Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Media at Associated Newspapers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Media at Associated Newspapers

Article excerpt

The following report is drawn from a presentation by Peter Green, technical manager at UK Mail International Ltd., a division of Associated Newspapers Ltd., London, that was established under the direction of Allan Marshall, formerly Associated's prepress systems director. Green was among 15 speakers, most from the United States, at "Beyond the Printed Word -- Expanding Newspapers into Digital Media," an IFRA symposium held last month in Munich, Germany.

BUILDING ON PRODUCTIVITY and quality improvements gained by achieving fully electronic prepress production of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard and some magazines, London-based Associated Newspapers Ltd. has begun adopting and adapting the digital technology to provide additional products and services.

The newspaper group believes its electronically held data can be made "the basis for products that will be cash cows into the foreseeable future."

A year ago, it began electronic syndication of the Evening Standard by sending files of completed pages specially prepared at 200 dpi and three-quarter size to a syndication agency's database, to which customers have dial-up access for browsing or down-loading. Access is permitted at presstime so articles become available worldwide when the printed paper hits U.K. newsstands.

Weekly growth, particularly among non-British clients, encouraged similar electronic syndication of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. Users are asked to select the paper, section, and page or pages they wish to see.

For its PageFax telefacsimile system, the company made its own four-port fax board that includes a voice processor and other capabilities. The system will allow readers wishing to receive files from one of the newspapers to call into a 20-line system using a toll-free number and respond to voice prompts.

Pages containing the sought-after information are extracted from the database holding the copies at three-quarter size and 200 dpi -- suitable for fax reproduction. Following confirmation of a caller's selection, the page or pages are faxed within a minute. The transaction was speeded after initial trials. Current trials are using access by the company's senior executives. Public availability is expected early this year.

Already in use is the Information Station, a high-resolution, 24"x34" screen that displays text, halftones and line drawings. …

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