As many content writers will have noticed, perhaps with some concern, more and more of the content on computer screens is appearing in the form of audio and video rather than text. Instructions about how something works are now often presented as a short video, and opinions are published as an audio version of an interview rather than being written up by the interviewing journalist. There is also the phenomenal popularity of YouTube, and the fact that many people are already in love with the medium of television, with very few UK residents failing to include at least one TV in their homes. In the face of all this competition from video, is the written word going to become unnecessary?
Obtaining information via video and audio is a lot slower than reading text. It is easy to skip to different parts of a written article and to read sections out of turn while still retaining the gist of the piece. Video and audio are less convenient because they proceed in a linear fashion, and it is impossible to see the whole.
Text is vital for people who are unable to hear video soundtracks clearly enough to make out what is being said. Also, for anyone with visual difficulties many of the nuances of a video could be lost, so a written transcript is required. It is difficult to see how video could fully replace text for those with sight and hearing difficulties, especially with the number of older people, who are more likely to encounter such problems, set to increase.