Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Spokane

Paper gets new computer system
Business pages first to be printed on new system

From staff reports

The Spokesman-Review takes a leap into new technology beginning with today's newspaper.

If all goes well, readers won't notice.

Starting Monday, some Spokesman-Review editors and reporters began writing and editing stories and managing photographs on a new computer publishing system. The new technology replaces a system in use in the newsroom since 1992.

The first pages produced on the new system are today's Business pages. Other sections of the paper -- such as Page 1, Reg
ion, IN Life and Sports -- will make the conversion during the next few months, said Editor Steven A. Smith.

"If the installation goes as planned, readers won't notice any changes," Smith said. "But we're moving from a system that is badly out of date to one that is truly 21st century. Unexpected glitches could cause some deadline problems. We'll alert readers to any potential problems."

The new computer system was developed by CCI Europe, a software company based in Denmark and Atlanta.

The system is similar to those in use by some of the country's largest newspapers, including The New York Times, The Seattle Times and USA Today.

Cowles Publishing Co., which publishes The Spokesman-Review, has spent about $3 million on the project, said John Webster, the newsroom's project manager and systems editor.

CCI will allow the newspaper more effective page design and control of news stories, art, graphics and advertising, Webster said.

The CCI system, for example, prevents a story from "jumping," or continuing, to an incorrect page.

"In general, this week's pages will look just like The Spokesman-Review always does," Webster said.

Spokesman-Review employees have been training to use the system for several months.


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