Similarities & differences between print media & online media

Written by joe turner
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Similarities & differences between print media & online media
Print and online media go hand-in-hand, as many print publications also have a website. (sot/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

There are many similarities and differences between print and online media. Both types of media present their own advantages and disadvantages for potential publishers. Online media is fast and can be accessed at anytime, anywhere worldwide. However, this does not mean that it is stronger than print media. The slightly slower pace of print media can result in higher-quality pieces and more developed information. Publishers no longer have to choose between the two, as many newspapers and magazines can also be found on the Internet.

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Geographical Area

Print media, particularly newspapers, tend to focus on a specific geographical area. Although magazines and other forms of print media can have a wider circulation, they can still only circulate so far. This means that the circulation of print media is fairly limited. In contrast, online media can be accessed worldwide over the Internet, giving them a larger available audience.


Both print media and online media can use a combination of text and still images. However, online media can incorporate moving images and video. As the content is online and not printed, the creators have the opportunity to continually update and change their images.


Both types of media can be saved for future reference. People can cut clippings from newspapers and magazines or save a web page to view at a later time. In contrast, other media such as radio is perishable, as the audiences have no opportunity to save the audio; instead they have to remember it or wait for it to be played again.

Immediacy vs. Validity

Online media can present the audience with information as soon as it is available. With the advances in technology many people can now access the Internet on their mobile phones, which grants them access to online media anytime and anywhere. On the other hand, print media has to go through the printing process before it is available to its audience. This is not necessarily a weakness, however, as it allows editors to check the validity of the information and produce a more developed text.

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