Friday, August 3, 2007

Dead Trees vs. Computer Screens: Which Is Right for You?

The print medium appeals to an older generation and can be archived in libraries and its covers displayed on walls. Additionally, people will always want to hold the paper they’re reading, and bound material, especially if it has an elegant and sophisticated design, is vastly preferably to single, black-and-white pages of computer paper.

On the other hand, electronic media is cheaper and faster to publish, and can attract a broader readership. E-media is also easy to update, whether it’s a correction or a link to the relevant letters to the editor, and does not contain space limitations. Finally, e-media offers options to engage readers, like interactive polls and contact forms for reporters, and options to track the popularity of one’s content (e.g., a list of most e-mailed articles).

The challenge is to determine what content is best suited for print (e.g., long, reported pieces that won’t be obsolete after they arrive in mailboxes) and what’s best for online publication (e.g., shorter pieces, like opinions or scoops).