The notion of personalised, print-on-demand newspapers is still firmly on the drawing board at the popular publishers. But one little startup is hoping DIY community publishers might still be interested.
Currently in beta, Newspaper Club is developing an online system to let people lay up their own news titles – not for the screen, but for print. It’s got an unknown amount of 4iP money to “help people make their own newspapers” – targeting not the big nationals or regionals but “individuals, communities, clubs, societies, companies, friends, gangs – you know; people“. Here’s a pilot copy made for the BBC.
“The ideal audience could be a group of birdwatchers, the residents of an estate campaigning for improvements, or a printed product rounding up the best of the internet,” 4iP commissioner Dan Heaf tells TCUK, which reckons Newspaper Club has “the potential to completely change the face of mainstream media”…
That’s over-egging it a bit. Community and local charity groups may appreciate an easy way to print newsletters (synergies with 4iP-funded local journalism project Talk About Local are interesting) – but the print-on-demand idea still has no traction at the mainstream, professional level. After all, only hypothetical customers care enough to customise and print an up-to-the-minute set of A4 sheets.