The internet is an amazing thing, there is no where else that you can go from watching videos of puppies, to booking your next trip, to researching something for work (which may or may not have been the exact course I took before writing this).
There is so much information out and the accessibility of it is an incredible thing. This means more people have the ability to access information whenever and wherever they want instantly and most importantly for free. With more and more people going ‘online’ an increasing number of publishers and information providers have cut their print department considerable, if not all together. This has led many people to believe print will die a slow death at the hands of online media.
From a business point of view, this makes sense – why should companies pay for printing costs if the vast majority of people will look online for this material.
However, what about the people that for one reason or another cannot go online? Have these information providers just excluded a proportion of society purely because the ‘majority’ of people are online? That does not seem fair.
This all comes back to the importance of having free access to information for everyone, no matter what stage of life.
Print media is important for many different reasons
This includes reaching the group of people who cannot go online. This is especially important in the aged care sector as although the numbers of 65+ people going online is increasing, there is still a large proportion of that population who do not have the right skills to look up things online. While many have families who can help them make informed decisions, some other older adults are not so lucky.
Having good information empowers people to make good decisions. This thinking is in line with the Healthy Aging Strategy.
There is a major focus for Health literacy in this strategy. Health literacy is the capacity to make good decisions, act on health information and navigate the health system. Empowering and supporting older people to be ‘health smart’ in their later years requires the health system to have a strong understanding of what it takes to age well and takes part in achieving healthy ageing.
The goal for the healthy aging strategy is to make health information available and shared in a way that overcomes cultural and communication barriers.
Therefore, being able to access information in more than one form is extremely important. There is room for print media all along.