Starting with IPEX 2002, this blog covers events relevant for UK print, including Seybold and DRUPA. See also website at

Monday, November 10, 2003

Somehow the topic about a PDF version of the Guardian seems to have disappeared from the Talk section of the Guardian website. It was in media under BBC. I started it in BBC by mistake but it seems relevant. A BBC archive of programs should have back issues of The Listener in PDF.

Back in July, Emily Bell was online for a chat about the paid for future of Guardian content. Mention was made of a 'digital edition' though there was little detail other than a price of about £98 per year. This is a reduction on the print version but still a number that implies some value.

I have added some messages since and also changes to a news story on the Acrobat Services website. Recently I have tried to provoke some contibutions from Guardian staff. Partly I am puzzled by what is going on. Partly it seems the coverage in media and online rarely considers how digital technology has an impact on newspapers.

My most recent message was about an article by Roy Greenslade on declines in newspaper circulation. What is striking is the lack of any web context. There was one article a while ago when he visited Brighton and found that a fire led to interest in a local news website. But Roy Greenslade rarely mentions the effect of increased time spent browsing the web.

IanD on the Talk messages told us about a Telegraph offer that turms out to be based on ActivePaper from Olive Software. I have tried this for the best part of a week and it seems to work ok. The content is based on PDF or Postscript as from the print version. There is no direct PDF on offer but you can print to it including photography and illustration.Unfortunately the Sunday version does not include the colour magazine.

Maybe it is just my closed world as a Guardian reader, but I don't think this Telegraph offer is well known. The Guardian has not featured it at all, so far as I know. Apparently the Telegraph lost about 20,000 buyers in October. At 2% of 890,000 this could just be the small number of people who have managed to find out about the online offer.

This situation seems to me to well worth reporting although print media seem to stick to print all too often. There is a conference coming up linked to Digital Print World. Subjects include how The Guardian can use digital technology in support of distributed hard copy. surely the discussion has moved on a bit. The web is an option as well as competition.

The circulation figures may not be the sign of an 'ice age' to threaten 'dinosaurs'. But there are some issues that should be discussed.

This blog started as IPEX 2002. It will continue loosely connected with how PDF and JDF have an effect. Recently Adobe have announced even more XML support than was evident at IPEX. 'Network Publishing' is a context in which print reconfigures as part of something else.

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