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NEW TECHNOLOGY REPORT ON THE PILOT PROJECT AT PRETORIA NEWS 14th February 1994 FOREWORD THE job has

largely been done. Much wearier but also much wiser, we finally have a Fourth-Wave newspaper production system that works. That's good news for us. It's also good news for other Branches which must go this way too in order to stay ahead of the game. The advantage for the Group, of course, is that our tribulations have taken many of the surprises and most of the guesswork out of what needs to be done. A year or so ago, when we were young and innocent, we were unwittingly living with more than one foot in fantasyland in regard to Fourth-Wave. We were taking guesses at the sort of hardware we would need, what its real effect would be, how many people would be needed, how they would be trained, what it all would cost. And the effect of such guesswork would only multiply at bigger branches. The Pretoria News experience has bridged all that. Here now is a friendly and readily accessible site against which other needs may be accurately measured. It would be the true measure of the success of our pilot status if the rest of the Group were to exploit our experience to the full. What we have got for ourselves, of course, is a system which makes the paper brighter, faster, more flexible, able to do more pages on-day, able to offer even friendlier advertising deadlines. We are also now in a position to exploit the other production/distribution opportunities which are crowding through the breach in the wall of what used to be the accepted wisdom of newspaper production. This report details and summarises what we have learned. But there is another, non-technical chance here which it would be foolish to ignore. Fourth-Wave offers the opportunity to totally re-think the way in which we put newspapers together; how the people are organised; what their working day comprises; relationships between departments ... indeed, the whole traditional way of things comes up for potentially positive change. As just one of many examples, we are working on the new-age job description for what used to be called sub-editors now prepress production operatives. As "Editorial" and "Production" merge, so the divide between "Advertising" and "Editorial" begins to blur too. Graphics, and the potential to make them any way we want with blinding speed, start to impinge on "Editorial" decision-making ... With Fourth-Wave, everything changes. It is very exciting. More thanks than can be properly expressed, in closing, to the dedicated band of warriors from The 'News and from Head Office who did extraordinary things to haul this wagon through the drift. What we have here, and the undoubted success that others in the Group will enjoy in building on our experience to mould their own, are the true measures that their work was not in vain. DEON DU PLESSIS, Editor

CONTENTS

FOREWORD (Deon du Plessis)

1. PROJECT OVERVIEW (Andre Meyerowitz)

2. WHY FOURTH WAVE? (Steve Appleton)

3. MEDIASYSTEMEN (Andre Meyerowitz)

13

4. HOW IT WORKS (Steve Appleton)

18

5. PEOPLE (Various contributors)

23

6. EDITORIAL (Monica du Plessis, Andre Meyerowitz)

27

7. ADVERTISING (Bert Bottenberg, Patricia Goodman, John Lindenberg)

34

8. MONEY (Aiden Robertson)

40

CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS (The Project Team)

43

CHAPTER 1: OVERVIEW (Andre Meyerowitz) THE PRETORIA NEWS has switched to Fourth-Wave technology for the pre-press production of its editorial and advertising constituents. It has thereby proved that the Fourth-Wave concept works: ultra modern computers can be used to produce a South African daily newspaper. Moreover, it is now demonstrable that the electronic method is significantly cheaper than the more mechanical and labour-intensive methods previously used. The Pretoria exercise, based on Mediasystemen software from Holland, was in the nature of a pilot for the rest of the Group. Pretoria is of course smaller than our Johannesburg and coastal sites, but it nonetheless produces a comparable mainstream daily. One of the project imperatives was that, whatever Pretoria did in regard to Fourth Wave, it had to have relevance to other Argus newspapers: they should be able to learn from its outcome if they chose to. Hence this report. It must be said right away that - successful though Pretoria's pioneering work is finally turning out to be - the installation and implementation of the new technology was uncomfortable and even, at times, nightmarish. Other newspapers which may choose to follow Pretoria need not suffer the same adversity in moving to FourthWave if they lay their plans with due regard for pitfalls which the pilot project exposed. There is no guarantee that the views and descriptions on the following pages will ease any transition elsewhere, but we hope they will enhance understanding of the nature and particularly the immensity of such transition: it is a monumental task. Perhaps the most important penny that must drop is that such a move is; in both philosophical and practical terms, truly revolutionary. For centuries, both Editorial and Advertising have handed their material to a Works Department (even by way of a CSI or Atex front-end) in order to have it made ready for the press. Now, under Fourth-Wave, there is no longer a Composing Room. Editorial text and illustrations are made press-ready by Editorial; both ROP and Classified ads are made press-ready by Advertising. All that remains of the old mechanical production system is, in effect, the press itself: the rest has become invisibly electronic. For the moment we still use a sharply reduced staff of negative strippers and plate-makers, but even that remnant of the Works is inevitably on its way out. The people-implications are immense. Firstly, the new technology involves retrenchment of hitherto invaluable staff members, and we have learned that the serious human problems which this involves should be handled sensitively - in the interests of both employee and employer. Secondly, the retraining of other staff members who remain on board must be conducted optimally - not least in the interests of the employer. Thirdly, attention (and if necessary money) must be given to the role of the rising new breed of technologists, with whom both Advertising and Editorial join forces to form the new type of prepress production department - a whole new culture - which replaces the old. The people issue is dealt with in some detail in Chapter 5. Almost by definition, a pilot project has to test concepts which are very new. As such, a number of assumptions and guesses had to be made about what the final installation would look like - and we weren't far wrong in that we are ending up within 10 percent of the budgeted amount (excluding retrenchment costs). But it came to light in the Pretoria exercise that there must be literally thousands of hardware, software and user details which can turn sour in implementing a Fourth-\Nave system, of which

OVERVIEW probably hundreds could imperil the very publication of the newspaper. A good part of the project leadership's time was occupied by crisis management, and the timescale went awry in spite of initial optimism: we had hoped we could be "fully live" by December 18 but we knew at an early stage that this was not possible: we wrote in the "Mount Grace Limited Edition" of October 14 that "the schedule was far too tight for comfort'. It is only now, in February, that the project is being completed; it may even be March before we can finally sign it off. The prime reason for Pretoria's difficulties is that we had an unrealistic timetable for implementation of leading-edge technology, given the limited resources available. In fact, we were so very much at the leading edge that software engineers were still conducting development work even after we had "gone live". We tested new programs on live products~ and it is in the nature of new software as well as newly installed hardware that there will be (a declining number of) failures until stability is attained. It was all too "skin-of-the-teeth", with press start-up late on too many days during the transition, staff morale at times dipping, and a few columns of class ads (and thereby revenue) actually lost. At the same time we had neither enough bodies to throw at the problems, nor enough in-house technical knowledge, nor the ability to raise the budget ceiling ad hoc. So there are three possible ways in which future installations could be made happier than the one at Pretoria: " Minimising the "leading-edge" nature of the project. In other words: If another site were to adopt exactly the same type of hardware and software, there would in theory be no problems - all the trials and tribulations would already have been suffered by Pretoria~ and a copy-cat implementation would next time be as smooth as silk. However, it happens that no two sites are exactly alike. Apart from the implications of sheer scale on the database and network structure, there will inevitably be differences (for example in copy-flow) that will require some further software development or structural setting-up. " Ensuring there are enough suitably qualified people in-house. Questions surrounding end-user training - a critically important factor, which gave us some trouble - are addressed in Chapter 5. But even more fundamentally important than that is the level of technical knowledge among Editorial and Advertising people, and most particularly in the I.T. Department. Fourth-Wave is a new ball-game and it is therefore no discredit to Editorial currently to lack programming abilities, or to Classads to lack typographical knowledge, or to I.T. to lack Unix and Sybase experience. However~ some of these things were focused on for the first time only when we reached the crucial software-specification stage - and subsequent difficulties in getting the pilot project off the ground (remember: there is no longer a Composing Room) highlighted that a Fourth-Wave site should have such capacity in place before installation starts. Of course, depending on present levels of knowledge at any particular site, this may cost money. Adopting a more easy-paced project schedule: Installation at Pretoria started in August, and there were compelling Group and local reasons to strive for its completion in December. But that left no time (never mind questions of enough staff) for shadow production or parallel production - and doing everything "live" proved to be a short-cut which had hidden costs in blood, sweat, tears and imperilled

OVERVIEW production, not to mention some extra cash outlay. Experts had scoffed at the initial schedule, and although the delay has proved them right and disappointed us, they are amazed at how much has in fact been achieved since August. At bigger sites, a doubling of the five month installation plan so as better to accommodate training and testing, with a few months also for laying plans and specifying/writing any new software - say 15 to 18 months in all - would probably be more realistic. Combining as much as possible of all three of the above is what we would recommend to others. Pretoria surmounted its installation difficulties (some small ones still remain at this stage, but they too will be overcome) by way of the extraordinary dedication and commitment displayed by project team members. Editorial "went first" in the phased implementation. By September/October there were key people who uncomplainingly worked 18-hour days and at weekends as well. In November, Editorial production was fully "live" and we bragged in a tabloid supplement about being the "most modern newspaper in the world". There were in fact still major system problems later that month, but by December things were on a more even keel. Advertising start-up had been delayed by the focus on Editorial problems, and then Ads people went through a rising curve of similar trauma in January, with spill over effects which at one time threatened to bash the otherwise stable Editorial part of the system. January and the early part of February saw Advertising staff working unheard-of hours (Classified went "fully live" on January 31, but development work continued into February). Our small but very willing I.T. Department was beyond full stretch at all times. This degree of dedication was fully matched by Mediasystemen software engineers, both on-site and at their home base in Holland (Mediasystemen is looked at in detail in Chapter 3). As this is written, the Editorial part of the system has been stable for several weeks and users are enjoying it; while the Advertising part looks like settling down at last. With so many negative things about setting up the Pretoria pilot recorded right at the start of this report (and expanded on in following chapters), let it be clear nonetheless that the end result of installing the system itself is thoroughly positive. For Editorial, we can demonstrate a neater and brighter product, with better-quality pictures, which we produce more quickly than the older methods would allow. Already - and this is important to us as an afternoon paper, given the limited window of a few hours' opportunity to beat morninger competition- we are starting to produce more on-day pages for the first edition and are able to make more 'significant changes to subsequent editions. There is not much opportunity for zoning in Pretoria but we do have a dedicated "Education & Soccer Special" for local townships which has now become able to have four change-pages. Staffing levels have not had to increase, except for one picture-desk operator and one-and-a-half copy typists employed at market-related rates (instead of "inputters" at journeyman wages). Editorial is dealt with in more depth in Chapter 6, but it may be worth mentioning here that in the new production culture that is emerging, the copy-typists act as editorial assistants by, for example, tasting the Racing Wire for automaticallyformatted copy such as fields and results. Meanwhile, members of the I.T. Department are now starting to copy-taste the computer page. And Editorial people were pleased to make Classad master pages for their Advertising colleagues.

