The Difference of Print from Online Newspaper

The Difference of Print from Online Newspaper

Man reading news online


Marc Klotzbach is one of three employees who work in logistics at Basse Druck in Hagen. Every day, three to four tons of paper are delivered to the logistics center. That’s 21 tons of paper per week. These 21 tons are used, for example, to produce calendars that can do nothing but specify the day. Already here I wonder who still owns a calendar today and has not already replaced it with his smartphone or other digital devices. One thing is certain: there are not as many today as there were 20 years ago.

Declining circulation figures

When comparing print and digital media, one often thinks that digital media could have replaced print shops long ago. Since digital media can replace almost all paper products, substitution has been discussed for a long time. In any case, young people mostly get their information from digital media and read their news on their smartphones, possibly even on a photo display, instead of in the newspaper. According to the statistics portal Statista, the sales rate of daily newspapers in Germany is also declining sharply: From 1991 to 2017, circulation fell by more than 10 million copies. And yet every morning the daily newspapers are printed and delivered. How can that be?

General differences

The differences between digital media and print are obvious. The advantage of digital media is that they can deliver information much faster using the Internet. Printers, on the other hand, have to go through several steps such as paper procurement, planning, and printing. This not only costs a lot of time but also resources such as ink and paper. This problem does not exist with digital media. Here, the information design can be changed up to the output, or breaking news can be distributed almost in real-time.

Where newspapers have to be leafed through to the desired article, users of digital media can search directly for their own interests or topics. This advantage has led many well-known newspapers to follow suit: they have long been available not only in print but also digitally.

New technology also helps to print

Technical innovations offer print shops various opportunities to compete with digital media. Print shops often process several jobs at the same time. BasseDruck also produces books, Bibles, catalogs, calendars, and much more at the same time. This carries the risk of not being able to meet fixed deadlines for the final product due to problems with the printing presses. So the time pressure with too many orders can quickly become a problem, says Marc Klotzbach.


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The Heidelberg Speedmaster

But print shops have also improved thanks to new technologies. In 1930, the well-known screen printing was still used, with which printing was a lengthy process. Nowadays, there are new methods that are much faster and cheaper to process. One of these methods is offset printing. Highly efficient presses such as the Heidelberg Speedmaster, as those used by BasseDruck, work automatically and bring the end product to its destination a good deal faster.

Improving the machines brings even more advantages. The heavy physical work of the past no longer exists. And that’s not all. The machines not only manufacture the products faster but also take their quality to a whole new level. Printers such as BasseDruck, which attach great importance to quality, have many possibilities for the design of the end product. Paper thickness, coatings or book form are some of these variables.

A matter of time?

Nevertheless, the advantages of digital media clearly outweigh the disadvantages. News in digital media is more up-to-date, faster, always, and everywhere. Nevertheless, some still insist on reading the news or even the date from the paper. In any case, there are still enough people who prefer to read the newspaper instead of receiving the news on a digital device. Marc Klotzbach also says: “The media will not replace traditional print shops in the long term”. In addition, the appearance of newspapers helps to classify events. In contrast, with digital media, it can also easily happen that important information is lost due to a large amount of supply.

Perhaps the time will come when there will actually be neither newspapers nor calendars made of paper. Until then, however, everyone has to decide for themselves whether they prefer to read their news digitally or analogously.