Blind World Magazine

It's old-fashioned news in a new-fangled way. Magazines and newspapers are going electronic.

June 21, 2005.
KXAN-TV, Austin TX.

One challenge newspapers and magazines face is declining readership, young people just don't read them anymore.

But by using a Central Texas company to turn newsprint into kilobytes, the daily news has become the daily download.

It's old-fashioned news in a new-fangled way. Magazines and newspapers are going electronic. An Austin company is making it possible.

"It's today's paper. And very often earlier than you can get it from the newsstand, a paper newsstand or at your front door," Kit Webster with NewsStand, Inc. said.

NewsStand, Inc. turns newspapers and magazines around the world into computerized copies for subscribers processing about three terabytes of data a month.

"A lot of people don't want to give up their paper, but they don't have time to read and fool around with the paper. If they can carry it around with them, they can read it in bits and snatches during the day," Webster said.

These electronic versions have everything you'd find in the printed version of the papers -- everything from the pictures and advertisements, all the way down to the crossword puzzle.

"Then we do things like providing page jumps and tables of contents and search capability and making Internet addresses hot," Webster said.

Audio and video can be included; for the visually impaired, text enlarges. You can even do the crossword without printing it.

Since there's no paper, NewsStand figures they have saved millions of trees and eliminated tons of trash.

About 250 publications in dozens of languages are digitized every month -- some well known, some not so much.

"We've got a lot of subscribers to The Horse. I mean there are a lot of horse fanciers who really like it," Webster said.

Most publications offer digital versions for their regular subscribers, and offers many college papers for free.

The paper boy isn't unemployed yet. Research shows that people still prefer a traditional paper for those lazy weekend mornings.

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