In comparing testimonial evidence with writings, including electronic information, e-discovery lawyer and author Ralph C. Losey does so quite eloquently in saying:
The law has learned that testimony only leads to a reasonably accurate account of objective facts when supplemented with writings (and physical objects, when available) made at the time of the events in question. Writings (traditionally called documents in the law) are understood in the broadest sense to include not only paper (the mere tip of the iceberg) but all electronic information, including videos and computer records. Writings are the guardians of truth – the refreshers of memory that keep people honest. They are the best, most accurate repository of objective facts and have been for centuries (2).
Losey, Ralph C. eDiscovery for Everyone. ABA Publishing, 2016.