Accommodation and flexibility

Date of publication: June 15, 1981


At the outset, advances in electronic publishing proved to be a boon to print publishers. Computerized typesetting and similar developments permitted us to deliver a more attractive product on a more timely basis, and with a savings in labor costs. However, the same technological initiative from which we first profited now appears less friendly, if not ominous. Perhaps it was inevitable: our own technological ingenuity has finally permitted the advent of a form of mass communications -- videotex -- which may mean an end to print communication modes. Indeed, videotex has made several of our colleagues yearn for a return to the days of the quill pen. Reactions to videotex range from doomsayers who prophecy the transformation of 'the reading habit' into 'the viewing habit' to those who choose to ignore its ramifications altogether. The purpose of this presentation is a search for a middle ground: to examine to what extent we may expect videotex to affect print media, particularly newspaper publishing; and to offer alternatives available to the print publisher.

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