Some makers of equipment for the printing industry are promoting the idea of shutting down every printing press for one day — Oct. 23.
These printing equipment makers have been hurt by the digital revolution. Although some of them make products for the digital industry, their big printing shop products have taken a hit as smaller and cheaper digital machines move in on traditionally print markets.
They believe that a world without printing, even for one day, would be shocked into realizing the importance of printing, even in these days of electronic chat.
The idea probably won’t go very far.
First, it would be hard to get printers to shut off their presses. Take The Madera Tribune, for example. Oct. 23 will be a Tuesday this year, and that’s the day we print our Wednesday paper — usually the second-biggest issue of the week. Not printing that paper would cost us more money than we would want to sacrifice just to shock the people of the world. Let them be shocked by something else.
People who like to communicate with their telephones are fond of saying newspapers and other printed products are going to disappear, but I don’t think that’s the case.
Everybody said the same thing when television came along, and newspapers didn’t disappear. In fact, over time, their circulations went up. Television prospered as well.
It turns out that some magazines — those which publish for certain markets — are doing quite well. New magazines are showing up all the time on newsstands, and they are winning subscribers, too. These magazines are great-looking printed products, and it is hard to argue with their success.
I know that printed books are supposed to be on the way out, but there are a lot of people — myself included — who still buy them and read them. Mrs. Doud keeps telling me I’ve got to get rid of some of mine, because they are taking over the house. But that would just make room for more books, wouldn’t it?