Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Better Newspaper: NST or The Star?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It would be hard for many to imagine living without newspapers as newspapers play a vital role in their life by educating them and also keeping them on track with all the current local as well as global news, ranging from politics to economy to sports.

Every country, as a result of that, tries to produce top-quality newspapers for the benefit of the public. Like in the UK, the popular newspapers are ‘The Daily Mirror’, ‘The Telegraph’ and ‘The Sun’, all of which face fierce competition to sell their papers from one another.

In Malaysia, we have two English-medium newspapers of the so-called ‘highest quality’ which fuels the nation’s readers. The two papers are namely The Star and New Straits Times (NST). There are other newspapers such as ‘The Sun’ but they are not as full-fledged and prestigious as the two above.

Here, I would like to take the opportunity to compare our nation’s top two newspapers and see which tabloid is the better choice for reading. Ultimately, there has to be one, right? This is just my take on things, so it’s based wholly on my perspective and therefore, there's no reason to get angry if I demote your favourite newspaper to second spot.

Value for Content

This is one of the most important factors that readers take into account when picking up a newspaper from the newsstand. The more the content, say for RM1, the more readers that are going to buy the newspaper because it caters to a bigger audience. Looking from this aspect, The Star has a higher value for content as compared with NST due to its high volume of classifieds and inside pullouts, which NST has but only to a certain extent.
Score: The Star 1-0 NST

Maturity of Writing

Having experienced journalists who can deliver a high level of maturity in their writing is also important. Readers would definitely want to read news that is supported by a whole lot of facts and figures and cemented by a good use of the English language. In that sense, NST is better than The Star. You would agree with me by comparing both their local sports sections – NST has more in-depth analysis.
Score: The Star 1-1 NST

Layout and Presentation

Having a good, slightly colourful and neatly arranged layout means that the readers eyes would easily be able to capture what is written and also catch whatever advertisements that there are in the newspaper. Otherwise, readers would not feel inclined to read to the end of articles. Speaking of which I think The Star newspaper has a better and more interesting layout on the overall as compared with NST.
Score: The Star 2-1 NST

Opinion Columns

Opinion columns are usually what define a newspaper – the widely acclaimed New York Times has one of the best opinion columns in the world. Opinion columns are not news as in per se, instead opinions of intellectuals from various fields - writers and non-writers alike - on issues that make us think. It’s not often we find these sort of columns in The Star, but NST has two whole pages dedicated to this in their paper.
Score: The Star 2-2 NST

Weight and Size

In this age where many people travel to and fro their colleges and universities and working places using public transports, it is ever more important to have a light newspaper that isn’t bulky and is easy to carry from place to place. The Star newspaper, with a whole lot of pullouts and other inside sections, is very bulky and doesn’t suit this purpose well, much unlike the NST which is light.
Score: The Star 2-3 NST

Which is the better choice for you - NST or The Star? Feel free to share your thoughts by dropping a comment below.
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