Print is vital for critical thinking

2019-10-19. Reading on paper helps readers with their cognitive ability, concentration and retention, and building vocabulary and memory, reveals new study. Intergraf and the Board of WAN-IFRA’s World Printers Forum call on the European Commission to recognise the advantages of print to enable the development of critical thinking.

by WAN-IFRA External Contributor | October 19, 2019

Despite the fact that we have experienced a significant surge in popularity for mobile devices and e-readers in the last few years, research confirms that the comprehension of long-form informational texts is stronger when reading on paper. A European meta-study of 54 studies with more than 170,000 participants has demonstrated that reading on paper helps readers understand a text better while it promotes cognitive development, memory retention, concentration and vocabulary building.

The meta-study also found that reading on print is proven to facilitate comprehension and develop critical thinking, with regard to long texts. Reading on print, especially when it comes to the content of newspapers and magazines, is essential for European citizens, so they are capable to understand and form opinions about the political, economic and social situation in the world.

Intergraf and the Board of WAN-IFRA’s World Printers Forum strongly advise that content made available by newspapers and magazines continues to be published on print, and printed materials are promoted in schools and other educational environments.

Continued inaction risks turning European citizens into less informed critical thinkers, and less engaged electorate. For more information please read the summary position paper, here.

About WAN-IFRA’s World Printers Forum. The World Printers Forum is the print community within the World Association of News Publishers. It advises WAN-IFRA in all aspects of the printed newspaper. The World Printers Forum is the central point of the international news media print community, including printers, materials suppliers and equipment manufacturers for the print production value chain from prepress to press and to product finishing and delivery.

About Intergraf. Intergraf is the European federation for print and digital communication. We are a Brussels-based trade association representing employers in the European printing industry. Intergraf represents 21 national printing federations in 20 countries. Our primary task is to represent and advocate for the interests of the printing and digital communication industry in Europe, working with the European Union to support the sector’s competitiveness through advocacy, information-sharing, networking and social dialogue. For more information, please visit:

WAN-IFRA External Contributor

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