OVERVIEW Such snippets are part of the toenadering that Fourth-Wave brings about among departments which remain after the near-demise of the Works. It was decided at an early stage of the project that in the case of any page which carried even one centimetre of Editorial, it would be Editorial's responsibility to output that page; whereas a page carrying 100% advertising would be the responsibility of the Advertising Department. The result has been close collaboration between Editorial and Advertising on the placement of ads, both on "ordinary" pages and on gash pages shared by, for example, Sport and Class ad overflow (or underflow). Specialisation will always remain, but we see clearly that departmental lines are blurring and a single pre-press production culture is developing. What we are debating in-house now, mid-way through February, is where exactly we want the dummying operation to reside. Traditionally, Advertising determined the shape of the paper and handed Editorial and the Works copies of the dummy. In Fourth-Wave, dummying is automated - but the PlanBuilder software takes ad bookings (Advertisement Department) and brings them to full flower in the Memphis pagemake-up environment (Editorial Department). So who should create the actual electronic pages: Advertising or Editorial? Does the new production culture make such a question immaterial? Should one re-think and re-organise traditional structures? What implications might there be in the years ahead for the concept of a Publisher? Meanwhile, all ROP advertisements made up in-house at The Pretoria News have been electronic since last year; the PlanBuilder software for their automatic placement is, at the date of writing, about to be installed. Classads phased in their categories and went fully live at the end of January (although there were problems with pagination speed, which should amount to no more than a few minutes). Now, instead of closing at 2 pm pre-day for manual make-up, they could close at 5 pm - and there is no reason in principle why late-night closing should not be considered. There is a full discussion of the Advertising implementation in Chapter 7. The only advertisements which we will continue to strip in consist of the "complete material" supplied by agencies from outside studios, because such ads in their present form are not readily susceptible to re-scanning. Looking to the future (and disregarding the option of dot-for-dot scanners), if "complete material" could be delivered in electronic form on disk or by modem, rather than in negative form as at present, then every single element of the newspaper could be made up on-screen. There will no doubt have to be discussions between newspaper people and the advertising industry on matters of standardisation. The implication here is further staff reduction in the demise of the residual Colour Stripping Department, because technology already exists for screen-to-plate production - in which case even the Plate-Making Department as we know it can in turn be dispensed with. It is difficult to put a time-scale on this now, but something like three or four years is not impossible. Already, overseas, plate-making is moving out of the print unions' domain: at one site visited last year a 19 year-old girl. who was certainly no five-year journeyman, was handling the plates. From the money point of view, the direct and indirect initial outlay for a Fourth-Wave system is intrinsically high - and initial budgeting for the Pretoria project came under

OVERVIEW some strain. For example, we under-counted the number of workstations required in Advertising. More serious was the realisation on the technical side that it would be wise to order a second data server. A surprise was the high phone bills incurred as a result of frequent consultation between our Computer Room and the Mediasystemen headquarters in Holland. We have also learned that in a PC environment it is as well to make adequate provision for spares. And although the cost of deliberately and/or inadvertently wasted materials (film, etc) in the testing phase is relatively minor, one should not lose sight of it. But the payback on a Fourth-Wave installation has always looked attractive and the benefits we hoped for are confirmed by our staff-reduction statistics and spinoff benefits (there are more details in Chapter 8), not to mention our financial projections. Overall, in spite of the "surprises", it is clear that Fourth-Wave will enable The Pretoria News to remain financially competitive. Savings could be even greater at multi-title sites. We now know from the Editorial/Advertising experience at Pretoria that database segregation can be guaranteed by passwords and/or separation of data servers. By extension, this means it is both possible and realistic to make optimal use of workstations while preserving a title's editorial integrity. So there is no reason in principle why the sub-editors of an afternoon paper can't heave a weary sigh and go home at the end of their shift at 2.30 pm, making way for a new shift of morninger sub-editors to start work at 3 pm on the self-same workstations rather than using wastefully their own separate workstations. Relevant software and hardware installation and maintenance costs are then, if not halved, at any rate limited to the requirements of the larger title. Looking further to the future, there may well be an opportunity under Fourth-Wave to make a bit of money on the side by refurbishing the idea of electronic libraries, whether at Branch or Group level. The Pretoria News will be storing off-line, on DAT tape, the text it has published (electronic pictures and graphics are more problematic in that they require a daunting amount of storage capacity, but optical disk can be looked at). There is, in our own front yard, a Group news service which can be stored centrally. This is surely an asset which could be sold in an increasingly-computerised market of information-seekers. In fact, the "open systems" computing philosophy provides a launch-pad for entry into new information technologies such as fax newspapers and audiotext ... More immediately, we believe careful attention must be given to the matter of decentralisation as against concentration of Fourth-Wave technical support and research (and even training) within the Group. Although Pretoria's installation was inspired by the perception that we had "ownership" of the project ourselves, we simply could not have coped without the excellent help and guidance that was offered by the Head Office Technical Development Unit, in the shape of both short-term visitors and medium term secondees who displayed not only considerable expertise but also an awesome degree of commitment. But, as mentioned above, it is clear that there must be adequate technical knowledge and experience on-site. No computer equipment vendor can be expected to impart Unix and Sybase knowledge as part of the package he sells: car dealers might offer after-sale support, but not driving lessons. Once the vendor has finished his part of the installation, he quits the site and the customer is on his own.

OVERVIEW So the question must be asked: if Pretoria's I.T. resources were initially inadequate (and they are only now being built up to necessary levels), is such a failing mirrored elsewhere in the Group? In any case, to what extent does Fourth-Wave require each site to handle its own technical affairs? If we have up to now had para-medics in our I.T. Department, we have found it desirable in the new environment to have someone on board at GP level. And while it may not be necessary to have a specialist surgeon on the premises, he should certainly be on call. We think it essential, therefore, that discussion about the structure of Fourth-Wave support become a high priority within the Group, leading to early decision so that all Branches know exactly where they will stand on I.T. matters in the future. There may even be room to consider a system of largely-independent Branches which have input to an umbrella body formed in partnership with other companies embarking on Fourth-Wave, such as Nasionale Pers ... Nasionale were among several Fourth-Wave-interested visitors we have welcomed to our site. Others included Times Media and our sister newspapers from Johannesburg, Durban and Industria. One of the most incisive questions asked by the visitors came from a Durbanite who said: "Is there anything you want your Fourth-Wave system to do that it can't do?" The short answer, after a few moments' reflection, was: "No." The point is that, subject to final tuning of bits and pieces of software which have given us major headaches but which we confidently expect to be stable soon, we have installed a system which meets all our objectives. And the Group now has a practical model, under local conditions, of what was until recently just a dream. Moreover, when one considers the hassle and length of time which went into installing our (technically lesser) CSI and Atex systems, we have done it in a remarkably short period. So the pilot project served its purpose by testing Fourth-Wave as a whole, as well as installation and software in particular; most of the guesswork has been taken out of planning such an installation, and other sites can use Pretoria as a yardstick to estimate fairly accurately what their human and equipment levels will have to be if they venture along the same path. Bigger sites than Pretoria will need very serious project management and a good methodology to set up the infrastructure in advance of installation, and to test, test, test before, going live; it is productive to know beforehand which qualified people must get involved with what part of the project and when, so that nothing jumps up which the team is not prepared for. But ensuring competitiveness through Fourth-Wave can be done. In Pretoria, it has been done.

CHAPTER 2: WHY FOURTH WAVE? (Steve Appleton) THE PRETORIA NEWS was the proud owner of the newest Atex system installed in South Africa - a nine-year-old which, judging by its elderly siblings installed elsewhere, must have had many more years of faithful service left in it. But now it stands silent, awaiting its fate; the one or two screens that have not yet been disconnected blink imploringly: "Please log on." Instead, an upstart new-technology system has taken over the old Faithfulls tasks - and much more. Many will be asking why it was desirable to replace Atex. Well, here's some background. Atex is built around mini-computer architecture of the sort which became prevalent in the 1970s and early 1980s. This architecture was designed by young technology companies such as Digital Equipment Corporation and Data General as a low-cost, highly flexible, engineering-friendly alternative to the large, expensive and rigid mainframe computers of companies such as IBM and ICL. As a result, minicomputers were readily adopted by large parts of the non-traditional computing industry for things like scientific machinery control and other off-beat applications, especially those which required the integration of specialised interface hardware and terminals. Atex, among others, recognised that the application of these computers, in conjunction with specialised terminals and software, could produce an editorial directinput computer system functionally capable of replacing the hordes of hot-metal linecasters which were ubiquitous in the newspaper industry at that time. They correctly reasoned that the reduction in staff coupled with the improvement in newspaper deadlines and quality would offer enormous benefits. Furthermore, newspapers themselves needed to compete with the growing proliferation of colour media, including magazines and television. Off-set litho printing presses were installed to meet this need. This printing process demanded photographic material rather than raised type in the plate-making process, providing a further impetus to cold-type technology and electronic front-end systems. For all their flexibility, these Third-Wave systems still had to exist within the limitations of computer technology of the time of their inception. These technological limitations imposed size and cost constraints on systems. Thanks to mini-computers, computing power of the 1970's cost much less than computing power of the 1960s, but was still substantial. Computer processors were still big enough to require lots of space and delicate enough to require their own controlled environment. The amount of disk storage that today easily fits into a small box on a desk required a complex unit weighing at least 300 kg in 1980. All of this meant that, despite the best efforts of mini-computer technologists, computer applications had to be created lean and trim, and access to the core technology was limited to an elite band of people, chiefly university students and employees of companies that specialised in the technology. The advent of the micro-processor on a chip (integrated circuit) in the late 1970's changed the face of computing forever. Several early pioneers started playing with the new toy, producing small computer systems which fitted on to a single printed circuit board and which could be programmed by themselves to do all manner of simple but nifty things.

WHY FOURTH WAVE? Computer technology suddenly became easily accessible to any electronics fundi or intrepid do-it-yourself person. Small companies started writing software such as operating systems and compilers for these ever-burgeoning numbers of hobby computers. They were helped by the fact that all these machines were built around a limited variety of available micro-processors, principally from Intel and Motorola. Gradually these machines became more complex and, as the market grew more powerful, components were designed for them. All of this started attracting the big companies, for they were growing to realise that these little desk-top machines were real computers which could be made to do something useful. Not only that; because these machines were being used by all people, and not just by computer boffins, there was a consumer market out there to be addressed. With this in mind, IBM designed a machine and entered the market with its Personal Computer. This thoroughly legitimised the micro-computer, which took off like a rocket - and the rest, as they say, is history. The massive PC market encouraged chip manufacturers to produce ever- faster processors and the ever-faster processors have encouraged software writers to take advantage of the enormous computing power available in the new machines. This, in turn, led to a requirement for yet faster and more powerful machines, and so on. Sophisticated applications encouraged people and companies to buy the machines, which in turn encouraged the development of ever more sophisticated applications... The result has been a spiral of computing power and computer applications on almost everyone's desk and in many people's homes. The huge market has spawned an industry of low-cost, high-volume, off-the-shelf, shrink-wrapped software package producers, partly replacing and. definitely supplementing the relatively small number of computer technologists of the previous era. In the corporate arena there is a need for many computer users to share the same information. This was easily provided for in the older computer architecture by providing a direct connection from the central computer equipment to the terminal or workstation. Such a scheme was used by Atex. This type of connection also had limitations, one of which was the fact that, .generally speaking, a workstation was permanently connected to one central computer, or at best could only communicate with one computer at a time. Furthermore, most of the older point-to-point cabling mechanisms were very slow and not suited to the large amounts of traffic being generated by the new applications. As part of the evolution of distributed computing based on PCs, some better way of locally interconnecting these machines' workstations was needed. Data Point, Xerox and IBM developed different but conceptually similar wiring schemes based on interconnecting workstations in such a way that any station could communicate quickly at any time with any other station via a single cabling network. These schemes, dubbed local area networks or LANS, were called ArcNet, Ethernet and Token Ring respectively. All three still exist, although Ethernet has grown to become the dominant network architecture outside the IBM world.

WHY FOURTH WAVE? With these networks, peer-to-peer communication now became possible. More important, in a competitive industry not previously known for co-operation, standards were established which allowed any suitably equipped computer to talk to any other computer, exchanging data at high speed. So the scene was set for: " high-power workstations (PCs, Macintoshes, Suns, etc) putting massive amounts of computing power directly on the desk; " armies of new-generation computer boffins using these workstations to create powerful new tools for computer operation and programming (relational databases, graphical user-interfaces, fourth-generation programming languages, object-oriented programming, etc); " the creation of standards for computer environments and communications; and " numbers of low-cost, high-specification applications (such as word processors and desktop publishing). The big key was mass market acceptance for such workstations across the board and not just in limited areas. The economics of quantity could not be ignored. These facilities simply did not exist, and stood no chance of existing, in the old Atex systems which sold not in their millions to everyone but only in their dozens to the very limited market which comprises the world's newspapers and magazines. Five or six years ago it became evident to most technology people in and around the newspaper industry that it was possible to harness these PCs, their communications facilities, their graphics capabilities and their off-the-shelf applications to develop lower-cost systems to meet their needs. In theory, and to a large extent in practice, it is only necessary to buy a few PCs, a few copies of a favourite word processor and a desktop publishing program, and connect it all with a local area network to make a system capable of producing newspapers. This is what The Seybold Report on Publishing Systems envisaged when it coined the term: the Fourth-Wave of typesetting technology. Simultaneous with this development, the computer industry, driven by its marketplace, stopped and took a long, hard look at itself. Large proprietary mainframes which were the financial cream of such companies as IBM and Unisys seemed doomed. The market wanted to select hardware independent from software and, what's more, they determined that if there were industry-wide standards they could get such hardware from anyone who complied with the standards. This led to a new frankness in the industry and the adoption of a philosophy of "open systems"- systems which could be programmed and used by any computer-literate person, not just the specific employees and clients of the computer majors. The concept of portable software was born - programs which, because they adhered to open standards, could be "ported" without major re-writing to any computer system which supported those standards. And, as usual, with the adoption of standards came competition; and with competition came a lowering of prices and an increase in performance. It became clear to Argus Newspapers that it had better take a hard look at the application of such open, standards-based systems to its business. The initial (and largely successful) implementation was in the Company's commercial information technology needs, where large ICL mainframes have been replaced by networked PCs running UNIX and a mixture of off-the-shelf applications for the non-newspaper

