Pass the printed word

If you get newsletters and magazines from charities that you support please share the information by passing them on to others rather than throwing them away.

Passing on publications like the excellent journal from A Rocha UK, or other useful publications is a socially and ecologically sound think to do. It’s our Eco Tip for this week. Charities and publishers are still printing, because research shows that even with younger audiences printed information is more trusted than online posts. Increasingly print also offers a more immersive experience than that which readers get from browsing on small devices like phones.

Whether because society first developed ‘mass reading’ skills with paper documents or because digital print is inherently ‘read less well’ there are also a number of academic papers suggesting that comprehension is better when readers use physical media vs a screen. As one author puts it ‘this confirms digital reading is sloppy in extreme’. Another notes that “On the internet, however, users have an overwhelming amount of applications and information available to them. They tend to spend less time thinking about whether sources are credible” which speaks into the issues around disinformation and ‘fake’ news which are important in our politics at the moment.

Passing on magazines, journals, newspapers and charitable publications is an important part of the print distribution chain. It even has a technical name ‘pass on readership’, In the UK the National Readership Survey measures it as the difference between Circulation (the number of printed copies) vs. Readership – since as they put it ‘most copies have more than one reader’. Publications keep track of it it because it’s a very good measure of the influence or importance people think the publication has. Passing on for free a printed work which you have purchased, or been sent is usually completely legal.

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