Online readers have better attention spans

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Online readers have better attention spans

New study is good news for generation Google.

People looking at articles online read and understand more, according to a major new study from American journalism school the Poynter Institute.

Viewers read an average 77 percent of each article which they have chosen to read online.

This figure compared to 62 percent for broadsheet newspapers and 57 percent for tabloid newspapers. Two-thirds of online readers actually read the entire web article they had chosen.

"Nearly two-thirds of online readers, once they chose a particular item to read, read all the text," Saran Quinn, project director at the Poynter Institute, told Reuters at the American Society of Newspaper Editors annual conference. "That speaks to the power of long-form journalism."

Online readers also proved different to traditional media when it came to the style of reading. The study identified two reading styles: 'methodical readers' who go from top to bottom; and 'scanners' who jump around.

Three-quarters of readers of traditional media were 'methodical', but for online viewers the split was 50-50.

But, while both types of readers of online media read about three quarters of available text, the 'scanners' of traditional media only took in between 45 and 66 percent.
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