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Friday, 18 January 2013

How do you take your Newspaper? Some thoughts for consideration

                In the present era of the mass media, conventional newspapers such as the Calgary Herald produce a small number of physical prints for public distribution in comparison to the pre dot-com boom. Subsequently though, the popularity of e-newspapers has skyrocketed. In society today,  online media is an immense part of our lives. Essentially everyone relies on it in order to be informed and to share ideas.
                An online copy of a newspaper is different than a physical printed copy. Online newspapers are more flexible and interactive for the user. It is flexible in that it allows you to simultaneously access multiple news items including global news or past-run articles. It is interactive as it allows you to access data in more versatile ways. For example, if by any chance you cannot manage to find or access information the internet will give you various options to pick from in order to reach your goal. Online newspapers also appear to be more alive. This is accomplished through the management of color and live images such as ads, which to the human eye is more appealing than your traditional black and white newsprint. Furthermore, others point out the e-newspaper is a more user friendly source of information compared to the physical copy due to the flaccidity of the web version. If you are unsure about a word or an argument presented in an article there is a plethora of websites at your fingertips to clear any confusion.
                On the converse, it can be argued that due to the "freedom" and presence of multiple ads found in an online copy of the newspaper it is difficult to concentrate and critically analyze the column at hand. Additionally, reading a hard-copy forces your brain think analytically which improves the quality of reading and also helps you to remember what was read instead of just skimming through it. Another advantage of a physical copy is that you can carry it anywhere you please without worrying about dropping it, being stolen, and/or charging the battery
                In my opinion both versions of the newspaper have valid appealing attributes for their users. I believe the type of medium you choose to read from effects your overall thinking. For instance the brain is more effective in adapting to an online copy then to a physical one because the information presented has a more appealing way to the human eye. Also your brain unconsciously connects easier to the more appealing information in some cases on a personal level. Another consideration though is how the natural human tendency of wanting to know the latest news is now boosted through the social media. We all want to be the first to know the latest news and the internet tends to "overload" us with this information consequentially not allowing our brain to absorb and understand all the material. Moreover, online copies sometimes tend to exaggerate to be able to catch the reader's attention. Overall the semantic differences are minimal, what does change is how the information is structured to the reader with more eye capturing colors and images. Conclusively, online copies are more flexible, interactive and user friendly therefore letting you feel like you have more control over the information presented. On the other hand physical copies force you to think more analytically and therefore enhance your learning process. 

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