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Technical Process Integration: Trends and Opportunities 9th Technical Day TAJAMAR-aede-IFRA October 10, 2008 Twyla J. Cummings, PhD Discussion Topics Overview of RIT and SPM The Printing Industry Center at RIT News Media Program Focus PIC Research Study Overview of RIT and SPM About RIT

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technical process integration trends and opportunities

Technical Process Integration: Trends and Opportunities

9th Technical DayTAJAMAR-aede-IFRA

October 10, 2008

Twyla J. Cummings, PhD

discussion topics
Discussion Topics

Overview of RIT and SPM

The Printing Industry Center at RIT

News Media Program Focus

PIC Research Study

about rit
About RIT
  • Founded in 1829
  • An internationally recognized leader in professional and career- oriented education
  • More than 15,000 students
  • Eight colleges
school of print media
School of Print Media

One of six schools within RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate degrees in New Media Publishing and Graphic Media

MS Degree in Print Media (on-campus and on-line)

14 Faculty

resources facilities
Resources & Facilities
  • Pre-Media & Publishing Labs
resources and facilities
Resources and Facilities
  • Printing Applications Laboratory
  • RIT is home to the most complete collection of printing equipment dedicated to education and research you’ll find anywhere in the world, from conventional presses to digital printing engines to advanced analytical labs.
resources and facilities9
Resources and Facilities
  • Flexography Laboratory
    • Mark Andy 8-color
    • UV, water-based, and solvent based ink systems
resources and facilities10
Resources and Facilities
  • Digital Printing Laboratory
    • HP Indigo
    • Xeikon
    • Xerox DocuTech and DocuColor Technology
printing industry center at rit
Printing Industry Center at RIT

Printing Industry





Applications Lab

Industry Education


printing industry center at rit13
Printing Industry Center at RIT
  • Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Industry Center
    • One of 25 Centers in USA
  • Established in 2001
  • Dedicated to the study of major business environment influences on the printing industry
mission and operations
Mission and Operations

Identify critical issues with partners

Frame research questions for industry research

Engage graduate students as research assistants

Report back to partners

Provide summer co-op opportunities for graduate students


Historically, the School of Print Media has played a significant role in the furtherance of technological and educational advances in the area of newspaper research.

news media program focus
News Media Program Focus
  • Research and Publishing
  • Curriculum Development
    • Academic
    • Industry
  • Student Engagement
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Industry Exposure
program accomplishments
Program Accomplishments
  • Research and Publishing
    • Articles published in Newspapers and Technology
    • PIC Monograph focused on newspaper research completed
    • Graduate student research published by Newspaper Association of America
strategic partners
Strategic Partners
  • Newspaper focus established in PIC
    • Gannett
    • EW Scripps
  • On-going newspaper visits
    • Chicago Tribune
    • New York Times
    • Democrat and Chronicle
    • Gatehouse Media
  • Association memberships
    • NAA
    • E-pub
    • Society of News Design
    • Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Incorporated more newspaper publishing focus into SPM course curriculum
    • Graduate
    • Undergraduate
  • RIT’s Industry Education Programs (
    • Industry training opportunities
student engagement
Student Engagement
  • Co-ops/Permanent Employment
    • St. Petersburg Times
    • Daily Press
    • Wall Street Journal
    • Democrat and Chronicle
    • NY Times
    • NY Post
    • Gatehouse Media
student engagement23
Student Engagement
  • Research Assistantships for Graduate Student Newspaper Research
    • Scripps Howard
    • Gannett
    • Miller Chair
    • Printing Industry Center at RIT
  • The “Loop” - an intercollegiate multi-media program; collaboration with Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle
industry exposure
Industry Exposure
  • Presentations
    • ING (International Newspaper Group)
    • IGAEA (International Graphic Arts Educators Association)
    • 9th Technical Day
  • Industry Day at SPM
  • Conference Attendance
    • NEXPO
    • ING
  • Paul and Louise Miller Lecture Series
an examination of business and workflow models for u s newspapers

Twyla J. Cummings, Ph.D.Paul & Louise Miller Distinguished ProfessorHoward Vogl, M.S.Visiting ProfessorClaudia Cristina Alvarez CasanovaGraduate AlumniJavier Rodriguez BorladoGraduate Student

An Examination of Business and Workflow Models for U.S. Newspapers

executive summary
Executive Summary

The newspaper industry is being redefined by changes of historic proportions resulting in a disruptive shift among the core audience of newspapers. Many industry pundits have commented that the traditional business model is "broken.“ Thus the printed newspaper is no longer considered the primary "news" information source.


The printed newspaper represents one of the oldest and most widespread forms of mass media in the U.S. (Albarran, 2002). Many newspapers are owned by holding companies that not only own newspapers, but other media businesses such as TV, cable and radio stations, publishing companies and telecom companies.

major players in u s newspaper industry
Major Players in U.S. Newspaper Industry

Gannett Company, Inc.

