In the last decade, there has been a fundamental shift in the way people consume news. News has become freer and more accessible than ever. Newspapers are now more visually appealing, and the technology behind print media is evolving. This change is taking place everywhere, not just in the United States. One of the biggest challenges that the print industry faces is the growth of digital channels. Many print publications are losing subscribers due to increased online news availability. As a result, many publishers have trimmed print production. Even large publications have been affected by the declining revenue. Despite this, the future for newspapers is bright.
Future Of The Newspaper Printing
Newspapers will continue to grow in countries that still value printed materials. The print industry has already experienced tremendous growth in India, the world’s largest consumer of newspapers. More than 100 million titles are published in India. Print is being used as a means of keeping up with the growing middle class. However, the paper and printing industries will face growing costs, which will put pressure on printers and distributors. These costs will also affect consumers, as they will be forced to pay more for the materials they use.
In the United States, paid circulation for newspapers has declined by more than half, and the number of working journalists has dropped by more than 17,000 since 2006. Some publishers have also cut back on the number of days their print editions are distributed. For example, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has discontinued its print editions, leaving readers with iPads to access the daily digital replica.
Moreover, a growing generation of millennials is not spending any time reading magazines or newspapers. This generation doesn’t want to pay for the news they’re getting, and they’ve learned that they can find a large quantity of information for free online. That has led to an erosion of democracy, as Americans are less informed. Another challenge that the print industry is facing is the rising cost of newsprint. A combination of the high cost of color printing, input costs, and energy surcharges have contributed to the soaring price of paper. With so much competition, the future of the newspaper industry is uncertain. Some are predicting the industry will continue to shrink in the coming years, while others are expecting it to continue to grow. Whatever the case may be, the print industry will have plenty of interesting conversations with customers.
Printed Photos in Newspapers
The printed photos in newspapers are a very powerful means of conveying messages to readers. Newspapers can acquire photographs from staff photographers, third-party agencies, or directly from news sources. However, these images have been subject to numerous challenges, from print technologies that have become unstable to copyright restrictions that limit their use. The resulting newspaper photo morgue is a complex collection and one that presents several challenges to collection management.
For the majority of the twentieth century, photo morgues consisted of gelatin silver developed-out prints and 35mm polyester-based negatives. Traditionally, a photo morgue contained a series of “photos of the month” and a few “photos of the day.” Occasionally, other publications would run. This was due to the costs of illustrating the daily paper. Newspapers also used photo morgues as an archive of photographs for a quick copy of obituaries. Generally, newspaper clippings and photographic files were kept in the same facilities. News agency photographs, however, present a more complicated challenge. These images have a special copyright, which is not held by the staff photographers who took the picture. Unlike other published photographs, news agency photos are typically printed using a variety of facsimile processes, which can produce dramatic fading or offsetting of dense image areas. They also require further examination and processing.
Most newspaper photo morgues have large collections. According to a survey conducted by Laura McCann, an assistant conservation librarian at the New York University Libraries, 41% of these collections reported more than one million items. Despite the size of the collection, newspaper photo morgues are highly resource-intensive. Fortunately, there are ways to preserve these valuable collections.
One of the major challenges of a newspaper photo morgue is the copyright of the news agency photographs. Depending on the news agency, a photograph may be subject to strict copyright restrictions, and its publication can be subject to many more challenges than its printing process.