Education experts have always extolled the virtues of reading, particularly for children. By fostering a love of reading in a person at a young age, lifelong benefits arise as a consequence of this. Language skills and the imaginative capacity to have new ideas are particular positives associated with reading.
There is little doubt that television is inferior to reading in almost every intellectual respect. While there is no doubt that some aspects of television can be challenging and require a level of engagement that is higher than some books (e.g. documentaries and educational films), reading is still considered to be the best way for individuals to engage with subject matter. Nowadays, with the omnipresence of television, the internet and social media, it is more vital than ever for young people to be encouraged to engage more with reading material.
On the other hand, some would argue that people acquire knowledge in different ways, and that some people are more responsive to audio stimuli than they are to the written word. The information in books may be imbibed very quickly by some people, yet others may not be so receptive and could benefit more from receiving the information via a television screen.
In conclusion, while reading is surely a necessary skill for fostering language ability and developing students’ imaginative capacity, it is important to remember that different people learn in different ways. There is no doubt that everyone should be able to read, but that doesn’t necessarily mean reading is the best way for everyone to absorb new information.