Moving to Auckland from Sydney was a disappointment on the newspaper front. After getting The Sydney Morning Herald each day and the Australian Financial Review on some days The New Zealand Herald was a big step down.
Before that we used to have daily delivery of The Dominion and would often also get the Wellington Evening Post. In London there was The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and random other UK papers.
So about three years ago, I stopped getting a daily newspaper and moved to on-line publications for my main news fix.
Recently our next door neighbours asked us to empty their mailbox each day while they were overseas. This meant two weeks of seeing the daily printed edition of the New Zealand Herald instead of reading it on-line.
The NZ Herald is still a terrible paper compared with the others I’ve mentioned, but I enjoyed getting it each day far more than I expected. So much that I’m toying with the idea of having it delivered.
Three things quickly became clear:
- I read a wider range of stories in a printed paper than on-line including stories that I’d never both to click on.
- Longer stories are easier to read in print than on-line. I knew this all along, but was amazed at how pronounced this is in practice.
- My concentration was better with the print paper and I came away having learnt more.
None of these things will stop the march of on-line and the demise of print newspapers, however we are going to lose a lot by abandoning print.