WHY FOURTH WAVE? specific applications (accounting and pay-roll). The software for advertising and subscription systems, not being available commercially, was written in-house around new relational database techniques, using 4GLs (fourth-generation programming languages) to ensure portability. The outcome of the adoption of the PC and off-the-shelf software was that it was possible to equip the then-fledgling Sowetan with a PC-based system for a fraction of the cost of a traditional system. This system was upgraded, adding an Ethernet network running Novell, in 1992. A similar but much smaller system was installed at the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley. Since then, Sowetan has grown further and added a full tabloid page make-up facility using the off-the-shelf package 'Aldus PageMaker". Original output was to early Varityper A3 PostScript plain-paper proofers, to which have been added 70-pica image-setters. Both these systems, which are true Fourth-Wave, proved the belief that it was possible to produce newspapers using off-the-shelf components. Neither newspaper would have been able to afford a traditional system, and neither could support a fullyfledged Works Department. However, for the larger newspaper, there are certain major problems associated with off~the-shelf packages including, for example, copy-flow and story location. The speed of pagination and the lack of pagination-driven page dummying are also problems. Because the programs were not written for this market, various companies have tried to address the problem of integrating these facilities into these packages with varying degrees of success. Argus team visits overseas confirmed the advantages of full electronic pagination, but determined that it was problematic for the integration of off-the-shelf packages to go all the way. The visits also showed that interfacing existing front-end systems was not so simple either, requiring a lot of work to provide unsatisfactory support to an old system which would need replacement anyway in the short to medium term. So, it seemed that Argus needed a new system which used as many off-the-shelf components as possible; which adhered to modern, open computing standards; and which would provide an integrated solution to the production of a newspaper, right up to full-page. Such a system would allow the integration of powerful off-the-shelf software for many functions, such as ad make-up and picture handling. Being based on up-to-date non-proprietary standards, such a system would give the best chance of being able to be improved and upgraded in the future, unlike the mini-computer systems of old, It turned out that Argus was early in this hunt. But, after some searching, the Dutch firm Mediasystemen was identified as such a supplier. And Pretoria's decision was taken.

CHAPTER 3: MEDIASYSTEMEN (Andre Meyerowitz) GIVEN the flowering of Fourth-Wave, one can today find many pre-press systems (or "solutions", as the jargon has it) in various stages of development. One might intuitively think the United States offers the most advanced technology but this is not necessarily so. In the US, print unions tended to cooperate with management in developing the new ways - a factor which brought no need for sudden radical change and resulted instead in gradualism. On the other hand, print unions in the UK tried obstinately to maintain their status quo, were wiped out in dogged battles such as the Siege of Wapping, and thereby gave management free rein to go the whole electronic hog, almost overnight. A team from The Pretoria News and the TDU went to England, Scotland and Germany in February last year to assess Fourth-Wave developments. The team visited various vendors, eg Atex, Hyphen and Linotype-Hell (the American SII having been demonstrated in Johannesburg) and several newspaper sites, eg London, Plymouth, Derby and Glasgow. Much of what was seen came into the curate's egg category:very good in some respects (not least LinoPress and Talbot but not really suitable in existing form for Argus papers, whether for electronic or editorial/advertising reasons. Some offered apparently good functionality but dubious electronic architecture; some were brilliant for design-driven make-up but demanded impossibly rigid copy-flow; and so on. Back home, evaluation of technical, functional and cost factors failed to make any complete system stand out from the pack as the one to go for. The possibility of retaining our existing front-end systems and bolting them on to a page make-up system was examined but found to be technically difficult and very costly. The option of putting together our own do-it-yourself solution was contemplated and discarded. The team had looked at a Mediasystemen site in Germany but found it only mildly interesting because of the relatively elderly technology it was running on and its overemphasis on electronic page assembly (ie cut-and-paste) as against electronic page design (ie layout-driven). However, when Mediasystemen visited South Africa soon afterwards to demonstrate its very latest technology, our interest soared because the excellent technical architecture meant that whatever functionality it lacked for Argus Group purposes could now easily be developed. Two members of the original team went back to Europe in April to study Mediasystemen in depth at its home base in Holland. Mediasystemen warned us against the aggressive schedule we proposed and urged us to extend it, but we were not in a position to do so more than marginally. They agreed reluctantly that they could try to meet the schedule. To retain perspective during that trip our two-man team also went to Ger-many to look again at the Linotype-Hell contender named LinoPress - which could not offer functionality such as audit trailing and footprint indexes for another year or more, and which was wobbly in regard to some of our Classad needs (never mind our schedule). At the end of the day it seemed clear that Mediasystemen was the answer at a cost which, although far from cheap, did beat other offerings. So, back in South Africa, the decision was taken to install Mediasystemen at Pretoria. The firm's products are: Qwerty: an entirely adequate word-processor, although not as elegant as the Atex it has replaced and indeed somewhat elderly in the context of Fourth -Wave electronics.

MEDIASYSTEMEN It lacks some minor Atex functionality, such as "edit check" and the ability to H&J only a section of text, but it makes up for that both in work-arounds and by offering additional functionality. Although it does the job well enough for us, there are plans to refine it cosmetically in the first half of this year (in good time for other possible Argus installations) so that it will look as if it is right at the leading edge. Justif: the composition module, which can do much more with type than Atex or CSI can. The Justif command-string used to set typographical parameters of this whole chapter is >dl>m165<>f1h12p116p<>a1.9%k>se9,%k>h2.1%9~>h11pb.97%9<>itl2%k>is15p" >ul<G+>h5p<l>h12p116pfl< but the logic need only be known by system administrators: once styles are set, all a down-table sub-editor should know, by rote, is which key the system administrator has programmed to activate that string. Justif can obviously be used also to make up display ads - and at the press of the "Print Screen" key, the operator (whether Editorial or Advertising) can see a Wysiwyg preview of his work as it will appear on the page. Memphis: page make-up software, for text and images, of stunning speed and capability. Our specifications left its text-driven page-assembly capacities intact but added layout-driven design functionality. It is used for paginating both Editorial and Advertising material. Memphis is highly regarded even by competing vendors, and has been praised within the industry by the authoritative Seybold Report. Lithos: Mediasystemen's OPI or "open pre-press interface" processes all image conversions and handles the proofing and final output of all pages. It is very much a background product which neither Editorial nor Advertising staff need have much to do with, but which I.T. needs a good command of. Adline: for ROP ads and Classads, dealt with in more detail in Chapter 7. As in the case of Memphis and Qwerty, our specifications required many software changes before Adline could handle what we wanted it to do. PlanBuilder: this is the dummying tool which comes with Mediasystemen software, although it is itself an AgeFrame product. It selects and reserves the space for booked ads automatically, and puts them on the page when they are ready. Argus: the provisional name (where in mythology did they get it from?) for Mediasystemen's Planning and Tracking software, which becomes available in the first half of this year. As the name suggests, its 100 eyes will keep track of page elements as a production management tool which The Pretoria News does not yet have but which bigger Branches would probably find essential. Until we happened along, Mediasystemen had sold their products only in their native Holland and in Germany and Belgium, although they now have a contract with Nasionale Pers for Memphis page make-up and just recently sold an advertising system in England. They were very keen to do business with The Pretoria News, which would potentially give them entree to the rest of the Argus Group - in itself a nice enough goal from their point of view, but. even nicer (although they have never intimated this) as a form of entree thereafter to the rest of the English-language newspaper world. Mediasystemen's offices are set in a modern industrial-park environment on the outskirts of Haarlem. The firm grew out of a newspaper environment in that it was at one stage a sort of TDU for the Damiate group in Holland before going its own way (Damiate is still one of its clients). The whole company consists of 35 people, the

MEDIASYSTEMEN majority of them young software engineers. They speak good-enough English and are very personable, which is not in itself a reason to do business with them but.- bearing in mind that a Fourth-Wave installation is something of a partnership between vendor and newspaper - makes for ease of communication. We at Pretoria know nothing of Mediasystemen's financial state, but have no reason to think it is anything other than healthy. The contract we entered into was curiously informal compared with the legalistic wording South Africans are more familiar with. It may have breached some of our Company's "General Conditions of Buying", and we were unhappy to have Dutch law governing it. But it seemed a fair reflection of the parties' interests and intentions, and so far - true to the atmosphere of trust that was established at an early stage, and more specifically the request for a "no-surprises environment" - there have been no contractual disputes. Indeed, Mediasystemen started work on the project long before the contract was signed, because a handshake said they could. A maintenance contract is about to be negotiated with them now, and there will be an escrow agreement for our security in respect of their source codes. The specification documents were even more informal than the contract. Our Atex and CSI specifications involved hundreds of pages of minute details with, for example, table after table of key-stroke functions and response times. But with Mediasystemen there are just a few pages of generally descriptive matter. Where we have occasionally had to hark back to discussions not fully recorded in the "specs", the fuller detail of the discussions has always been readily acknowledged and then acted on by Mediasystemen - or alternatively the misunderstanding on our side has been cleared up. We went into the specification process with two premises: " firstly, what we installed at The Pretoria News had to be close enough to the requirements of other Group newspapers to be broadly usable by them, but we should not lock them into any particular way of working if they chose to buy Mediasystemen and operate differently; " secondly, although we should bear user familiarity with Atex and CSI in mind, we did not have to replicate those systems exactly- if we did so, we would merely be reaffirming the old ways and not reaping better ways offered by a Fourth-Wave environment. For Advertising, specification took four weeks in Pretoria. Two members of the Ads Department spent two weeks brainstorming their requirements. Then, bolstered by a TDU and MSD presence, they hammered out the final spec document with Mediasystemen's visiting R&D and AdLine chiefs for another two weeks. With ads being revenue-earning, and with our Classad system being more complex than anything Mediasystemen had yet encountered, there was no room for mistakes to creep in. Editorial seemed to have an easier time of it, at only one week of "speccing" for two delegates (with our I.T. manager sitting in). Even though Editorial was specifying the added dimension of page make-up as well as replacing our existing word-processing and composition capacities, a good deal of what was wanted was already offered as standard functionality and needed only to be adapted. The Editorial job was done in Haarlem because of availability there of not only the R&D chief but also, for short but

MEDIASYSTEMEN relevant discussions during the process, the various database and product managers involved (it would have been unsuitable to bring them all to South Africa). Interestingly, although we learned a great deal about a PC environment and although Mediasystemen learned a great deal about a South African daily's working methods, nothing came up at the specification sessions which either side regarded as impossible. But some compromises had to be reached, not least because of cost. Where we did have a serious problem was in the training offered by Mediasystemen. It is fine that they do not train end-users on any project: instead, the idea is that they train trainers who then pass on the knowledge. But neither the Editorial nor the Advertising software which we specified was ready when our respective project leadership groups turned up for training in Haarlem in July and August. All that could be offered was a general familiarisation with the basic software, rather than training on our own system - which was still being written. Mediasystemen made the point that there was much generality to learn, and that point was valid as far as it went. But it remained thoroughly frustrating, even aimless, to learn to drive a propeller plane when we had ordered a jet. This definite disadvantage was offset to some extent by being right on the spot and therefore able to work with the programmers who were still creating our specified system. Documentation, or rather the lack of it, was and remains another problem: there is no adequate user manual for our system (although there are reference manuals for the generic Qwerty and Memphis in English, and a now-incomplete guide to Justif in Dutch). Among the reasons for this is the leading-edge nature of Fourth-Wave and particularly our system, which is so new - and subject even now to fine-tuning - that a manual could not in fact have been written yet. Another reason is that every FourthWave site is different to some extent, and a manual written for the Pofadder Gazette might therefore lead astray any sub-editor of the Naboomspruit Recorder. Each site, arguably, should write its own manual- if it can do so before its end-user training takes place. This was not possible in the case of The Pretoria News because of our tight schedule and the later-than-expected delivery of our specified software. Our writers and subs simply made do with ad hoc verbal training and a sheet or two of notes; and it seems pointless to write a manual now that they have already become familiar with our system, except that newcomers to the staff would find it useful. Whether a Pretoria News manual would be of help elsewhere remains to be seen. The Mediasystemen installers started work at our site on August 1 and were soon caught up in guiding us on things we felt should have been dealt with during our training in Haarlem (and probably would have been, if only our software had been ready). But we also called on them to help in areas that were not strictly their province, such as image-setter matters, network difficulties, problems with non-Mediasystemen software such as Archetype Designer, and general hand-holding. They always did take a systems-integrator role, with a flawless sense of commitment extending even beyond midnight hours, not least because such a project is a partnership and the aim is to get the whole system to work. But their own installation and development programme was delayed thereby; and we feel Mediasystemen may have made a mistake in assuming The Pretoria News had more in-house resources and knowledge of Fourth-Wave than in fact it did have, even

