Culture and Society

How has newspaper printing changed over time?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Over the years, there have been many changes in the types of machinery used for printing newspapers. Most printing presses no longer use Linotype typesetters or other centuries-old "hot type" technologies. The newer, "cold type" presses are more efficient; they've sped up production and cut costs. Photographic engraving machines, typesetters, presses and image scanners all contribute to the production of the newspaper. Offset printers etch the images of the pages onto aluminum plates, which transfer ink to rubber rollers from which the pages are printed. Pages are cut and sequenced entirely by the machines, and many modern presses can produce up to 70,000 newspaper copies per hour.

    Of course, many readers today read news straight from the computer screen, saving these presses from printing as many copies as they have in the past. In May 2010, 123 million Americans visited online newspaper Web sites -- this is about 57 percent of Americans who use the Internet [source: comScore]. Print newspapers may be declining, but people are still reading.

    Whether the news in printed or online, advertising revenue is usually what keeps a newspaper alive. Online ads, of course, have the advantage of instant interaction, which is a huge incentive for advertisers to place ads on a newspaper's Web site. In print newspapers, advertising space can take up more than 60 percent of a weekday edition. There are three major types of newspaper advertisements:

    • Display ads -- printed right on the page, with graphics and photos -- are usually taken out by larger businesses. They can vary in size and color, and they tend to produce the most revenue.
    • Inserts are preprinted advertising booklets that are inserted within the newspaper.
    • Classified ads, purchased by businesses or individual people, can be used for whatever purpose the buyer wants.


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