Q: Do news items “last longer” on the net or in print? A: The ‘Net…but is that a good thing?

This belief of mine is confirmed, somewhat, by a recent study from the University of Notre Dame that says news stories survive on the Web for an average of 36 hours before half of their eventual readers have read them. This is in contrast with traditional print newspapers that — since most are published on a daily basis — are typically read by half their readers in 24 hours or less.

So news lives longer on the Web. Is this good or bad? The news stories about this news study tended to view the result as an oddity, noting that most people expected the half-life of news to actually be shorter on the web than in print, not longer. It’s that speedy electrons thing. But as a columnist I’m actually paid to have opinions and mine in this case is that this news stickiness is bad, very bad, because it means we read less and ultimately learn less than we did in the past.

Read the thoughts of tech blogger Robert X. Cringely


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Filed under Media Evolution, Technology, our Mirror, When New Meets Old

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