Dig­i­tal finds news­pa­per pulse once more

Newspapers & Technology Magazine - - Contents - TARA MCMEEKIN EDI­TOR-IN-CHIEF

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen any signi - cant move­ment in news­pa­per adop­tion of dig­i­tal inkjet print­ing. Some seven years have elapsed since ven­dors rst wooed us with dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies at drupa 2008 and yet re­ports of news­pa­per adop­tion are still few and far be­tween.

En­ter Swiss printer Mengis Druck, which is tran­si­tion­ing to dig­i­tal for pro­duc­tion of its daily Wal­liser Bote this sum­mer with an HP T400 color inkjet web press. e move is no doubt signi cant — mainly be­cause it seems the pub­lisher’s move to dig­i­tal was made pri­mar­ily with its ag­ship daily in mind.

As our page 5 story re­ports, Mengis Druck se­lected the tech­nol­ogy in re­sponse to an aging news­pa­per press, but also to re­act to in­creas­ing de­mand for re­gion­al­iza­tion of Wal­liser Bote. All of us who have been keep­ing an eye on dig­i­tal inkjet for the past seven years know that’s where pro­po­nents of the tech­nol­ogy claim that it shines. In the case of Mengis Druck, the pub­lisher also cited de­clin­ing cir­cu­la­tion — al­ways a dooms­day harbinger for pub­lish­ers — as a fac­tor in mov­ing to dig­i­tal. But Wal­liser Bote is arm­ing it­self to get more out of the news­pa­per sub­scrip­tions it’s still got with more tar­geted and re­gion­al­ized con­tent. We’ll be anx­iously wait­ing to see how the ini­tia­tive pro­gresses.

In the U.S., mean­time, it’s been a year since Top­web LLC in Chicago — which per­haps rep­re­sents the most suc­cess­ful dig­i­tal news­pa­per print­ing model in the U.S. to date — ramped up its sec­ond TKS (USA) JetLeader dig­i­tal press.

Here at News & Tech, we’re cu­ri­ous about in­dus­try sen­ti­ment when it comes to dig­i­tal. Top de­ci­sion mak­ers on the pro­duc­tion side of most ma­jor news­pa­per com­pa­nies have no doubt fa­mil­iar­ized them­selves with dig­i­tal by now. But what about the rest of the folks that en­sure pa­pers get printed each day? Are news­pa­pers at large ready for dig­i­tal? If not, is it a case of too lit­tle in­for­ma­tion? Too high of a cost? Or is it sim­ply that good old-fash­ioned fear of change for which news­pa­pers are so of­ten crit­i­cized? Send us an email and tell us what you think.

Fi­nally, with Spring just around the cor­ner, N&T will take to sunny Panama City, Panama, in early March to par­tic­i­pate in the In­ter Amer­i­can Press As­so­ci­a­tion’s Midyear Meet­ing. We’ll host a ses­sion on March 6, where we’ll share tech­nol­ogy in­sights from North Amer­ica with the Latin Amer­i­can mar­ket, and get a pulse on what’s work­ing well for the news­pa­pers in that re­gion.

We’re look­ing for­ward to be­ing part of an event spon­sored by an as­so­ci­a­tion that so strongly ad­vo­cates press free­dom and safety. To our read­ers in Latin Amer­ica and world­wide, we look for­ward to see­ing you there.

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