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Archive for July 31st, 2007

J&C’s new press one year anniversary

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

You hear a lot about the death of print publications, of newspapers on well paper. So it’s kind of ironic to me today that this is an anniversary for my publication’s re-dedication to the print product.

A year ago today the J&C officially launched its new press and became the first paper in North America with a Berliner format. I heard recently that Reading, Pa., is switching to the format. It probably won’t be the last. It’s funny because now when I go out of town or go home or even when I pick up the Indy Star in print, it feels so long and so clunky. So big. So unwieldly.

Obviously, I wasn’t here when they were changing up the format. I wasn’t here when they were putting out two papers a day as they worked out the kinks of the new system and coming up with the alternative story formats that are just a natural part of our coverage today. (I swear, charticles are a science here. We have a whole stylebook with different forms of them.)

I have been here to reap some rewards. Like ink that’s vibrant and doesn’t smudge. Like a paper with lots of pictures, graphics and a nice, clean design. Like a paper that’s comfortable to open and read without having to spread it across the table or refold it a dozen different ways. Like a focus on tighter writing, which I need, and more A1 stories because we strive for all-local fronts.

It does seem weird to celebrate a print product with all the focus on the Internet. But I’m glad they had the initiative and foresight to see what could be and to not say “well newspapers are dying anyway, why waste the time and money?” Instead, they produced what really is a better product. It looks better, feels better and serves readers better. Yeah, it may well and probably will be the last press they ever buy as we move every day more and more to a web-first mentality. At the same time, it’s a nod to the readers that we aren’t abandoning them, and as long as we’re putting out a print version, it’s worth putting out the best print version possible. And I can dig that.