Digital editions differ from printed newspapers only little in terms of reader experience, write Peter C. Neijens, and Hilde A.M. Voorveld, both of University of Amsterdam. The authors had 90 college students read either print or digital versions of a newspaper, and then surveyed the students about their experience.
The respondents reported similar levels of reading fragmentation, scanning, and elaboration regardless of medium, the authors found. However, a slight difference in content recall was discovered: those who read a digital edition (from a tablet computer) remembered on average 8.09 articles, while print readers could recall 9.30.
The authors also found that respondent who self-identified as “digital innovators” were better equipped to read the digital version: for them, the digital version performed just as good as the print one.
The article “Digital replica editions versus printed newspapers” was published by the journal New Media & Society. It is available online (free abstract).
Picture: Little and large by Matthew G, licence CC BY 2.0.