rory: Um, I suppose if I have to choose one, it's probably going to be reading newspapers. I find magazines to be a bit frivolous most of the time.

Maria: Do you often read newspapers?

Rory: Well, online - probably once a day and then offline - usually when I'm home. My parents and I like doing the crosswords and making fun of some of the court reports in the local paper.

Maria: How old were you when you started reading newspapers?

Rory: Oh, God, probably before I was born, actually. My parents are both journalists, so reading and writing is sort of in my blood. I guess if you want a more serious answer, it's probably when I was six or seven or eight, my dad used to bring home the paper every day. So we just read it, normally.

Maria: Do you think it's important to read newspapers?

Rory: In print form, probably not so much these days when you can get all the information you need online whenever you want it. Although, on the other hand, if you read the paper once a day, it might be good for just preventing information overload, to be honest.

Maria: How do newspapers attract readers?

Rory: Um, well, I guess by advertising and appealing to tradition in the main, um, maybe there are some services that they offer for younger people, but it seems to be usually like older, more traditional people that they try to get the attention of.

Maria: What effect do newspapers have on society?

Rory: Um, well, in some places where communication infrastructure isn't so well developed, it might be crucial for information sharing. Um, and without them, civil society couldn't really function. More broadly, they're a big part of opinion formation on the issues of the day.

Maria: Is news important to you?

Rory: Well, yeah, you've got to know what's going on and it's important to be well informed. But if I read more than once a day, I'd probably get depression from all the bad things that people report on.

Maria: How often do you read the news?

Rory: Um, like I say, just once a day. Otherwise, it's probably not going to have a good effect on my mental health.

Maria: Do you prefer to read local or international news?

Rory: Well, I guess they're bound up together since Russia and the UK are major countries. So anything that happens on the local level there usually has some impact internationally.

Maria: Rory, do you discuss the news with your friends?

Rory: Um, sometimes. Although, I think it's better to avoid it, since my take on things is usually very different to my friends, and I don't really like arguing with people. So we just discuss the facts and then move on from there to talk about something more personal or interesting.


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