Readers Remember More From Newspapers Than Online: Study

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If you were reading this story in print, you'd have a better chance of remembering it later, according to a study done at the University of Houston. Researchers there found that people who read a newspaper recalled more stories and details than those who read the same publication online. Two groups of students had to avoid news for a time, then were asked to read the New York Times for 20 minutes — one group was given the print version, the other a means of browsing the website. The readers of the print version remembered an average of 4.24 news stories shortly after, significantly more than the online readers' 3.35.

Lead author Arthur Santana suggests this could be for a multitude of reasons: there are more distractions in the online version, headlines and layout vary, and of course readers know they can always search for and find the story again — so remembering may not be a high priority. "In essence, print newspapers are a more effective medium than online newspapers at spurring recollection," summarized Santana. The study appears in the Newspaper Research Journal.



—Devin Coldewey