Participants fell into two categories -- methodical readers and scanners. Online readers were equally likely to be methodical as they were to be scanners. Print readers were more likely to be methodical. Both types read about the same amount of text.
They did not scan very often. In print, they often read a full, two-page view, and they re-read some material. When viewing online news, they used drop-down menus and navigation bars to locate stories.
They may have read part of a story, looked at photos or other package items, but they generally did not return once they left the text. When consuming online news, a scanner used home page elements like story lists. Eventually the scanner would click on a headline or other story link.
Online, there was very little difference in the amount of text read between methodical readers and scanners.
Broadsheet and tabloid methodical readers read about the same amount of story text they selected.
Tabloid scanners read the smallest volume of text, on average.
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Phila. Daily News
Rocky Mountain News
St. Petersburg Times
A note from
Dr. Mario Garcia
“I read the news online because it’s a lot easier than carrying a paper back and forth.”
Nicole Zabriski, reader of the St. Petersburg Times online and EyeTrack07 participant
“Story forms have been a big buzz word in our newsroom for a couple of years, but this is some of the first research that ... reinforces that people do spend more time with them and pay attention to them and also are getting a lot out of them.”
Cory Powell, deputy managing editor, visual journalism at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, an EyeTrack07 research partner.