Friday January 29, 2016

Today’s newspapers – surviving or thriving?

It’s never been easy to be a newspaper printer. But in recent years, it’s become even more difficult. The news is now on everywhere, anytime. Fewer people are waiting for their morning paper to be delivered to find out what’s happening in the world.

But as content curation watchdogs, newspapers still play an important role in keeping us informed. Can they still succeed in this changing market?

Ask any commercial printer and they will tell you that the answer is yes. Because just as commercial printers have found new ways of being successful, newspapers now need to evolve if they are to succeed.

With Opportunity Comes Challenge

Looking for new opportunities will certainly help newspaper printers to thrive. But these opportunities can sometimes come with additional challenges.

Take advertising, for example. Newspapers are looking for advertising revenue from more and more sources. Advertising can now come from anywhere. As result, the files the newspaper receives from these businesses can vary greatly in quality and format.

Newspaper printers are also consolidating in order to gain more efficiency in their operations. But this consolidation often means that one facility receives files from many more sources than ever before.  

Finally, commercial printing jobs may provide additional revenue, but they too present challenges because some commercial jobs simply cannot be printed on the types of presses required for newspaper printing.

Technology to Keep Pace

With so many opportunities – or challenges, if you will – arising, newspapers need to be sure they are operating at peak efficiency. Commercial printers have increasingly adopted technology to achieve this type of efficiency, and technology can help with support the evolution of newspapers as well.

For example, because advertising can now come from many types of businesses in many different locations, newspapers need a technology that can streamline the ad placement process. They need a technology that can ensure the ad is the right size and proper quality, and get the ad into production as quickly and easily as possible.

Technology is also critical for newspapers that are producing commercial printing jobs. The newspaper needs to be sure the file can actually be produced on their presses before the job comes in.

Being able to automate these types of process makes the newspaper a leaner, more efficient operation – which is critical to their survival.

Change is never easy. But creative thinking and good technology can certainly make it easier.  And that type of innovation is needed for the newspaper industry. It may be hard to print the newspaper, but it would be harder for our society to not have them at all.

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I have written a white paper on this topic for printplanet.com. It's titled ‘Read All About It! Changes in Newspaper Production Call for New Solutions’ and you can download it for free here!

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About Richard Romano

Richard Romano, senior analyst for WhatTheyThink.com

Richard Romano is a senior analyst for WhatTheyThink.com and curator of WTT’s Wide-Format news and analysis site.

He is also a contributor to many other industry publications including Wide-Format Imaging and the SGIA Journal.

He is the author or co-author of almost a dozen books, the latest of which—written with Dr. Joe Webb—are This Point Forward: The New Start the Marketplace Demands and The Home Office That Works! Make Working at Home a Success—A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Telecommuters.

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