The McClatchy Company

Times Mirror Company

The New York Times Company

News Corp

E.W. Scripps Company

Cox Publishing Incorporated

Gatehouse Media


U.S. Newspaper circulation is declining

Newspaper publishers can no longer rely on the printed paper for sustainable revenues


Total newspaper circulation, 1940 to 2006

(Newspaper Association of America, 2008)

newspaper industry challenges
Newspaper Industry Challenges

Electronic media

Declining readership


current trends in newspaper production and design
Current Trends in Newspaper Production and Design

Web based and new media services

Hybrid (semi-commercial) production

Product customization

Physical changes to the printed paper

research objectives
Research Objectives

To acquire a understanding of traditional and emerging newspaper publishing business models

To review audience analysis

To understand the prepress and production workflows for newspapers and to determine if there are differences based on size

research methodology
Research Methodology

In-depth secondary research study

Developed four section research questionnaire: demographic, market information, audience questions, and workflow

Validated and revised questionnaire

Administered questionnaire via email or in person to five newspaper entities

study limitations
Study Limitations

Limited number of research participants (lack of response)

Data gaps due to incomplete surveys

Inconsistency in data collection methods: in person versus email

Limited access to large newspapers due to the complex, fragmented infrastructure and layers of management

research findings
Research Findings
  • Data collected from five newspapers: 1 large, 2 medium and 2 small
  • Company size defined based on total circulation as follows:
    • Small (S1, S2) – less than 50,000 copies
    • Medium (M1, M2) – 50,001 – 150,000 copies
    • Large (L1) – greater than 150,000 copies
circulation data
Circulation Data

Daily circulation for research participants

newspaper publishing business models
Newspaper Publishing Business Models

Traditional – newspaper central focus

new and emerging models
New and Emerging Models

Focus shifts from product to audience

newspaper publishing business models40
Newspaper Publishing Business Models
  • Emerging Model
    • Newspaper companies are now news media companies
    • No longer focus exclusively on the printed newspaper
    • Current business model is diverse
    • Goal is to reach the widest audience
    • No longer think only of subscribers, but audiences
    • Focus on producing products for a cross-section audiences
newspaper publishing business models41
Newspaper Publishing Business Models
  • The revenue streams from emerging business model are:
    • Circulation of printed and on-line news content
    • Advertising: print and on-line
    • Inserts printed by other printers and inserted into the newspaper
    • Other products including magazines, other newspapers, inserts, and flyers
    • Other services such as mailing and the distribution of other newspapers
new future business strategies
New/Future Business Strategies
  • Participants seem to support a diversification strategy to maximize profitability
  • It appears that the following changes to the physical paper are most common for the medium and small newspapers:
    • Reduced web width
    • Reduced page count
    • Increased use of color
    • Elimination and addition of sections
audience analysis
Audience Analysis
  • Core Audience
    • Core audience shrinking
    • Participants want to establish profitable segments with this group
    • Primary research indicated that the core audience of most newspapers ranged between 30 to 49 years of age
    • An analysis of 131 newspapers in the Audience-Fax database (2008) shows the majority of readers are between 50 to 64 years of age
audience analysis44
Audience Analysis
  • Readership
    • As audience preference for media has changed, print readership has declined while online readership has increased.
  • Integrated Audience
    • Audience media preferences changing
    • Focus on combining print and on-line readership to increase advertising revenue potential
    • Audience Fax initiative tracks integrated print and on-line audiences (NAA)
prepress workflow
Prepress Workflow
  • PDF has become the de facto file format standard used to receive information from external sources
  • Majority of participants use totally automatic archiving systems
    • Newspaper prepress departments are generating a variety of products that differ from those printed in production
prepress workflow47
Prepress Workflow
  • More automation in prepress workflow of medium newspaper
  • Content created
    • Same workflow used for editorial and advertising
  • Standards
    • Few standards used; no plans to implement
    • PDF-X standard rarely used although PDF use increasing
production workflow
Production Workflow

There were no major investment plans for upgrading or changing technology in the near future

The only product produced by all the newspapers in the study (in addition to their own newspaper) was other newspapers

production workflow49
Production Workflow
  • Automation
    • Correlation between newspaper size and the level of automation
    • The larger the operation, the more automation
    • Minimal automation in the small newspaper
  • Quality Control
      • Small newspapers do not have formal quality control procedures in place
graphical representation of newspaper publishing workflow
Graphical Representation of Newspaper Publishing Workflow


Plate Production


Post Production

other key findings
Other Key Findings
  • Outsourcing
    • Medium newspaper seem to be considering outsourcing prepress services
    • None of the participants are considering outsourcing printing process – still a core business
conclusions and implications
Conclusions and Implications
  • Business Strategy
    • Newspaper can’t be married to the printed newspaper
    • “Print not dead, but growing in different ways.” (M. Kane)
    • Creation of new products and revenue streams
business strategy
Business Strategy

A successful model for newspapers involves a diverse mix of product offerings.

conclusions and implications55
Conclusions and Implications
  • Audience
    • Core audiences are middle-aged and older readers
    • Younger readers less likely to read the printed paper
    • Strategy is to: increase on-line readership, increase relevance and maximize present value of core audience
conclusions and implications56
Conclusions and Implications
  • Workflow Trends
    • Newspapers generating more commercial work in prepress department
    • Research participants are using cold-set technology with oil based inks
      • no plans to change to heat-set technology or UV inks
    • Clear trend for plant consolidations
    • Clear relationship of newspaper size and automation
agenda for further research
Agenda for Further Research

A comparative study of U.S. versus international news publishing companies

A more in-depth study of print and on-line audiences

A study of skill sets (prepress, press and editorial) for future employees

An investigation into the core newspaper audience of the future

Repeat current through NAA

next steps
Next Steps

Collaboration between RIT, Tajamar, Spanish Newspaper Association and other institutions

contact information
Contact Information

Twyla Cummings,

Howard Vogl,

Javier Rodriguez Borlado,

To access research study (available in 2009):

Printing Industry Center