MEDIASYSTEMEN with the assistance afforded by the TDU - for which more blame might be laid at our own door than at theirs. A question which arises is whether other Branches suffer comparable in-house inadequacy and, if so, whether Mediasystemen would again help on non-Mediasystemen issues to the same extent. After the good augury in Pretoria we have no reason to think they wouldn't, but one cannot assume they won't tighten up at bigger sites and say: "That's not in our sphere, it's your own problem." Two recommendations here are to ensure that there is no such in-house inadequacy of knowledge and resources; and to hear Mediasystemen's view of how the Pretoria project went (they were not asked to contribute to this report). Part of the concern in this area arises from the currently small size of the Mediasystemen company - smallness having both advantages and disadvantages for its clients. On the one hand, Mediasystemen's lines of communication are short and it proved hugely responsive to us: if we said we needed something done "now", such a request was indeed entertained at once. This is in direct contrast to the approach a big and bureaucratic firm might adopt, as one of them did during our investigations: "Yes, we have 1400 staff members, but we also have hundreds of clients, and of course we can do what you ask, but we'll have to put it on the list for next year:' In this regard, we think it better to be high on a small vendor's totem pole than somewhere in the middle of a large vendor's totem pole. We felt from the start that, like Avis, Mediasystemen would try harder, and indeed they did. But, on the other hand, compactness must raise the serious question of whether Mediasystemen itself has enough human resources to cope if it is faced with large new installation projects in addition to servicing its existing clients while possibly also looking to new markets. Here again we think Mediasystemen should be heard on the prospect of tackling more complex sites like Johannesburg or Durban or Cape Town, now that it has Pretoria under its belt. Our own assessment is that, if Mediasystemen should be chosen for other sites, the implementation will be greatly eased by fact that all major software development has already taken place, and virtually all that remains is pure installation which they can indeed handle. We think it would be wise, however, either (a) to phase such installations three months apart or (b) to start with Editorial at one site and Advertising at an-other, and then swop around. From all that we have come to know of Mediasystemen's software and electronic architecture, we do recommend it - subject to carefully planned installation programmes and a guarantee that both client and vendor have sufficient, and sufficiently qualified, resources. As mentioned at the start of this chapter, there are many other pre-press systems on the market and it would be no more than wise to stay abreast of what else is available. But for ourselves, we can say that our product choice was an entirely happy one.

CHAPTER 4: HOW IT WORKS (Steve Appleton) JUST what is in Pretoria's up-to-the-minute, leading-edge new-technology system? What are its strengths and weaknesses? In concept, the system consists of intelligent standard PCs as workstations which communicate over a local area network with data server PCs where all the text items and images are stored. Unlike Atex, virtually all of the heavy computing - such as editing and H&J - is done in the local workstation. The central servers are in theory just that: servers and receivers of text and images. Each user can call a story off a server, work on it, and return it to the server for the next person to handle. One group of people (sub-editors) can work with more than one story, assigning and placing them on a page before queuing them to an output device. In practice, without some form of management, such a system would become chaotic. In this scenario [see the diagram at the back of this booklet] there are PCs allocated as data servers and there are PCs allocated as workstations. In between, Mediasystemen has interposed a layer of PCs called application servers; these machines manage the network and control the flow of requests to the data servers. The off-the-shelf open-system components of the system comprise the PCs themselves, the display monitors. The PC operating systems (SCO Unix, DOS and Windows), the networking hardware (Ethernet) and the communications software (TCP/IP). Additional off-the-shelf components used in the system are the database package (Sybase), the image-processing software (Adobe Photoshop), the advert makeup software (QuarkXpress and CoreIDraw), and a few Apple Macintoshes for edition planning and special graphics (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Aldus Freehand). PostScript has become the predominant standard in printer page-description languages. At Pretoria, full use of this standard is made in a wide variety of printers from Hewlett Packard (HP LaserJet 4Ms), NewGen (TurboRes 1200B), Hyphen (Dash 600) and Hyphen/ECRM Pel box 1250 imagesetters. Ethernet has become a major network standard, and - apart from the servers and workstations - all these printers are also directly plugged straight into the network, so that any workstation could directly access any printer if needed. The 10 megabit per second Ethernet network itself is built almost entirely on the IEEE 802.3 10baseT standard for unshielded twisted pair cabling. This cabling scheme was originally selected by Argus Newspapers for Sowetan, where it has proven to be easy to install, robust and trouble-free. The installation at Pretoria is much cheaper, neater and easier to maintain than the old bulky Atex cabling. Because Pretoria's building is relatively small, it was possible to locate all the 10baseT cabling hubs in the central server area without exceeding the 100-metre cable length limit. This facilitates easy expansion of the hub, and any hub or back-bone cable faults would be located in one small area. The cables conform to the Level 5 specification, which means that they should be able to support the future CDDI standard for 100 megabit/second transmission. The cables are terminated at the workstation end in RJ45 sockets, from where a fly lead runs to the network card in the PC. At the hub end, the cables are directly terminated in RJ45 plugs which are plugged directly into the hub ports. While cheap and expedient, this

HOW IT WORKS arrangement is not totally satisfactory because the bulk of the cables entering the hub cabinet and the occasional necessity to re-plug them disturbs other connections as workstations move. A wall-mounted wiring closet or patch panel should have been used to terminate the fixed building wiring. Because of the mixture of workstations and servers, the network runs three different protocols (communications standards): TCP/IP (in the Unix-based Mediasystemen environment); IPx/SPX to the existing Novell 3.11 server which presently stores all scanned pictures; and AppleTalk to and from the Macintosh workstations. Thanks to the standards, mixing these three protocols has not produced any problems. At the workstation level, the editorial and reporter workstations run Mediasystemen's text-editing package "Qwerty". This DOS-based editor has been around for some time, and while it is quick and adequate for the job, it does not take advantage of the facilities and user-friendliness of the new graphical environments available and is thus showing its age. Hardware-wise, the Qwerty PCs are locally assembled Mecer 386 Mhz machines with 4 Mbytes of RAM and 40 Mbytes of hard disk. Each is equipped with a 14" colour VGA monitor and standard 101-key PC keyboard. In operation, Qwerty sends its directory and file requests to one of two Uniq application servers, which adjudicates access authority and forwards an appropriate request to a data server or to a Lithos picture server (of which more later). The Editorial "Bullpen", as the central page-subbing area has been called, is equipped with seven Mecer 486DX2 PCs which are used for the make-up and final subbing of all pages. These workstations are equipped with 16 Mbytes of RAM. Because the only local storage required is for programs, low-cost 80-Mbyte disks are provided. These machines feature high resolution TIGA (Texas Instruments Graphics Array) video cards. Mediasystemen's Memphis pagination software takes advantage of this card's high resolution, high speed and programmability to provide a sharp, detailed and fast 1280 x 1024 pixel page display. There are four application servers, two (called Uniq) handling editorial requests and two (called AdBase) handling advertising requests. These machines re-format and direct item requests from workstations for things such as directories, pages, stories, pictures, graphics and ads to the appropriate data server. They determine access privileges (who is permitted to access what information) and translate the higher-level requests into simple file requests for the picture servers (Lithos) or into SQL (structured query language - a de facto standard for accessing modern databases) requests to the SyBase data server. The machines, which are Hewlett Packard LE's (486DX2, 66MHz) run the SCO Unix operating system. The application software is provided by Mediasystemen. Two further HP LE's provide picture and graphics storage and act as OPI servers for final output. Because of the huge storage requirements of full-colour pictures, these machines are - for the moment - equipped with 3 gigabytes of disk storage on a SCSI2 (small computer systems interface bus. Pictures, logos and graphics are originated in either the Editorial Department or in a graphics/advertising studio. All Editorial picture material, including line art such as cartoons and titlepieces, is scanned at the Editorial Department's picture desk. Known colloquially as "Bullpen II". Originally intended to have just two PCs, this department is now home to three PCs and two Macintoshes. There are two Nikon Cool Scanners

HOW IT WORKS each attached to a Macintosh. An Agfa Horizon scanner is also attached to one of the Macs. The Nikon scanners handle only 35 mm film material, the bulk of which is colour negatives shot by The Pretoria News's own photographers. The scanners are capable of scanning up to 2400 pixels per inch, suitable for enlargement of 10 to 12 times without significant loss of detail. The Horizon provides scanning facilities for colour or monochrome reflection material up to A3 size at 1200 pixels per inch. Such material includes colour prints and cartoons. In addition, the Horizon accepts large format colour transparencies and other transmission material such as litho negatives. For wire-picture capture, an AP Leaf picture server is connected via a GPIB interface to a networked PC. The original intention was that Bullpen II would use PCs for both scanning and retouching, but considerable difficulty was experienced in connecting the scanners to PCs. Therefore, as an expedient, it was decided to leave them connected to Macs. This has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, for although it was initially thought that one PC could be manned by a single operator to do both scanning and retouching, in practice the operation is slower and the volumes are higher than originally anticipated. The provision of the Macs has allowed the operators to scan new pictures at the same time as they re-touch the previously scanned images. The additional machines have allowed for an overlapping operation. Logjams at peak times (Wednesday and Thursday) and the lack of back-up facilities in this critical area have resulted in the provision of a second Cool Scanner, a second re-touching PC and an additional operator. Like most of the other workstations in the network, the PCs are Mecer 386DX2's. These are equipped with 32 Mbytes of RAM to enable them to run Windows and Adobe Photoshop 2.5. One re-touching station is equipped with a 20" monitor while the second makes do with a 14" one. Super VGA accelerated video cards are used, which display a maximum of 16 000 colours. At first it was thought that the lack of a 24-bit true colour display would make colour retouching difficult; this has not proven to be the case, and adequate colour corrections can be done on these machines. Pictures are scanned for a targeted final resolution of 200 pixels per inch. This allows some latitude for picture up-scaling at the Bullpen without sacrificing quality. Scanned pictures are initially stored on a Novell server before being called up for retouching (at present, scanning does not seem to be accurate enough to allow the use of pictures without some manual work). Either during or immediately after retouching, the pictures are converted to CMYK (if colour) using Photoshop. Using Mediasystemen's PutPict program the images are given a purge date and stored in either TIFF or EPS format to a designated basket on the Lithos server. Lithos, in turn, makes a low-resolution view file for page make-up purposes, places the high resolution separations in a high-res directory, and updates the Uniq database on the presence of the picture. Meanwhile, in the Ad Studio, logos, pictures and graphics are captured for use in advertisements. For this purpose, the studio has a graphics scanning station which uses a Macintosh equipped with an OmniMedia XRS6C 600-pixel-per-inch colour flatbed scanner. It also has a PC equipped with a Canon Visualizer video camera and

HOW IT WORKS a Hewlett Packard ScanJet. To achieve good quality, colour images are usually scanned at Bullpen II on the Editorial floor. The Visualizer only produces video quality and is used primarily because of its speed in capturing the large number of Property Supplement house pics which descend on the Advertising Department every week. All other logos are usually scanned on the higher-resolution but slower OmniMedia scanner. Once again, the intention was to connect the OmniMedia scanner to a PC instead of the Mac, but lack of interface software has prevented this taking place. At present all raw ad material is stored on the Novell server, although the intention is ultimately to place everything on to Lithos. The studio has six ad make-up stations generally manned by graphic artists, and four ad text input stations manned by inputters. The ad make-up machines are Mecer 486DX2's with 16 MBytes RAM, 20" monitors and 200-MByte hard disks. The inputters' machines are 386 50 Mhz machines which have 4 Mbytes RAM and 14" monitors. All machines run Windows. The artists use CorelDraw and QuarkXpress to assemble ads. For property and textually complex ads, the text is first input by an inputter using Windows Write. Templates are called up for property ads. Pictures and logos are located on the Novell server and placed in the ads as required. Mediasystemen has provided a mechanism to interface the ad studio to the ad booking and planning system. This product, called MedGlue; is conceptually similar to the editorial PutPict function, but additionally implements links to the ad database, including the storage of native Quark files in that database. Ads are booked using Mediasystemen's Adline system and marked for studio production. MedGlue, a Windows application, provides the artists with a list of ads requiring studio make-up. After make-up, the ad is saved in encapsulated PostScript format (EPS), colour separations are made (if needed) using Adobe Separator, and MedGlue is called to refile the ad to the Mediasystemen database. The high-res EPS files are stored on the Lithos server, which makes low-res view files for the Memphis page assembly process. Ad details are updated to reflect the fact that the ad is complete, and the native Quark file is stored in the Adline database. In the Edition Planning we are about to install, all ads are stored, together with their run schedules, on the data server. Daily, a selection is made of all ads which run in particular forthcoming editions. This report is picked up on a Macintosh which runs AgeFrame's PlanBuilder software. After deciding on an edition's page set-up, the PlanBuilder operator uses the machine to stack ads electronically on the appropriate pages. Tools are provided to move ads around as required to meet the newspaper's and its advertisers' special needs. Once an edition has been planned, an output report is generated which tells Mediasystemen's Memphis where to place ads automatically in the edition. Paper dummies are also available to enable the PhotoLitho department to strip agencysupplied "complete material" manually. The whole Pretoria News system has, at its core, two Hewlett Packard LM PCs which act as data servers. All stories, page elements (except graphics), and ads are stored on these servers. The machines are equipped with six 1-Gbyte disks which are configured in a RAID-5 disk array. This configuration provides a disk performance increase over a single disk and provides redundant data storage such that the failure of

HOW IT WORKS one or even two disk drives will not result in the loss of any data. The second data server and its disks act as a backup to the first. In order not to load the workstation LAN with additional traffic, the data servers communicate with the application servers over a separate LAN. Like the application servers, the data servers also run under SCO Unix. On top of this, the servers run the SyBase database application. Does anyone out there want to buy a slightly-used Atex?

