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Newspapers--The Front Page Goes Digital

June 1999
NEXPO, headlining in Las Vegas this month, touts trends in digital asset management, imagesetters, new RIP releases and other digital prepress tools designed to make the front page move in digital directions.


Newspapers are at a disadvantage when it comes to reaping the full benefits of electronic prepress, at present, for the obvious reason: Experimentation can cost—and, with the front page at stake, few newspaper greats would push for thermal imaging innovation at the risk of an unplanned late edition.

However, are newspaper executives, who are in positions of operational and production management, taking note of the technologies driving thermal platesetting and digital color proofing trends in the commercial printing sector? Do newspaper printers have their eyes on the digital preprinting trends and digital asset management solutions impacting the modern commercial printer?

The answer is as obvious as the headline of this article—and as distinct as the contrast between black and white. Newspapers are curious, even optimistic, that the same movements in digital prepress, which have propelled production and quality for commercial printers, will hit the newspaper market with similar performance guarantees.

What are the areas of interest?

Digital asset management, preflighting, digital proofing, digital platesetting and the latest advancements in RIP technologies aimed at the imagesetter—not to mention the deep waters of the move to full pagination—are capturing the attention and investment dollars of today's newspapers.

A guide for all of this front-end fancy aimed at the newspaper industry is NEXPO, taking place in Las Vegas June 14-17. NEXPO is a true authority on which digital file delivery and digital asset management solutions, as well as which preprinting tools, are of substantial interest to the newspaper community.

Technology providers gearing up to show their wares will include Agfa, Apple Computer, Canto Software, Cascade Systems, ECRM, the Ultre capstan imagesetting div. of Heidelberg Prepress, Krause Newspaper Systems, Markzware, Optronics, PrePRESS Solutions, Purup-Eskofot, Western Lithotech, Xitron and X-Rite, among many others poised to bring digital prepress to the conventional newspaper environment.

To offer a look at the digital front-page follies expected at this month's NEXPO, Printing Impressions provides the following technological forecasts, status reports and product promises from a sampling of the technology providers bound for Las Vegas.

Digital Asset Moves
Cascade Systems is one digital asset management provider planning to target NEXPO. Cascade provides several workflow and content management solutions specifically for newspapers, including solutions that offer: display ad production tracking and management; Internet-based ad proofing and ad delivery; photo-desk capabilities; archiving, photo and graphic assignment and tracking; digital ad delivery and preflighting; page tracking; ad stacking; and digital library/archiving for all digital assets such as pages, PDF files, graphics, photos, text and multimedia with incorporated free-text searching.


Companies Mentioned:


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