Print NYT- Like a Fine Old Record
As the world advances and develops, our methods of obtaining information have changed drastically. Technology has been the driving force in changing the way we as a society obtain information. Looking at recent innovations; Wikipedia- Who essentially destroyed the print encyclopedia market, Twitter- Which even David Carr admitted to being one of the fastest ways to get news, and Tablets/Smartphones- A relatively cheap and effective way to connect to the internet. With all of this in mind, I believe it is quite clear that print media is dying, and it’s merely a matter of time until we will never see a print newspaper again. Whether or not this means digital is the superior medium, is an interesting question and a matter of opinion.
I have always compared the print edition of the New York Times to vinyl records. Vinyl records are the superior medium in which to listen to music. Records traditionally sound better, provide a more nostalgic and meaningful listening experience and are an actual tangible way to listen to music. Listening to a record is more of an engaging experience and a process Skipping around songs is not convenient on an album, so one tends to patiently listen to the whole thing, discovering new songs in the process. Selective listening is easy on an ipod, and listeners are less likely to listen to music that doesn’t immediately appeal to them.
Also, just like vinyl records, I believe the print edition provides multiple advantages over digital formats. It certainly has a more enjoyable and engaging reading experience. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and a print edition of the New York Times provides a more set environment and allows maximum enjoyment and comprehension. It’s more of an experience; something that I plan into my day and make time for. Reading online tends to be a time-filler; something I do when standing in a long line. It’s less of a commitment and my mind tends to stray as I jump between headlines. Often I end up reading the sports section. Just like how a record plays all the way through, I find myself reading a substantial amount more about subjects I would generally just skip over if I were reading the digital version.
However, we must also acknowledge the flaws with the print edition. The print edition is bulky, and takes up space. Like records, in order to read the newspaper later you must still be in possession of it. Clearly, this would pile up quite quickly. This bulkiness also limits where and when you can read the newspaper. Reading the print edition on a crowed el train will not make you a lot of friends, and it’s downright impossible to read lying in bed, the two most common places I choose to read the NYT. With the digital edition you are able to access the entire database at the touch of a button, wherever you are, as long as you have internet access.
Overall, I believe the superior medium for maximum comprehension and enjoyment is the print edition. However, I believe the accessibility and portability of the digital edition is preferable. Overall, I’m torn between choosing one. I prefer to read the print edition when possible, however the ability to pull it up on my phone is perfect for my busy life. Neither can be deemed as superior, clearly, as it is a personal preference.