CHAPTER 5: PEOPLE {Various contributors} WE cannot emphasise too strongly that the people-implications of installing a FourthWave system are hugely important - not only for those who have to go, or for those who stay and work in the new environment, but also for management, whose task it is to optimise the going and the staying. That jobs must go is the very rationale of Fourth-Wave cost-cutting. If the print unions had taken the initiative five years ago and asked that their light-tables and scalpels be taken away, and replaced by electronic terminals on which they would do the pagination work instead, management might have faced a different ball-game. Indeed there are many sites abroad where Works Departments have been just so equipped, with little staff reduction and no great cost-saving. Possibly the Typo Union failed to serve its members well by failing to stay abreast of the new technology and thereby failing to understand what it meant. This was highlighted at one meeting held at The Pretoria News in the early days of the project, when a senior Typo man (not one of our own staffers) said: "Yes, yes, you're going to make up pages on-screen, but you're still going to need people to strip them up ... " There was real pathos in his utter incomprehension and a real tear in his eye when, later, the penny dropped. The not-knowing extended into our Origination Department. The Production Manager reports: "'When the announcement was made that there would be redundancies through electronic pagination, Origination staff were very sceptical. The reason, I believe, was that nobody understood how this new technology worked." He adds: "A year ago the Origination Department had a complement of 39 journeymen. Now nine handle the complete workload. Planning the entire retrenchment programme was no easy task, as jobs would only become redundant as and when Editorial and Advertising were 'live' and satisfied with the product, .. morale was very low at times, and staff needed constant motivating." In the event, satisfactory accommodation on retrenchment and reassignment was eventually reached with the printing people at The Pretoria News - although it is not yet clear how this issue will be handled elsewhere. A mistake The Pretoria News made in the early stages was to try to be too secretive about Fourth-Wave plans, communicating in-house only on a need-to-know basis. This changed quite soon but it had already created uncertainty and ill-feeling among some Works members, who knew well enough - as did all staff - that something was in the wind. There were complaints that certain non-Works staff were insensitive in their behaviour towards potential retrenchees, and unkind comments were not appreciated. The Editor immediately declared that ''jeering at the Works" would be considered a firing offence. The point was offered later that Works staff felt they could have been more involved in the project: they believed that, if allowed to, they "could have provided valuable input as far as the best way of implementing the new technology was concerned". Human relations consultant Joan Mather arranged a seminar on job redundancies and staff retrenchment, following it up with a series of voluntary but remarkably well attended) three-day workshops aimed at helping staff prepare for what lay ahead.

PEOPLE The workshops hit a snag on Day One: a Branch management figure spoke about why the Company had taken the new-technology route, spelling out that it was a purely business decision which had to be taken to improve the newspaper's future viability. At first glance this might have seemed a reasonable thing to do, but Joan Mather says: "Feedback was very negative. One comment was that a 'negative' element was not appropriate in a workshop which was supposed to help people be more positive. I think this reaction by delegates could only be expected: what was presented was real and very threatening/frightening indeed." But almost all other modules in the workshop, based on how to manage or cope with a major life transition, were applauded. Such a workshop should probably not be run earlier than three months before the first retrenchments are due to take place. Three months allows ample time for delegates to make plans, enrol for training courses, and so on; on the other hand, it might be unfair and unproductive to let uncertainty reign for any longer period. Joan Mather's report was circulated last year but copies are still available from The Pretoria News - where today the Production Manager says: "Morale has improved tremendously." Indeed, even in extremis, Works people displayed enormous loyalty and commitment to The Pretoria News. Among those who stayed, Editorial arguably had the worst time of it. Initial interest in Fourth-Wave and optimism about the project enabled news production staff (reporters, sportswriters, subs) to grin at and bear the disruption caused by floor plan changes. Everyone would have their desks moved - with slightly less elbow-room during the months in which the outgoing Atex terminals and the incoming Qwerty terminals sat side by side. Who would get the window seats? Who would be jammed next to the pillar? Most of the noisy and dusty work (cutting, drilling, cabling) was done at weekends; at any other time it would have been intolerable. There are more details about the floor-plan in Chapter 6; suffice it here to say that the environmental upheaval at least had its compensation in the form of carpeting to replace the old linoleum. Then the main issue: training and implementation. There was some trepidation about working in a PC environment and we tried in setting up the system to retain as much as possible of what would be familiar to workstation~users: the same logon names, the same basket names, etc. We had looked at employing a professional trainer to help in the conversion but decided instead, with cost in mind, to use a couple of our own senior people. It might have worked, too, but for the fact that our new software was still in the process of being installed - in fact, still being developed - while we were training. Training consisted of a few short sessions each for Qwerty users and five consecutive days for Memphis users. As each group of Memphis people came off training, they would start producing real pages: non-deadline-critical weekend products first, then the Tonight section, then early feature pages, and so on incrementally until the whole paper was being produced on Mediasystemen. But in trying to stagger to life, the new system crashed disconcertingly often. Functions that should have been present were not. Things sometimes appeared to work differently for different people. Within each of our phased training groups there were necessarily people of varying aptitude: and a professional trainer with didactic skills might have known better how to handle that uneven state of affairs.

PEOPLE Our Qwerty trainers themselves probably did not have enough knowledge of PC behaviour to set end-users' minds at rest. Our only Memphis trainer was our Chief Sub who also had tasks as a de facto Editorial System Administrator and who was increasingly involved in hand-holding those who had graduated from earlier courses and were now in "live" production. The Sports Department was concentrated near the end of the training schedule and, as a result, saw little of the teacher. The outcome, it has to be said, was an inadequately-ready staff- and lack of user proficiency was a major problem in our early days of Fourth-Wave production. Although there were real gripes about the system itself not yet being fully stable, many questions/complaints and many cries for help resulted from (understandable but avoidable) user error. Advertising found it easier: by the time Classad training started, the system was at least stable. But for Editorial there had been a grisly period of dipping morale (and passing antipathy towards Mediasystemen during which the Editorial leadership had to do all it could to counteract what has been termed "the enormous power of the moaners. Editorial pulled itself right by dedication, patience and on-the job practice - and having at last gained expertise, users are now enjoying the system, because both they and it are on an even keel. But for a couple of months, deadlines were hard to meet and production itself was imperilled. Training, training, training ... we found that those three words are among the most important of all in a Fourth-Wave implementation project. Investment in a professional could well pay significant dividends at future sites. Although Fourth-Wave is virtually designed to cut jobs, the Paterson grading of some of those who remain will have to come under the spotlight sooner or later. The change-over is not very marked in job terms for writers or Classad takers or Admakers: they perform much the same duties as before, and it can be argued that they use roughly equivalent machinery which, if anything, serves to facilitate their tasks. They have to learn and employ different ways, perhaps, but not new skills as such. However, people such as production editors and page-make-up operatives are in a new ball-game. For the pre-press "producer" of the newspaper such as the "Giant" figure described in Chapter 6 (remember, again, that there is no Composing Room) sapiential authority and level of management control both have to increase. Also increased are the variety of functions, the number of staff to be dealt with, the range of decision-making, the weight of responsibility and the degree of accountability which of course increases stress. Sub-editors engaged in page make-up - as noted the Chapter on Editorial- no longer just conceptualise the presentation of material on a page but execute it themselves, handling the gutters and column rules and mitred boxes and so on that used to be in the province of the page-stripper, and laying colour screens that used to be in the province of the film-stripper. This fetching and carrying and aligning is a skill they have not exercised before: it is an additional aspect of the job. We have not exactly had a stampede of Paterson-hungry people in Pretoria. but this aspect does deserve attention. When it comes to I.T people, it must be said that we have in the past been well catered for in terms of operating and maintenance - but under Fourth- Wave concepts of

PEOPLE service there is a need for one or two people very highly trained in computer technology. The old mechanical ways are gone, replaced by an invisible electronic flow that has to be properly understood. And a Fourth Wave newspaper needs inhouse programming capabilities: Mediasystemen uses the EGO language, which is an indispensable tool. We cannot hope to fly an aircraft if we hold only a bus-driver's licence, and there will be sites where up-training of existing staffers and/or buying already-qualified ones is absolutely necessary. There is another (and easier) people matter that is important for production purposes during the transition as well as afterwards, when the new system is fully in operation. It is the level of day-to-day (sometimes minute-to-minute) communication between Editorial and the LT. Department and the Advertising Department and the residual Colour Stripping Department. If these various departments know what the others are doing, there need be no misunderstandings about, for example, which pages are being sent to the image-setter and which are being done the "old" way; which ads are to be placed electronically and which are to be stripped in; whether a page has failed in the processor and needs to be re-run; and so on. People remain the prime movers in production, even in FourthWave, and they need to talk to each other as never before. (one new production culture?) to ensure that things are going right. Electronic planning and tracking devices are an aid, but can never completely replace human communication. A final point about people: they need to operate at a comfortable temperature. PC monitors give off heat, and the high-powered Memphis workstations more than most. Concentrating them in one area, as we have done, may well imply a fight with the airconditioning system ...

CHAPTER 6: EDITORIAL (Monica du Plessis, Andre Meyerowitz) Now that there is no longer a Works Department as we've always known it, some members of the Editorial Department have been transmogrified into previously unimaginable beings. They are the sub-editors, who have a task additional to the age old application of journalistic and linguistic skills. Instead of merely conceptualising the presentation of editorial matter, as they did in the past, these people now have to execute that presentation; in other words, they must themselves arrange all the type, the illustrations and the white space on the page (and, by the way. our subs are learning at last that white space is the true basis of typography! The operator of a full-page make-up terminal has now finally absorbed all the timehonoured roles of each of a number of erstwhile colleagues: the clicker, the Lino operator, the Ludlow operator, the man on the random, the block maker, the stonehand, the reader, even the stereotyper. "Monitors" and "page-strippers" and suchlike amounted at best to a holding operation for the printing trade: such jobs were doomed from the start, as film-stripping is also doomed, waiting only to hear what its remaining life-span is. Within the Editorial Department it is the sub-editors, therefore, who absorb the full impact of Fourth-Wave implementation. The change-over is much less marked for news reporters, sportswriters, feature staff and most department heads, who merely have to work with a different word processor and perhaps face some procedural changes (like the more cumbersome message system, which has had the side-effect of cutting down electronic chitchat). The subs are the ones who operate the revolutionary Memphis make-up tool, which we developed by way of our specifications to create the following work-flow: The Backdesk, working on Qwerty, selects stories from wire and in-house resources and sends them to the appropriate "page baskets", each page having its own basket (CSI "desk", Atex "queue"). The Backdesk may prioritise the items by marking them "lead" or "cut hard" or whatever. The Memphis sub has on his screen as many directories as he chooses, a Qwerty text-editor if he wants it, a "toolbox" that will let him do almost anything, and an apparently infinitely large desk on which he can place one or many pages (that's right, all on his screen). Let's say he's been assigned by the Chief Sub to handle Page 3. He'll call a directory of the Page 3 basket and thereby see what the Backdesk wants him to put on Page 3. He'll also call up Page 3 itself- automatically datelined and with the advertisements already placed (we try not to put temperance stories next to liquor ads). Using a mouse, he will design the page according to the priorities set by the Backdesk. He reserves space for each item and sets its typographical parameters with a few clicks of the mouse. Then he sends the item to a subbing basket, where a down-tabler working on Qwerty picks it up and edits it. Because the item has been given geometry or "shape" on Memphis, the down-tabler need put in no type commands but is compelled to sub to exact width(s) and length, although the design capabilities of Memphis are so flexible that he can easily negotiate any desired length changes with the Memphis sub. This down-tabler can see on a Wysiwyg preview screen in his Qwerty exactly what his work will look like on the page: a pleasing aid to headline fit and the elimination of loose lines or widows. When the item is ready, after revise-subbing, the Memphis sub picks it up and flows it on to the page in an instant. He will also place column rules, make colour washes,

