Disadvantages of Print Media

by Aurelio LocsinUpdated January 22, 2019

Since the invention of movable type, printed media has been the primary way in which we receive and spread knowledge. We've built libraries to house books, subscribe to magazine delivered by mail and wrap fish in newspapers. However, the rise of the Internet highlights the disadvantages of the print medium of information.


Printed media cannot capture the sound and movement required by an audience raised on the audio and video of television and the Internet.

Lead time

Because printed media involves production, information requires a lead time before it ever reaches you. Our fast-changing world might make that knowledge obsolete by the time it appears on the page and reaches your doorstep.


At minimum, printed materials require paper, which is harvested from trees; and ink, which comes from chemicals. Both require time-consuming and expensive processes to make.


Print can only reach its audience when it is distributed through an infrastructure that requires vehicles and people, which costs money.


After you read printed media, you're left with material that you need to throw away. This waste continually accumulates in our landfills.


About the Author

Aurelio Locsin has been writing professionally since 1982. He published his first book in 1996 and is a frequent contributor to many online publications, specializing in consumer, business and technical topics. Locsin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scientific and technical communications from the University of Washington.

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