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Today Newspaper

Posted by Big Boo on January 26th, 2009

newspaper printing pressOn March 4th 1986 newspaper boss Eddy Shah revolutionised the UK newspaper market with the launch on Today.  Before this publication came along newspapers in the UK were traditionally printed only in black and white, and were normally laid out using a system called Linotype.  This way of printing involved making metal printing plates by assembling various letter moulds together by way of a special machine.

Today changed all that in two ways.  First, it allowed for printing photographs in full colour using a technique known as colour offset printing, not just those weird patterns of black dots that other newspapers were forced to use.  This system is now used almost exclusively for the production of newspapers and magazines across the world.

Secondly, it computerised the entire newspaper production process.  Desktop Publishing packages were used to layout the newspaper articles and pictures, which allowed for more fancy ways of aligning text than the old Linotype machines.  Most importantly though, once all the articles and pictures had been laid out the data could be sent straight to the presses for printing.

Initially the colour printing was a little hit and miss, as the only way to check the colours of a printed image was once the newspaper had been printed, which was obviously a little too late.  Experience and technology soon sorted this issue out, and Today became very successful.  After only four months of being on sale the newspaper was bought by the Lonrho group, who were a producer of precious metals.  It didn’t stay under this ownership for long though, and in 1987 Rupert Murdoch’s News International company bought Today.

The paper went on to exist for almost a decade before it was forced to close down due to lack of readership.  All the other long established national newspapers in the UK had caught up with Today technologically and the paper lost its main defining points in the process.  The final issue went on sale on November 17th 1995.

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