Print or online: What’s best?

If you want employees to retain company messages, don’t be in such a hurry to junk your print newsletter for an online publication, says a Poynter Institute study.

If you want employees to retain company messages, don’t be in such a hurry to junk your print newsletter for an online publication, says a Poynter Institute study

Three researchers from the Poynter Institute have finished a study of learning online compared to learning from print. Their work suggests that people learn more from printed formats than they do from similar online formats.

The research seems to argue against one conventional explanation of the move away from print to online in the last dozen or so years: People do not learn more or better or faster from a shorter, purely factual story if they read that story online.

A second finding confirms orthodoxy

A second important finding that does confirm orthodox expectations: The research subjects learned more after reading material broken up by boxes, maps, charts, pictures and other graphic elements than they did reading a narrative-heavy story composed of the traditional headline, picture and text. This was true for both print and online.

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