Wednesday, April 17, 2024
For men, women, and teens

Printed newspaper vs online newspaper - pros and cons of each

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

woman reading a print newspaper on the train

There's a surprisingly large amount of pros and cons to both print newspapers and online news. Here is a balanced look at these. In addition to all their differences, there are some similarities between printed newspapers and online newspapers. Without further ado, here are the advantages and disadvantages.

Print Newspapers


  • Local information is available in the print newspaper, for example local news, new zoning and construction, local entertainment, local sports, other events in your area, coupons and advertisements for stores having sales.
  • Level of importance of each story is made more obvious by use of different sized headline fonts.
  • Easy-to-find comic and puzzle section in most major print newspapers
  • Does not require any technology or device to read it - you don't need to worry about your data plan or battery level.

The traditional print newspaper has the advantages described above, but it also comes with the following disadvantages:


  • A subscription to a printed newspaper costs money; in contrast many (but not all) digital news sites offer free access to most content.
  • Full text of all the content requires you to scan more carefully than online newspapers to find content of interest of you. Your eyes are your "search" button!
  • Destroys trees - wasteful and not eco-friendly, since it's thrown away after reading.
  • Bulky – less practical for on-the-go reading than accessing news via a cellphone.
  • You can wind up with newsprint all over your hands after reading. This can be a problem and poses the risk of you subsequently getting newsprint on your clothes, bag, or anything else that your hands are in contact with.

The decline of the print newspaper in part is due to digital alternatives that didn't exist until late last century.

Digital News


  • Personalized experience: based on the story you are reading, an online newspaper may suggest other recent stories of interest to you. It also saves you time in finding content of interest.
  • Can quickly and easily source the same article from many different online newspapers allowing you to read the same item from different perspectives to decrease the possibility of bias. If this is of particular interest to you, check out Ground News
  • Online news can be updated more frequently than the once a day print newspapers.
  • Content is usually free for basic news of the day, although some ask you to pay to continue beyond a certain number of articles
  • It’s interactive – readers may participate via commenting on the article


  • Digital advertisements can be more intrusive or distracting than print advertisements.
  • Some content comes with auto-play audio or video content, and this can be unexpected and distracting to the reader and others, especially in a quiet environment.
  • Malvertising can be a problem - although this is not intentional by the digital newspaper, some advertisements by unscrupulous third parties pose the risk of putting a virus or malware on your device
  • Uses up your device battery more quickly than you might think. Many digital news publications feature high-resolution images, video, complicated ads, and other things which will use up your device's battery surprisingly quickly.

As seen in the pros and cons above, there's not a clear-cut winner in the debate between online vs print newspaper.


Online newspapers and print newspapers have very different pros and cons, but neither is mutually exclusive. Rather, one form of news may appeal over another based on a particular reader’s lifestyle. For example, printed newspapers are delivered typically once a day in the mornings. Depending on the reader, this may be seen as an advantage (each issue is once-and-done - a time saver) or a disadvantage (printed news is static, articles do not get updated the way online news is).

Therefore, when considering which is better out of online news vs print newspaper, you need to take into account your lifestyle. It's worth thinking about which newspaper option is best for you because good morning routine habits make a huge difference to your productivity and to your mood.

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