EDITORIAL crop or enlarge the pictures he places, and so on. The page is then ready for output. "Off-stone" has become "off-screen". We started our Fourth-Wave project by thinking deeply about the new production role Editorial would have. There would be no Composing Room where stone-subs or Production Editors could hover at deadline-time in order to sign off the various pages. Pages would "go" from the terminals where sub-editors were working in their scattered News, Sport and Feature departments. This could weaken (or at best decentralise) the output control formerly exercised by the Works Manager or his Composing Room Fore-man, leading to a disordered flow of production which might impact adversely on deadline performance. Coupled with that thought was the realisation that expensive (R70 000) page makeup terminals might be used by, say, the Sports Department only between 6 am and 10 am, thereafter sitting idle for 20 hours; while Tonight staff might use their make-up stations only between noon and 4 pm, again leaving them "dark" for 20 hours a day. Any O&M consultant would have a fit. The obvious stone with which to kill two birds was a centralised page make-up area where output control could be facilitated and where the number of workstations could be kept to a minimum. Moreover, if that make-up area could be a hub with the various Editorial departments radiating from it like the spokes of a wheel, department heads being sited closest to the hub, then it would serve as an excellent production nerve centre: all departmental executives (News Editor, Chief Sub, Sports Editor, Backdesk Editor, Picture Editor, Tonight Editor) would be within voice distance of it and of each other. We call our hub the "Bullpen". It is a large round table with only seven Memphis terminals .instead of the dozen or so that would have been needed if we had scattered them about the building (but already seven terminals add up to half a million Rands). Sport and Racing subs visit it mainly in the early morning; Tonight staff sidle up to it at teatime; there's always a news sub or three to be found there; Classad people are scheduled to drop by and make up their pages after their day's takings; the dummy which Advertising designs is executed there; posters are made there (in less than a minute each); and so on. To relocate the staff from their geographically long-established departmental sites so as to implement the Bullpen scenario involved tremendous hassle, but has been more than compensated for by Bullpen benefits. For cost reasons, we decided to cable our main news production area by way of channels in the concrete floor, thereby fixing more or less forever the location of plug points and workstations. The more expensive option of a raised floor for the spaghetti of wiring would have allowed greater flexibility if that should be needed in future; so far, there hasn't been a problem. We have no "purely design" subs - at the request of the subs themselves. That would have meant creating a new form of Production Department staffed by what might have been perceived as elite super-subs. Instead, almost all subs (we sometimes call them 3POs, or Pre-Press Production Operatives) can edit text on Qwerty stations at their "home" desks and can move to the Bullpen as and when a page needs to be made up, rotating on the hot-seat principle. This swirl is not necessarily ideal in that some

EDITORIAL people inevitably have more make-up aptitude and/or work more speedily than others, but it does make for a more varied and therefore more interesting work-day. A logical extension of this idea is to pool text-editing inter-departmentally, so that any sub might pick up a story about last night's soccer match and follow it with a piece about tomorrow's symphony concert; the theory is that expertise is in editing rather than in subject matter. In practice, inclination and specialisation have reared their heads, and we have not proceeded too far down that path. The Bullpen is controlled (particularly as deadline approaches) by a person who would have been the Production Editor in the old terminology but whom we call the "Giant". The name derives from our concept of production flow, in which "fetchers" such as reporters or photographers or even ad reps bring things in a wide flow, and "makers" such as subs assemble them as the flow becomes less wide, until they all pass in final made-up form through a narrows straddled by a huge figure from ancient mythology with one large foot on the left bank and the other large foot on the right. This Giant (there may be more than one but, in our system, only one on duty at any time) checks every page as it goes out to the image-setter. He is not only the last line of defense in the heavy responsibility for what is published; he is also responsible for the critical discipline of timeous production flow. There is no problem in sending a whole newspaper-full of pages from Memphis machines just 10 minutes before the press is due to start up, but there is potentially a huge problem in logjamming the image-setters, which take anything from two to four minutes to negative a blackand-white page and about eight to 15 minutes to separate a full-colour page into its four negatives. (Ripping time, which we want decreased, is a vexed question for the technical people, who in our view have a lot of research and optimisation to do.) It is helpful to the machineminders in the Press Romp. (re dummy plates, etc) if the Giant can tell them a short while before make-ready about what colours are coming for any particular page, although a decision about a colour wash, for example, might only be taken a minute or two before the page is output. We have two image-setters - adding up to another half-million Rands' worth of equipment - and have found that, with our roughly-equal mix of colour and b/w pages, we can flow pages at an average of four or five minutes apart. But it takes some juggling to balance the image-setters' workload, and if the schedule says there must be only seven pages in the last half-hour, then the first of those seven must leave on time or the last will inevitably be late. In practice a skilful Giant can re-order the sequence according to exigencies, or can send colour seps if the pictures are securely placed while allowing the subs still to edit stories that will go through later on the black sep. It is too much to keep all these balls in the air mentally ("Hmm . to which imagesetter did I send the cyan of Page 9?"): there must be checklists which he and the image-setter operator can refer to or compare. The deadline benefits of the new technology, and especially the super-fast Memphis machines, are significant. Let's take 10.00 am as the off-stone/off-screen time. Under the old system, last copy had to leave a revise sub at 9.40 to go through the monitor and the laser and the processor and the waxer and the stripper so as to be on the page by 10.00 - and there had to be a good flow of finished copy leading up to that last

EDITORIAL item, say from about 9.15 am. Now, copy for the page need only leave revise subs at 9,55, with last copy at 9.59 - still enabling the Memphis operator to flow it in and "send" the page at 10.00 sharp. The time-saving depends on how you calculate it, but is at least 19 minutes*. Implicit is that any story can be "got at", even after it is placed, right until the page has been sent to the image-setter. On the other side of the off-stone time, we used to allow about 20 minutes for the paging camera, the negative spotting and the film stripping. Now it need only take 9 minutes for image-setting, processing and registering to reach the same stage - a saving of another 11 minutes, for a total of half an hour. How this benefit is exploited (later deadlines or earlier print times) is for each site to determine itself. We in Pretoria have not yet exploited it fully: we are new at the game; our proficiency needs to be sharpened; and we started out with such huge problems in project implementation that for many weeks after "going live" we were late more often than not - sometimes barely managing to produce the newspaper at all, and then only by the skin of our teeth '* On the day this was written (February 8), the Page One lead was decided on only at 9.31 and the edition was away by 10.00 am. On the next day, the last Page One sep (black) left at 10.03, there was some slight bunching at the plate-making stage, and press start-up was at 10.24 am with "good copies" a couple of minutes later. . It was a time of nightmares, for two main reasons: " Lack of user proficiency. Writers and subs were thrown into the deep end with what, in retrospect, was inadequate training. Qwerty operators were using "just another type of word processor" but it was an unforgiving one. The mainframe environment of a CSI or Atex system is very different from a PC environment because one no longer "goes into" a queue or desk: instead, you fetch things from the database. A reporter or sub works only locally on his own intelligent terminal rather than on a mainframe (hooray for instant H&J!), and at some stage has to tell the database what he's doing because otherwise the database doesn't know what he's doing. So if he writes a story, or amends a story, and doesn't save it to the database, and then purports to "send" what is on his screen, he will fail. At best an older version which had been saved would arrive at its destination. Many stories and revisions and even headlines were "lost" in this way in the early days. Memphis operators, in turn, fumbled a great deal in the beginning. For example, they might omit to use grids efficiently and thereby ruin their gutters; or they might kern a headline and forget to restore the kerning to zero at the end of the headline and thereby inadvertently kern the whole story beneath, landing up with "underset" copy, and so on. Some of them were also, initially, very slow - they might spend hours designing and making up a page which should have taken 15 minutes. There were no adequate manuals for either Qwerty or Memphis, beyond the keyboard strips we made and the brief notes of some individuals ... " System problems were even more obstructive. With Mediasystemen software still under development, a good deal of what we had specified was not yet happening. For example, one of our demands had been: "There must be full integration between wire entry, reporter entry, reviewing of text, text-editing, and pagination. Mark-up

EDITORIAL commands and H&J operations must have the identical result wherever they are applied in the system. What we found instead was that instructions inserted in an item's notes field in Qwerty were missing when that item reached Memphis; H&J on Memphis produced a different result on Qwerty; and soon. Another example: if one appended a story from the wires and inadvertently gave it a slug-name of more than nine characters, eg BUTHELEZ30, it was subsequently irretrievable because the relevant header field could read only nine characters and insisted, correctly, that BUTHELEZ3 did not exist. Worse: we had specified unique slugging throughout the system on a "file name exists" basis but we found that a text item could be slugged DOG on the Uniq data server and a picture could be slugged DOG on the Lithos data server and when they came together at make-up time there would be an electronic collision that could destroy the page. Worst of all were the system crashes, whether for software or network reasons. It is bad enough if a single Memphis, with both Page 1 and Page 3 loaded on it, hangs up five minutes before deadline because of a base-memory problem. But it is disastrous if the data-server goes down at a peak period, as happened disconcertingly often in the early days, so that no work can be recorded on it until the problem is diagnosed and corrected and it can be re-booted. There is no point in detailing the hundreds of problems (literally hundreds) that we faced. But we suffered for many weeks - hellishly. We often found that software changes to correct faults would occasion other faults. We battled seemingly eternally to get our wire services (life-blood!) correctly captured. We saved many an edition where a page failed on output by ad hoc stripping of its missing elements. Once or twice we lost a late edition and were forced to change the seal on earlier-edition plates and run with them (but we never lost a first edition). The over-arching cause of our difficulties, we believe, was the too-tight project schedule, which allowed no time for pre-testing. We tested everything on "live" products, and it was an awful experience. It would have been oh-so-easy to throw one's hands in the air and exclaim: "It's not working!" But Fourth-Wave is not handed to one on a plate and, fortunately, we had people of the calibre to make it work. Gradually things came right. There were fewer and fewer calls from the Bullpen on what we dubbed the "toll-free hot-line" to the computer room, where Mediasystemen engineers and our own I.T. staff worked day and night. Our deadline performance improved; edition re-jigging became easy. These days we can confidently expect the press to roll on time, even with more on-day pages than before. And we can now do a realistic comparison of our old Atex system with the new Mediasystemen one: in short, we like the new one. But as far as implementation is concerned, we learned many things. Some few examples: Setting up the Editorial system structure is so non-negotiably important that an Editorial person must be totally dedicated to that element alone [or at least two months and preferably three - before end-user training starts. This "Editorial System Administrator" must have absolute knowledge of the products he is working with. A basket structure has to be created to meet the site's copy-flow needs; masterpages and grids have to be created; styles and formats have to be written; and so on (and they all have to be thoroughly tested). None of this comes as a package to unwrap and

