People of the 21st-century debate about the future of the environment, optimum use of paper being an integral part of it. Documenting wars, art, medicine, and philosophy has always been of importance, even before the printing press was introduced. The invention of this machine in the 15th century brought many changes in terms of the production of newspapers, books, and advertisements. Since the production of print became easier with the introduction of new technology, the number of jobs increased, increasing the literacy rate.
Industrialization and Print Media
Industrialization brought changes in every aspect of print and production. With mass production of products being at its peak between the 1760s and 1840s, new technology influenced newspapers both directly, through the revolution in printing techniques, and indirectly, through the rapid developments in transport and communications. In printing technology, necessity determined invention when the demand for newspapers exceeded the few thousand weekly copies required of the most popular titles. (Philip Soundy Unwin, unknown)
In 1814, the steam-driven double press was introduced in London, allowing output of 5,000 copies per hour. And in 1865 the cylindrical rotary press was invented. The main breakthrough, however, did not take place until the end of the century, with the introduction of automatic typesetting on Ottmar Mergenthaler’s Linotype machine. Until then, each line of words to be printed had to be lined up and justified (made to fill exactly the allotted space between margins) by hand. (Philip Soundy Unwin, unknown) This increased production of magazines, books, newspapers, posters, menus, and tickets resulted in prices dropping, hence making it available for everyone.
Technological Advancement or Environmental Awareness?
The amount of paper printed every day and the amount recycled is a huge gap to be filled. About 12,500 tons of waste is generated only in the US. Carelessly discarded documents, ignored and unnecessary memos, misprints, etc. (Capital Business Systems, 2019) Paper, as it is an important resource when wasted, generates the need for more. Production of the same contributes to an enormous amount of pollution to the atmosphere and water.
With this volume of paper being generated and wasted each day, it causes more deforestation, resulting in reduced oxygen and polluted air. For the purpose of survival, now is the time to take sustainable measures and move forward keeping that in mind. Awareness about the environment has led people to debate about the future of print media. With the rapid growth of technology and with people taking responsibility for nature, the time has come to panic and save the environment, not for anyone else but ourselves.
Advancement in technology has been an angel in disguise, as the amount of paper that had been wasted and the number of trees that were being cut would have made this planet oxygen-less. The shift from print to online played an important role in the reduced use of paper, hence contributing to a step forward to save the planet.
Present-day Practice and Reliable Source
As print media is becoming extinct and online media booming, all the leading publications are transitioning to digital with the modern world, making it more reliable with time. (Emanual Gutierrez, 2016) One might even agree that it is very harmful to the environment to have so much printed paper that might not be recycled and that it’s better to publish online. But if all the arguments are in favor of online, then why do people prefer print?
Even today, it is a usual practice to make notes while reading, doing that on a digital print becomes difficult. It is a general opinion that print is better than online as holding a book or a newsletter in hand gives a sense of ownership to the reader. Yes, one can take subscriptions and read the same thing online but is it not better to mark the important points, underline the difficult words and write the meaning on the sides.
Another reason that print media is better than digital is for the purpose of better eyesight. We are all aware that the rays that come out of these technologically advanced gadgets are not good for our eyes and the radiations for the brain. These rays result in reduced vision, leading us to go for medical alternatives. So, is it a good idea to harm the eyesight while trying to stay updated about what’s happening around the world, with each buzz of the phone.
While everyone wants to stay updated about worldly affairs, we as architects want to stay updated about the buildings that are being constructed around. One way to do that is to travel all over and learn, which is not practically possible for everyone. Another is to read about these buildings and learn- print or online.
Publishing architectural projects online is a good alternative to print as it is made available to a wider audience around the world. Ranging from practitioners, students, and academicians to people interested in knowing just about the project. It becomes authentic and reliable as the firms doing the projects publish their work online and make it available for the people in the field. The same is provided by the firms to the magazines and galleries for the people who prefer a printed copy.
Both print and online have their set of advantages and disadvantages attached to it. Using one results in reduced vision and the other in a degraded environment. But since online has a wider reach, it is preferred by all is the better choice.
- Capital Business Systems, I., 2019. Capital Business Systems. [Online]
Available at: https://www.capitalmds.com/the-impact-of-printing-on-the-environment/
[Accessed 13 02 2022].
- Emanual Gutierrez, M. M. a. M. M., 2016. Which is more Reliable Print media or Online Media?, Merced: University of California.
- Philip Soundy Unwin, G. U. D. H. T., unknown. britannica. [Online]
Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/publishing/Era-of-the-Industrial-Revolution
[Accessed 15 02 2022].