The paper cites other researchers on the subject who have theorized that the layout of online pages—which often insert ads mid-story or force readers to click additional pages to finish the story—may alter the reading experience. A print story, even one that jumps to another page, is not as difficult to chase to its conclusion. Newspapers are less distracting—as anybody who has endured an annoying online ad while reading a news story on the Web knows. Also, and I’m channeling the paper a little bit here, by virtue of habit and culture a newspaper commands a different sort of respect, engagement, and focus from readers.
My own personal feelings would confirm this. I definitely get more absorbed when reading from the printed word than from the electronic version. We have ads in the print version, of course, but they accompany the articles without interrupting their flow. I fear, however, than none of this matters. By the time my daughter reaches adulthood, I doubt we’ll have four major daily’s left in this country.