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

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A possible story for OhmyNews might be built around the newspaper aspects of Print City, in particular MAN Roland. There is news in their approach, and the background is the Guardian stream of comment around whether they are a newspaper or a website or whether it matters.

The story so far one more time. Sorry about repeating myself but I need to collect the outline of a story. The Guardian like many newspapers is not sure how to respond to declining print circulations and growth of news online. The Guardian Unlimited website has won awards and an international audience. According to Anthony Lilley on April 3rd the word at a recent conference was that there is a million pounds of profit so the loss phase may be over. Experiments continue in talk boards and blogs such as 'Comment is Free'. However there is almost never any reporting on newspapers as what Jeff Jarvis calls 'news organisations', with a business model of online and print income / costs.

Jeff Jarvis covers this, in print hidden away on an inside page, and online at Buzzmachine, currently concentrating on the New York Times. Recently he linked to an mp3 of a talk by Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, that includes remarks about Express Newspapers and generally gives the impression on moving along with the web. Last year Buzzmachine included a quote from Rusbridger about the purchase of kit from MAN Roland for the news Berliner format. "These may be the last presses we ever buy". This full quote was not included in the printed version of a Guardian Media comment from Jeff Jarvis so 'the last presses' is mostly a reference to online. The recent Rusbridger talk is unconnected with anything reported in Guardian Media, most of which seems to assume newspapers will continue indefinitely.

What I am discovering here at IPEX is that the quote reveals almost nothing on liley timescales for transition of news organisations online. I have spoken to people who think newspaper presses can last 30 to 50 years, though are often replaced after 15 or twenty.

'Comment is Free' migh reveal something on what the |Guardian really think about the web and news. This would be interesting.

MAN Roland have a DICOweb that transfers an image to and from the plate. Ideal for short runs, meaning 20,000 or similar. Would suit a regional edition of the Guide on a Saturday. So online might grow alongside some new presses.

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