Online news, digital, Litho and the future

March 3, 2010 by  

There is a lot of debate and speculation at the moment about the way that news will be delivered to the consumer in the future. Speculation is being fuelled by the growth of free news sites online and new technological developments in digital print. Many printing companies, for example, typical brochure or catalogue printers, now run a digital facility as well as their litho operation.

Some people are worried that traditional coldset produced newsprint will vanish as a result of these new developments, whilst others believe that the newspaper format is here to stay. For example, Sir Harold Evans, former editor of The Sunday Times, believes there is plenty of life left in the newspaper industry, with digital print offering a new lease of life to the printed press.

Sir Harold believes that digital technology will not only save the medium but will lift it to new heights. Developments in digital technology now make it possible to publish editions in remote places around the globe. It is very easy to send a PDF over the internet, which is then printed locally. Many also point out the environmental advantages of this as it removes the physical transportation of bulky news print.

Digital printing costs are reducing, but traditional coldset print still has the advantage of economies of scale. Future production is likely to see a combination of the two methods, with dedicated local sections produced digitally. It will be interesting to see how it all settles down.