A study conducted by Department of Social Work in Delhi found that in over 30,000 articles covering six leading English and Hindi newspapers less than 1% space has been on the subject of Seniors.
Also in about 500 articles in leading magazines for over a period of three months only one article was on Seniors and that too on dementia.
Creating a improper image of Seniors in the minds of young
In the little space provided, Seniors they are largely projected as negative stereotypes. Seniors are shown as being vulnerable, on the verge of chronic illness, and having no voice of their own. They are shown as being silent and ignored.
This often untrue and one sided depictions creates a wrong image of the Seniors in the minds of the young and middle aged readers.
Seniors are still most avid readers of newspapers
While the youth have largely switched to social media or online television to stay connected and for entertainment, Seniors are comparatively more comfortable with reading printed newspapers and magazines. This form of media was around when they were young and is difficult for them to shift to the modern media forms. Exceptions are always there, but most senior citizens still engage themselves in gaining news and entertainment through print media.
Why is the media doing this?
All forms of media primarily target those who comprise the majority of the population. As India is a young country and the middle-aged hold the second degree of importance, the aged are easily shifted to the back. The limited spending nature of the Seniors is also an important reason for the ignorance of senior citizens in the print media.
How Seniors can avoid negativity
1. Visit websites with positive intent.
2. Subscribe magazines like
- Dignity dialogue - For exclusive articles on Senior.
- Readers digest.
- Get magazines related to travel, photography, gardening etc.
It is important that Seniors engage with something new, intellectually stimulating and of course enjoyable. Reading a newspaper is fine but spending more time than necessary could bring negative impacts for the reasons cited above.
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