Editor’s Note: Ken Doctor will be a featured speaker at the 2013 ONA Convention.
By Ken Doctor, from Nieman Journalism Lab
Technology changes everything, right?
We’ve seen that truism restated as iPads reignite longer-form reading, as smartphones and tablets increase minutes of news usage, and as Kindles increase the number of books bought by as much as 4x.
Against that digital backdrop, place a burning hunk of 20th-century (and far earlier) technology: the printing press. In Columbus, Ohio, a heart of the proverbial Heartland, the “three-around” is the technology du jour. Last week, the family-owned Columbus Dispatch started rolling its presses with the new three-around addition. The move won some industry ink for what the 3Volution press conversion service from Pressline Services can do: more color, more compact paper, more flexible sectioning, and faster throughput — moving papers through the press 50 percent faster than the old configuration, while saving as much as 33 percent on newsprint cost. “Three-around” means that the press’ cylinders are designed to print three, rather than two, sheets in a single revolution. For press nerds, check out a demo here; in short form, it’s an innovation of folders and rollers that makes the new process possible.