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SAXoTECH - Resources - Article Vault - Expert of the Month

Expert of the Month
March - April

Here on the Experts page you will find articles and opinions on the prepress business written by people in the business.

The expert of this month is SuperConference '99 speaker Werner Elhauge (SAXoTECH) who gives his opinion on the new trends in the prepress & publishing industry

Werner Elhauge

The impossible pursuit on New Media...
Everybody in the news providing industry seems to have an opinion on the wonders of New Media. The Trumpets are playing:

"To survive as a publisher you have to open your mind and your wallet to New Media."

"As a software provider you have to come up with solutions for handling New Media, and you have to be there quickly - before this latest paradigm takeover completely has destroyed your entire foundation of income…."

Well, in my opinion we should try to be a little more specific in the definition of New Media technology. We need a common ground to build upon, a vocabulary with consistency.

As a speaker at the NAA SuperConference in Orlando in January I truly found myself a potential big shopper in the land of opinions on New Media. The rise of new technology - expanded bandwidth, processing power and unification of communication protocols has given us all so many new opportunities in the business of news gathering, - producing, processing and providing.

Think in parallel - not in second hand serial....
The challenge for software suppliers is the capability to develop integrated production systems enabling parallel production for more media with the least possible overhead in production time – and with the greatest possible degree of freedom as close as possible to the publication times.

Re-purposing of news in more than the "old media" is not a concept that solves anything for the media industry on the long view. Re-purposing involves a serial production schedule which means that news are produced and used in one medium, before it is split up into small pieces and reprocessed and re-purposed in another medium. The production arrangement will never be optimal, the production time cannot be minimized, and the flexibility will vanish completely.

Watch out for Mobile printing factories on the loose!
At the SuperConference one of the interventions I overheard dealt with new strategies for maintaining the market share of the printed press as opposed to New Media.

From the platform a message was delivered about re-purposing of news – and it was given an additional angle:

"It is now possible to load new compact printing presses onto a truck fully operational! Consequently an actual mobile printing office was now within reach! Finally you had the tools and the means to look up, process and publish news where and whenever they happened.

The example was a speech held by Hillary Clinton at a major stadium. On the way out of the stadium the audience of the political meeting was offered a small newspaper – with both text and pictures from Hillary’s speech.

It was triumphantly introduced as the way for the printed press to survive, to beat New Media on its own home ground – as the blinding fast news coverage – and publishing from the load of a truck, driving through the city at night, risking in pure madness to run down innocent people, in an impossible pursuit of New Media.

Old Media is not a race horse anymore!
In my opinion the printed newspaper does not stand a chance when it comes to racing against the electronic newspaper in the response time of news coverage. News can either be presented in real time, as pictures, sound, and transcript – or they can be made in constantly more sophisticated layouts and presented by the Internet in matter of minutes.

The printed newspaper must survive on having time for planning a wide and in-depth background oriented news and information coverage, and on quality in the processing and production. It must supplement to complete the picture. If the printed newspaper does not learn to take that role and fill it out properly, then the days of the printed newspaper are numbered.

We all at SAXoTECH hope that publishers and MediaCenters around the world will welcome our initiatives to bring forward software solutions that will excel in parallel production abilities - freeing up more time for thorough news gathering and processing – in their benefit for a hectic yet peaceful and rational coexistence between old and New Media.

Share your views with me on

Werner Elhauge
Chief Technology Officer


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