Communication and Media Technology – Newspapers and Magazines

Communication and Media Technology – Newspapers and Magazines

Newspapers and magazines should be up-to-date and as economical as possible, but are not generally intended for long-term use.

Thus, different printing and production methods are used than for books.

Dramatic news headlines on huge rotating rollers of printing machines often appear in old movies. These offset printers, employed by many newspapers, use a technique involving the interaction of water and oil. The image is first transferred to a printing plate in the form of water and oil- resistant areas. Printing ink is only taken up in the water-resistant areas. The plate is mounted on a drum and pressed to a blanket cylinder, which in turn prints the image on the paper.

This indirect printing method is used to help protect the expensive printing plate. In book printing, so-called page signatures consist of 16 or 32 pages being processed at a time; however, newspaper printing uses continuous rolls of paper in a roll-to-roll or rotary printing process.

Stock photography agencies

Newspapers and magazines without illustrations are unattractive to many readers. However, few newspapers can afford to send their own photographers to the hot spots of international events. In turn, even professional photographers may lack the resources to successfully market their photos. The gap is filled by stock photography agencies.

These agencies purchase the photo rights from photographers, paying either a flat rate or a portion of the proceeds from each photo. Publishers, newspapers, and advertising agencies can subscribe to the agencies’ catalogs and search their databases for the right photo for nearly any news article or written editorial piece.

Behind the scenes at a newspaper office

What you see in today’s newspaper was determined yesterday by news editors and department chiefs in an editors’ conference. For important topics, the publisher and sometimes even the newspaper’s owner may influence the story’s presentation. Staff journalists research the topics selected, or assignments may be given to reporters and correspondents.

Another common option is to purchase finished articles from a news agency. In-depth articles and series may be planned over a longer term or bought from freelance journalists. Photo editors are responsible for illustrations, which may come from the articles’ authors or from photo agencies.

Text, photos, and advertising are assembled by layout staff on a computer using page layout software before being sent on for proofreading. When the editor-in-chief approves the final edition, it is sent electronically to the printer and in many cases is also published on the Internet.


Increasing numbers of people are turning to their computers for fast and up-to-date news information. However, printed media is still popular and is likely to remain so into the future. Many newspapers now publish their information on the Internet, retaining the typical layout.

The reader can either print the pages, or load the text on to a portable device to read as digital text. Researchers have also been experimenting with the concept of electronic paper for several years. This would allow digital text to be read of a screen as thin and flexible as paper


PHOTOCOPIERS AND laser or LED printers use the same basic technology: the image to be printed is transferred to a rotating drum using light from a laser or LED.

Toner attaches to the electrically charged areas on the drum and paper is pulled over it transferring the image to paper.