EDITORIAL implement - and it is too personal to Editorial for it to be left to the I.T. Department, which may have no knowledge of how journalists want a newsroom to work. Authority levels (ie access to baskets and the authority to execute commands) need not be too exclusive. Under Atex, we allowed individual log-on access on a need todo-it basis and were a bit put out when we found that trying to create the same sort of limitations on Mediasystemen would result in a continuing administrative nightmare. We now have only a couple of main user-groups with differing access levels, and an Editor/Administrator level, by and large taking the line of trusting our staff. So far the few inadvertent errors have been of no consequence, and deliberate mischief has been entirely absent (but would be severely dealt with). Picture handling is wonderfully fast (a full-colour pic can be selected at 9.40 am for 10.00 off-screen) but let no salesman or technical expert get away with the claim that modern scanners are as simple as photocopiers. It still takes a deep knowledge of colour and density and screen angles and dot-gain to get the best out of a picture, and we were fortunate to have reassigned an ex-Works scanner operator to Editorial as the Image Desk Operator. The work of an expert stands out clearly as different from that of an amateur. Ways of operating need not be identical to what one has been familiar with, and opportunities should be seized to employ better ways. For example, we used to get all our Group-originated news copy on what we called Branch Wire, and all our agencysupplied copy on what we called World Wire. But Branch Wire therefore supplied material of both national and international origin, as did World Wire. Nowadays we have one wire for national copy and one wire for international copy, irrespective of whether it is Group-originated or agency-originated, and we prefer it. With Mediasystemen (and all modern systems) one has to get used to naming conventions to identify pages and things like cartoon strips. For example, our Page 5 of the First Edition for February 23 is called P0510223 and there can be no other like it for a year (the alpha character might have been T for Tonight or J for our Jacaranda Journal magazine, etc; then there are two digits for the page, one for the edition, two for the month, and two for the day). We found ourselves once or twice inadvertently publishing cartoon strips out of sequence, or repeating already-published ones, so we adopted the convention that the Modesty Blaise strip to be published on February 23 would be scanned in as MB0223. One must also get used to "run times". What we call "working baskets" such as "News" and "OpEd" are non-purging and copy can lie there until manually removed, but a page basket will purge automatically after a site-designated time (in our case three days for main-body pages) just as the "Spike" basket does. If a story lurks in such a basket for longer than the designated time without amendment to its "publication date", it will be erased (although an audit version is kept off-line). We give pictures a default run time of seven days, after which they disappear from the system. But often-used logos have a run-time of "minus one", which means they never purge. Security is unfortunately a factor to consider. We lost our "white noise" amplifier from the news production area because, presumably, someone just walked out of the building with it. They could do the same with a PC if security is lax. Also, we have a rule which says we'll turn a blind eye if a staffer writes the odd personal letter on our system, but if he tries to use our costly make-up and proofing/printing equipment for

EDITORIAL gain (eg to design and run off a few thousand brochures or a booklet like the one you're now reading), we'll simply sack him. We have locked all the disk drives on our workstations. It is too ghastly to contemplate someone inserting a virus-ridden floppy: if such a thing infests our system, we could be out of business. For the same reason, although we can accept copy from stringers (and adverts for that matter) on disk, it first has to pass a sanitisation process on a stand-alone PC. But if anyone wants I.T. to load a (virusfree) computer game on his workstation, that's okay ... As already mentioned, there are literarily thousands of things to think about in a Fourth-Wave project, not only during its implementation but afterwards too. For example, we believe training for all staff should be on-going. Apart from the likelihood of occasional software up-dates, bad habits should be picked up as soon as possible and corrected before they become entrenched. Faster working methods (eg using the keyboard instead of the mouse for some functions) should be encouraged. There should in any case be someone available to train newcomers to the staff- which implies having a permanent and suitably-equipped training-room. Nothing that Fourth-Wave offers in the way of newspaper production - not even a SpellCheck or GrammarCheck device - can replace a good sub-editor's linguistic ability, general knowledge, intelligence and open-mindedness. The "Giant" should cast a wary eye at headlines and captions and that sort of thing, but he usually can't read all the body-copy of deadline-critical pages even if hard proofs are made before final output. So the revise sub can be the last check between raw copy and the printed page (remember, there is no longer a Composing Room), and such a person's judgment becomes more vital than ever before. A system like Mediasystemen offers tremendous scope for re-design of a newspaper to modernise it and make it intensely reader-friendly. Fortunately we had enough sense not to attempt a re-design concurrently with new-technology implementation: that, we now know for sure, would have been a double burden too much to bear. Instead, our re-design exercise is pleasurably a few months away - but in the meantime we already have a much crisper and neater product. Fourth-Wave development continues. One possible spin-off for Argus papers is better inter-Branch communication. The time is not far off when, say, the News Editor in Durban will be able to send an instant Email message to his fellow News Editor in Cape Town. The technology exists already; the organisational implications will have to be looked at ... Meanwhile, the advent of Fourth-Wave means - and perhaps this is the most important philosophical point of all - that it is now in the domain of Editorial, and no longer the Works, to produce the newspaper. Editorial, with Advertising as its close cousin, now has the High Ground of publishing.

CHAPTER 7: ADVERTISING (Bert Bottenberg, Patricia Goodman. John Lindenberg) IN this chapter we have tried to place the facts on the table, which might inevitably result in a report that appears over-critical or perhaps negative. The objective is to make other Branches aware of the full facts - potential pitfalls that can be, and have been, encountered - and to assist in them not experiencing the same trauma in this new environment. The events and our experiences happened with Mediasystemen, but these could just as well apply to any other vendor making use of such "open systems". Despite our criticisms we support and embrace Mediasystemen technology, as it has been proven that it can and does work. The writing of this chapter came at a most unfortunate moment, as we have just gone live on the complete Classified section, with the exception of automated placing of display ads. This brought about new complications not previously anticipated. These include Memphis functionality in "grouping" of articles; our selecting individual files for deletion on screen and the system deleting multiple files; failure to delete objects off the screen; and unexpected locking of articles in the database. This sort of thing caused a serious delay in paginating the four pages of Classifieds on Saturday January 29 for printing on Monday January 31. The pagination took us, in the presence of two Mediasystemen engineers, more than five hours, including the delays due to the above complications. We were probably now in the same situation as our Editorial colleagues were two months ago, with similar system problems. It needs to be stated that the time frame of implementation of this system, in comparison with that of Atex in Pretoria, has thus far been much the same, given the magnitude of change. Although Atex was fairly complete, having been installed in Cape Town previously, it nevertheless took some six months to become totally "live". We believe the aggressive scheduling of this project, some of which was "vapourware" when initially discussed, is much related to the complications now being experienced. The underlying technology utilised by Mediasystemen is extremely promising. Based on an Open Systems approach, the system appears to be scalable, flexible and cost effective. At the time of producing this report, the implementation of the Advertising system stands at about 80 percent and its full impact cannot be foreseen at this stage, as we still have to deal with PlanBuilder, which plans Classified lineage, display and ROP ads. The concept is technically sound and comprehensive, and will provide The Pretoria News with the ability to produce full-page electronic output with the exception of agency-supplied "complete material". The system is extremely flexible and configurable, and appears to be capable of handling both small and large newspaper requirements. A significant amount of software was developed to accommodate Pretoria News requirements. This was delivered in a somewhat unstructured fashion, largely untested - and it contained a high level of "bugs", As previously stated, a contributing factor was undoubtedly the aggressive time-scale imposed on Mediasystemen.

ADVERTISING SPECIFICATION: Pre-specifying the system took place over an intensive two-week period by two members of the Advertisement Department in a format suggested by Mediasystemen. This was followed by a specification session also lasting two weeks in consultation with the TDU, MSD and Mediasystemen's R&D Manager and their AdLine Product Manager. The time spent in the specification weeks was invaluable in terms of both parties understanding the respective structures and requirements of organisational as well as system functionality. Although we had requested a generic version of AdLine to illustrate how some of the needed software changes could be implemented, Mediasystemen did not believe this was necessary. In hindsight, we now know that we should have persisted along these lines, as some of the software eventually delivered was totally different from what was expected due to misunderstandings on either side. The final specification document drawn up by Mediasystemen was more of a description of operations than a specification as we know it. This was a point of contention on more than one occasion, but was ultimately resolved. SYSTEM MANAGEMENT TRAINING: The word "training" in its proper context was, in this instance, a misnomer. Rather, our experience was more of a familiarisation of the generic AdLine product and its functionality. The version of the software delivered had little in common with what we saw during "training". First impressions proved correct when the Ad Department delegates observed that Mediasystemen were not quite ready with the required and agreed-upon software developments before commencing training. One general impression was that the quality of training (and trainers) was poor, somewhat disorganised and unprofessional. Major omissions, whether by design or accident, were the lack of exposure to Memphis and AutoAd, and the minimal Justif training, which we initially believed would have huge ramifications. Due to the flexibility of the system, however, we found alternative solutions for most of our concerns. The Ad Department delegates consisted of the Classified Ad manager and the Admin manager to be trained on the AdLine system; an Atex systems monitor to be trained on system maintenance, style creation and report-writing; and the Manager of MSD for technical briefing on Sybase- and Unix-related installation and interface operations. As far as report-writing is concerned, we were initially, during specification, under the impression that a user-friendly report-writing facility would be provided. Again, this was a misunderstanding as Mediasystemen view SQR as such a tool. SQR requires extensive Unix experience and, in our environment, fairly solid Sybase knowledge. Fortunately MSD agreed to assist us in originating the required reports, for which we are more than grateful. Lack of involvement by I.T. personnel in the AdLine set-up/installation programme was cause for concern. Circumstances dictated that the small I.T. team was put under extreme pressure in helping to get the Editorial system stable and maintaining it. INSTALLATION: Project management by Mediasystemen could by our standards be considered lacking, unsynthesised and the cause of a significant number of problems. The commitment

ADVERTISING displayed was truly outstanding, but when Mediasystemen came to us it (naturally) lacked knowledge of how South African newspapers actually work, for example in the validation checks that most of us take for granted. Management control within such a project is of the utmost importance as there are many thousands of Rands' advertising revenue at risk each day. We have seen that unstable and insufficiently tested software, as well as initially inadequate end-user knowledge, can result in duplications, omissions and general chaos. Given the fact that we had our fair share of the above, we urge that a great deal of time and effort and particularly sufficient human resources be made available during installation and training. INTERFACE: The interface between the accounting system (ADMAN) and the AdLine system is clean and works well. Both systems are Unix-based and use the SQL database, which has provided a platform where the swift transfer of up-to-date information has become possible. We believe that this will provide much tighter and better credit control facilities. DOCUMENTATION: To summarise in one word: poor. It is definitely not up to date with the product and some of it, like Justif, is not in English. Also, English usage is often difficult to comprehend and therefore to implement. The flexibility of the system is such that it was not possible to document it in its entirety prior to installation. As the system took shape we took as many notes as possible; these still need to be transcribed, and many of the set-up procedures still need to be documented. USER TRAINING: Fortunately this was one area that we had control over, and it could be structured according to our requirements. One of the drawbacks, with our particular system, was the constant minor amendments to software (which still occurs, of necessity, to this day) which made it extremely difficult to write an accurate user manual. Screen layouts and field functionality were constantly being updated - Which, in turn, led to many changes having to be made to already completed material. It took an average of two and a half days to train four Adtakers. The Adtaker users who have so far been trained were very happy and enthusiastic about AdLine. Most of them quickly became familiar with the mouse concept, and they found the graphically based screen great to work with. SUPPORT: The functionality required by The Pretoria News, beyond the generic version of AdLine, demanded many software enhancements - the consequence of which was still being felt in the first half of February in terms of on-going staffing/representation of Mediasystemen at our premises. Here we are talking about the vast number of basic elements missing from the generic AdLine version. This came as somewhat of a surprise as it had not been foreseen in the first instance, and also that these people are actually de-bugging, tuning and testing software on our premises when it should to all intents and purposes have been available in its tested, completed form in the first place.

ADVERTISING This has resulted in much expense that was originally not budgeted for, particularly the unusually high cost of international telephone calls that are made by the Mediasystemen contingent seeking answers to questions that cannot be resolved locally, and the downloading of software via modem. Our Mediasystemen Fourth-Wave system includes software elements from a number of vendors including SCO, Sybase, FTP, Microsoft, QuarkXpress, and others. This sometimes causes difficulty in ascertaining from Mediasystemen, when a problem occurs, whose problem it is and whose property is involved. The Mediasystemen AdLine Product Manager's presence was initially planned for only two weeks, but it was soon evident that this amount of time was not sufficient, and it took a great deal of negotiating and persuading to have him visit us a second time. Also, while he was not present here, many software issues had to be referred back to him in Holland, which resulted in much time being wasted between the discovery of problem and the solution thereof. AD TAKING: Classified and ROP ad booking facilities are slick and flexible, as are facilities for updating client data and related issues such as changing or introducing client logos, contracts, etc, without the need to shut down systems or carrying out time-consuming maintenance and updating. The ability to have sales aids per classification displayed on the screen at all times, and classification graphics, makes it a very sales-friendly system. The ability to preview advertisements with logos and pictures is a big attraction for Adtakers. They can print out these ads and have linage spec layouts available at their fingertips. We are still awaiting the "alternate quote" which will help sales people to sell more lines for more days; this can be compared to the private party Grid Rate concept. One major improvement over any other system we have seen is the superfast H&J and quote routines which take less than a second for the average ad, no matter what the load on the system. This speed cannot be influenced by the number of PCs in use as the action takes place locally on each individual PC; the data of which is updated on logon. Linage styles were set up in Qwerty, using Justif. Because of the Advertising Department team's lack of Justif knowledge, this proved to be quite a mission. Eventually The Star's Fernando Carvalho took up the challenge and good things started to happen. The end-users find styles extremely easy to use, and most flexible. Although we are in a position to make up simple display ads that do not require artwork on the Ad-Taker machines, we have chosen not to do so until users have settled in to the new routines. Once this has happened we will resume training staff on this aspect. Classified display advertisements are currently made up in the art studio. DISPLAY AD MAKE-UP: At the outset Mediasystemen supported Archetype Designer as the display ad makeup package to use on AdMaker PCs. Unfortunately the evaluation of this package was carried out by TDU after we had agreed to go with it. After training selected production artists, we found that this package had severe limitations in producing property display ads, and abandoned it in favour of QuarkXpress for property purposes. We persevered with Archetype for Retail display, but after several weeks gave this up in favour of Quark as well.

