Pagination: Implementation & Human Factors

One of my roles as Assistant Managing Editor of The Arizona Republic involved steering Phoenix Newspapers [PNI] into its next generation of pagination, the electronic design and production of newspaper pages.  In early March, 1993, the Newspaper Association of America held a Prespress Technology Symposium in Phoenix, AZ. I gave two speeches at that conference, one on how The Republic implemented its system.

If you were to create an adage about the installation of a pagination system it might go something like this:

Installing a pagination system is much like building a ship while already at sea – it is possible, but be prepared to get wet.

The second speech involved the human factors in pagination:

A design department using pagination can be one of two things:

  •  A creative department using a specialized electronic tool
  • A service or production department using new tools but following the direction of the paper’s editors

A design department using pagination can’t be both.

This is the fundamental linchpin of any discussion about the human factors of pagination. How to manage the people doing the work.