It’s been awhile since we’ve seen any significant movement in newspaper adoption of digital inkjet printing. Some seven years have elapsed since vendors first wooed us with digital technologies at drupa 2008 and yet reports of newspaper adoption are still few and far between.
Enter Swiss printer Mengis Druck, which is transitioning to digital for production of its daily Walliser Bote this summer with an HP T400 color inkjet web press. The move is no doubt significant — mainly because it seems the publisher’s move to digital was made primarily with its flagship daily in mind.
As our page 5 story reports, Mengis Druck selected the technology in response to an aging newspaper press, but also to react to increasing demand for regionalization of Walliser Bote. All of us who have been keeping an eye on digital inkjet for the past seven years know that’s where proponents of the technology claim that it shines. In the case of Mengis Druck, the publisher also cited declining circulation — always a doomsday harbinger for publishers — as a factor in moving to digital. But Walliser Bote is arming itself to get more out of the newspaper subscriptions it’s still got with more targeted and regionalized content. We’ll be anxiously waiting to see how the initiative progresses.
In the U.S., meantime, it’s been a year since Topweb LLC in Chicago — which perhaps represents the most successful digital newspaper printing model in the U.S. to date — ramped up its second TKS (USA) JetLeader digital press.
Here at News & Tech, we’re curious about industry sentiment when it comes to digital. Top decision makers on the production side of most major newspaper companies have no doubt familiarized themselves with digital by now. But what about the rest of the folks that ensure papers get printed each day? Are newspapers at large ready for digital? If not, is it a case of too little information? Too high of a cost? Or is it simply that good old-fashioned fear of change for which newspapers are so often criticized? Send us an email and tell us what you think.
Finally, with Spring just around the corner, N&T will take to sunny Panama City, Panama, in early March to participate in the Inter American Press Association’s Midyear Meeting. We’ll host a session on March 6, where we’ll share technology insights from North America with the Latin American market, and get a pulse on what’s working well for the newspapers in that region.
We’re looking forward to being part of an event sponsored by an association that so strongly advocates press freedom and safety. To our readers in Latin America and worldwide, we look forward to seeing you there.