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Tomorrow's newspaper will be a targeted, high quality news magazine
The newspaper of tomorrow will look more like a news magazine. Developments in production technology and business models will make it possible to print very high quality products, on any paper grade, efficiently and with lower energy consumption than today. Page-wide digital printing systems will be used in mailrooms to print current front pages or inserts. Press equipment suppliers will increasingly be expected to act as print and service partners to publishers. The future for the printed paper is about flexibility and quality.
These are some of the conclusions of the latest report "The Future of Newspaper Printing Technology", the seventh to be published as part of IFRA's three-year research initiative Where NEWS?, which looks at the future of media usage (www.wherenews.info). The report, which was written by industry consultant Martin Lange, looks at where newspaper printing technology will be in 5, 10 and 15 years time. Its scope covers what it will be possible to achieve technically with regard to quality, formats and short print runs, as well as how future printing plants will be operated from a business point of view.
There are a number of trends discernible today, which will have come to full fruition looking fifteen years into the future. Production systems will become increasingly flexible to allow a variety of formats as well as printing on all paper grades. The current use of dryers to allow heatset print quality will become prevalent, with new drying technologies allowing this to be done in a more energy efficient way. In 15 years, system automation will enable unmanned production, and it will be possible to virtually produce a newspaper "at a press of a button", making it economically viable to produce very short print runs for specific target groups.
"There are exciting times ahead for the printed newspaper," says IFRA's Research Director Manfred Werfel. "The report clearly shows that developments are already underway to allow printed newspapers to continue form a competitive part of the media mix. The combination of high quality print, shorter print runs with targeted content, and business models more suited to the need for production flexibility, will evolve to make the news magazine of tomorrow a desired product among media consumers."
For more information, see www.wherenews.info or contact Jochen Dieckow, Where NEWS? Project Manager, at email@example.com or +49.6151.733-736.
Directly linked to IFRA's Where NEWS? initiative is the executive forum "The Future of News Publishing: Business Models - Strategies - Tactics", 9 - 10 October, Rome (Italy). The conference programme will discuss the results from the research and will be a pool of inspiration for a top management audience eager to hear and discuss innovative approaches that display the future crowned with success:
- The strategic way into the future,
- Innovative examples of business development,
- Tactics to stay relevant to the future customer.
For more information, see www.ifra.com/businessmodels .
IFRA (www.ifra.com) is the worldwide research and service organisation for the news publishing industry. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, it has acted since 1961 as the platform for decision-makers from the newspaper industry. IFRA offers its services primarily to its more than 3100 members in nearly 80 countries. A Board, comprising publishers as well as central, regional and specialised committees drawn from IFRA member companies, steers the work of the international newspaper community. IFRA's research work provides the basis for this and results in standardisation projects as well as international and regional exhibitions, conferences, workshops, study tours, training events, Newsplex consulting and international competitions. The IFRA Expo - "the annual event of the news publishing industry" - held at major European venues, is the world's most important trade exhibition for newspaper companies and their partners. IFRA Expo 2008 will be held from 27 to 30 October in Amsterdam under the motto "Get the Big Picture!" (www.ifraexpo.com). IFRA Magazine, the international magazine of newspaper business, strategy and technology, is published in several languages in both print and online versions (www.iframagazine.com). IFRA is also running IFRA Search, a vertical search engine for the news publishing industry (www.ifrasearch.com).