ADVERTISING Mediasystemen ultimately relented and agreed to speed up development on MedGlue, a utility program that links Windows applications with their Adbase and Lithos. We have recently started using MedGlue, and have found some limitations, which need correcting. For example, the AdLine booking size ought to prevent the AdMaker from making the ad up to a different size. Mediasystemen's handling of colour leaves something to be desired. The concept of using DCS (Desktop Colour Separation) is not practical in our environment: the Lithos server currently needs DCS separations, which means that these must be created on the front-end. This is time-consuming and ties up AdMaker terminals for unacceptably long periods. Mediasystemen are relying on one of their third-party suppliers to come up with support for Quark colour EPS separation, which will make this process transparent. PAGINATION & OUTPUT: The implementation of AutoAd took us somewhat by surprise at first, with the average time taken for making up a page of lineage ads being some 40 to 45 minutes! Happily, we were able to reduce this to about 10 minutes a page at one time - until subsequent software and product-related issues set us back somewhat. We have stated our unhappiness with the approach to this feature as we had anticipated a much more automated procedure making use of the control file concept used by, for example, Atex. Our approach to going live on a categorised basis - that is starting with SVs one week, Motors the next, and so on - was made possible by staying with the font family we used in Atex, which resulted in merging Atex output with that of Mediasystemen. Although this change was apparent to most staffers, we have not so far (after several weeks) had reaction from readers or advertisers. We believe it to be essential that page-planning capabilities as well as ad-tracking and element-tracking be developed and implemented soonest. RESOURCES & SKILLS: Since August 1993 our Classified Ad manager, Admin manager and the Manager of MSD have spent virtually every working hour and more on system setup and installation. We were fortunate in having MSD's assistance and experience to guide us in this. On a secondment basis we had the expertise of Fernando Carvalho (The Star) on defining our styles and formats; Robert Blomstrand (MSD) on getting our billing and batch interfacing going, as well as our Classified report-writing; and the very capable logic and guidance of Steve Appleton (TDU) on a multitude of applications and system integration. Without these resources and skills we would be nowhere near where we are right now. Our thanks go also to our Editorial colleagues who assisted with page design. We have identified some of the skills that are an absolute necessity in this environment if it is to be pursued by other Branches. These range from general computer literacy like DOS and user-level Windows, Quark, Photoshop under both Intel and Macintosh, as well as general Advertising ROP and Classified operations and production knowledge, to expert-level general database, Sybase, SQR, Unix, SmallTalk and Postscript.

ADVERTISING There is definitely a need for an "applications manager" to assist users of both AdTaker and AdMaker applications, who need to be proficient in those applications as well as Windows in particular. The multitude of tasks that need to be tackled include screen layout and definition in the database, user-tags for keyboard definitions, general keyboarding of classifications, rates, logo scanning and sizing, and a plethora of other data requirements which are very time consuming, and this needs to be allowed for. This extensive set-up is, of course, as a result of the quest for flexibility. The more flexibility, the more time-consuming the implementation and maintenance. FEATURES & FUTURES: Here we refer to a report circulated by The Star in December, authored by Candy Mast of Oregonian Classified Systems, on last year's NEXPO conference - in which are listed 11 "wish list" items for Classified Ad departments. We quote: 1 2 3 Faxing out/from the terminal Wysiwyg (soft preview) including art graphics Multiple buys, combination pricing with multiple buys, zoned products, monthly publications 4 Ability to enter Classified and ROP bookings on one terminal 5 Ability to order & charge for screens, borders and graphics in lineage ads 6 Use 3rd-party products for features like on-line credit card authorisation 7 Individual user-defined screens, defaults and functionality 8 Auto dial-out from terminal 9 SQL database for user-friendly, on- and off-line reporting 10 Real-time interface with billing system 11 Remote bureaux, remote entry No single vendor had all of the features listed above - However, each of these features is actually available now in one or more systems I saw at NEXPO. Candy ought to convince her boss that a trip to Pretoria, RSA, would pay some dividends - as we have, right now, the ability to satisfy at least six of her wishes and, within four months, the potential to satisfy them all! SUMMARY: We currently have a situation where all Classified advertising input, both lineage and display, is performed on the AdLine system. Display advertising artwork and graphics are assembled in what we refer to as the Studio using QuarkXpress and CorelDraw on PCs. These advertisements are sent to the Lithos graphics server to await final page production. We really believe that Mediasystemen has a good product and that it can work in a newspaper of any size. Our feeling is that the negative aspects relate to the resources available from Mediasystemen, which our schedule tended to suffocate. Many of the problems could perhaps be overcome with a financial injection into the company. To conclude, Mediasystemen have a complex product that works. Although it needs some refinement in certain areas, we can happily say today that we are producing all our Classified pages "live".

CHAPTER 8: MONEY (Aiden Robertson) IMPLEMENTING any new system - particularly when it is in a highly technical development stage, and where much of what was envisaged at the start of the project was still considered "vapourware" - has risks and often produces some surprises. The Pretoria News pilot project has, financially, proved to be no exception. The following table compares the original estimated cost of the conversion with the final projected cost as its completion approaches: Original Estimates Final Projection Hardware to run Mediasystemen Non-Mediasystemen Hardware Additional Hardware Mediasystemen Software Non-Mediasystemen Software Sub Total Training (local and in Haarlem) Alteration of premises Retrenchment Costs Total R960 000 R 740 000 R 170 000 R1 440 000 R 144 000 R3 454 000 R 280 000 R120 000 R 510 000 R4 364 000 R1 100 000 R 860 000 R 60 000 R1 520 000 R200 000 R3 740 000 R 280 000 R150 000 R1 100 000 R5 270 000

Details of the number of workstations and software licences required in the Editorial, Advertising and I.T. Departments are shown in the Appendix, to help Branches project the cost implications of their requirements. In addition to the increase in costs, we have not yet been able to find buyers for our redundant Atex and ancillary equipment. Because there is no ready market for such things, we face a write-off of these assets at a book value of more than R600 000. The more significant cost surprises and reasons for the overspend highlighted above are: o System hardware up by R140 000 (14,6 percent): there was a need for a second dataserver and an underestimation in the number of Adtaker terminals for the Front Counter and Accounts Department (credit checking); dedicated PCs for the scanners; and the costs of networking the system. o Mediasystemen software up by R80 000 (5,6 percent): the reason for the increase is the relatively small additional fee charged by Mediasystemen for the "extra" work, mainly on the Adtaker systems, requested by us in Advertisement specifications (we must add that Mediasystemen were very accommodating in this regard and agreed to meet the vast majority of our requests at their expense). o Retrenchment Costs up R590 000 (115 percent): while the number of staff made redundant has been greater than anticipated, the main reason for the increase is that ex-Works employees who accepted alternative positions opted not to take partial redundancy packages but instead to take their full packages and start in their new positions as new employees with no recognition of past service. In most instances the salary reductions in the new positions ranged between 35 percent and 45 percent. On the up side we are in the process, following the major decrease in the Origination Department, of preparing the first floor to accommodate the consolidated

MONEY Advertisement Department - Classified from the ground floor and Retail from the fifth floor. Other spin-off's of the new technology which can generate revenue or contribute to savings include: o Deadlines: particularly Classified, where we have the option of extending the deadline to within a couple of hours of production, extending selling times by five hours or more if desired. o Morning Editions: at very little extra cost, and significant savings in shared distribution costs, we can now produce an early morning (say 5 am) edition of The Pretoria News, followed by a noon up-date. Initial indications are that sales could increase by between 4000 and 5000 copies a day. o Photocopying service: the disused A2 photocopiers in the erstwhile Origination Department have been used to offer a commercial photocopying service to the public. o Commercial Origination: we can accept commercial work on disk, in various formats, for output through the image-setters. o Complete or repeat advertisement material: the ease of accommodating complete or repeat advertisement copy gives us the opportunity to re-think the traditional way of setting rates and the way we sell advertising, particularly repeat copy. o Spare office space: the fifth floor could generate R7 000 a month at current office rentals in Pretoria. o Credits: by transferring the responsibility for producing complete advertising material and Classified input and pagination directly to the Advertisement Department, we have been able to improve controls and significantly reduce production-related credits. STAFFING levels have changed slightly when compared with our original expectations, as illustrated: 3rd Wave Atex 4th Wave Original Plan 4th Wave Current Position Origination 47 17 12 43

The staffing levels in the Origination Department take into account the commercial origination work and laying-down of the approximately 40 newspapers printed by us each month; the manning of the image-setters (day and night shifts); and one cleaner. Further reductions of the Origination staff complement could arise, depending on the volume of commercial scanning and origination we are able to secure. We initially anticipated retaining 17 positions in the Origination Department; however, as we have gained experience on the new system, we have been able to revise our staffing levels downwards. Conversely the number of staff needed in the Commercial Department was also underestimated and adjustments have needed to be made. The present reduction of 35 employees is accounted for as follows: Redundancies Early Retirements Transfers 19 3 13

MONEY The 13 transfers have been to the following departments: I.T. Department: 1 Production support Editorial Department: 1 Graphics Picture Desk Operator (Bullpen II) Advertisement Department: 1 Reader, 2 Text Capture Input Clerks, 1 Scanner Operator/text inputter, 1 Production Supervisor, 1 Production Artist Accounts Department: 1 Buyer/Storeman Inserting Night Shift: 4 nightshift Inserters. Reduced salary packages based on the equivalent Paterson grades and pay scales were applied to all the staff transferred to the Editorial and Commercial departments. The impact of the new technology on the Editorial Department and Commercial Department head counts and new positions created is: o Editorial Department: Plus 1 (ie Plus 2 Graphics Picture Desk Operators, 1 Editorial Text Capture Clerk, Less 2 Messengers on early retirement). In addition a part-time Editorial Text Capture Clerk is used as and when required on an hourly basis depending on volumes. o Advertisement Department: Plus 8 (ie Plus 1 Reader, 3 Advertisement Text Capture Input Clerks, 3 Production Artists, 1 Production Supervisor, 1 Scanner Operator/Text Capture Input Clerk, Less 1 Messenger on early retirement), As with the Editorial Department, a part-time Reader and Text Capture Clerks are used on a when-needed basis. I.T. Department: Plus 3 (ie 2 Production Support, 1 Programmer) o Inserting - Night-Shift: Plus 4 (previously all night-shift inserting for commercial publications and overnight inserting of The Pretoria News was done on an overtime basis; the permanent night shift operation will reduce the overall costs.) Of the above, the Advertisement Department has needed to expand the most, to cater for text capture (Classified hard copy, Legals, Auctions and Retail Display ads) and electronic creation of advertisements.

CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS (The Project Team) 1. Installing Fourth-Wave technology at a mainstream daily newspaper is a truly massive undertaking. Fourth-Wave does offer greater speed and efficiency: Editorial can do more on-day, Advertising lead times are cut. Modern computing philosophy opens new business opportunities: database marketing, fax newspapers, audio text, etc. After high outlay initially, there are substantial and continuing cost benefits in newspaper production. Mediasystemen software products do an excellent job for both Editorial and Advertising, and are recommended. A Fourth-Wave installation must have the most skilled and thoughtful Project Management. The time-scale for such a project should be realistic: perhaps 15 months in all for a large site. I.T. Departments must have in place, before installation starts, enough people with Unix and Sybase knowledge. All major software development should have been completed before the relevant phase of installation starts. Software and hardware must be proven by exhaustive trials before end-user training starts. End-user training must be scrupulous for reasons of both productivity and morale. Opportunities should be seized to re-organise traditional structures and position newspapers for the 21st Century.

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