After reading about Poynter’s EyeTrack study, I was left wondering how do I read the news in print vs. online or on Apple’s iPhone vs. the iPad.  I’ve never thought about it in terms of what our eyes do and how much we remember based on that. I’ve always focused on just the consumption of news.  So, I think the updates Poynter is including with tablets is beneficial, considering that’s a new form of how we’re consuming the news, and it very well may be the only way in the future.

The study also explored methodical readers vs. scanners. I am a scanner when it comes to newspapers, and I typically scan news stories online. My eyes are all over the place online.  I’m clicking here and there, and I’m usually distracted by ads.  Before I know it, I’m browsing through something that had nothing to do with my original search.  I give my disclaimer in advance that I don’t enjoy reading newspapers.  If it’s a community newspaper, like my hometown newspaper, I usually am a bit more engaged because most of the things covered directly affect me.

Magazines are a different story.  I am a methodical reader in that aspect.  I will read a magazine cover-to-cover, pretty much on any topic.  You name it.  It can range from auto to fishing to fashion, as long as it’s well written.  Typically, magazines do a great job with that because they have more space and time to illustrate a scene.  However, I have not come around to reading magazines primarily online or on the Apple devices.  I do indulge in it for the extra features that are not included in my print edition such as video and slideshows.  But I wonder what the experience is like for most people to pinch or grab something from an upper corner of a screen rather than doing it with something tangible.  What about when you add the interactive media components?  How does that affect the experience?  I think the graphic side of things from what I’ve seen on the iPad is visually appealing and actually brings some magazines to life.

I wish I had high-tech glasses that could give me more insight about the physical act of consuming the news, and how or why I read something differently in print, online, or on a tablet.  For now, I’ll just have to pay more attention to where my eyes wander when I open up that new issue or scan a story online.


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