• Short Summary

    This perforated tape is the new language of printing.

    In its crab-gaited way, it would replace?

  • Description

    No available shotlist


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: This perforated tape is the new language of printing.

    In its crab-gaited way, it would replace the printer, who is actually a type-setter, with a typist... making at half his pay. The process is more than an experiment. A number of newspapers are now put out this way.

    Machines can take over from the craftsman...doing things that only skill, training and experience could accomplish before. The key to everything is an electronic computer, acting in microseconds, altering, adjusting and deciding. The computer is the biggest change in printing since the linotype came out in the 1880's, when type was still set by hand. The linotype set it by machine, line by line... but it took a skilled craftsman to pad out short lines and clip long ones with a hyphen.

    Now the computer can do all that, putting its instructions on the perforated tape fed into the linotype as if it were a music roll for a playerless piano.

    No hands touch the keys and none need to.

    To the newspaper publishers, the computer is a way to turn out papers faster and cheaper. One tape-fed machine can turn out as much work as 4 to 5 machine operated by men.

    To the unions this means fewer jobs... and more empty chairs in front of linotypes once run by men.

    In New York linotypes are still run by men; but even the head of the city's largest newspaper union, the Guild, says newspapers cannot be produced out of blacksmith shops much longer and survive.

    The publishers say the need to modernize is "desperate". They want the right to bring in any new machine, methods and techniques they need. In return they promise no employees will lose their jobs... that the number of type-setter will be allowed to shrink naturally from attirition.

    The typesetters agree in principle to automation; but they want the savings to go into a fund to pay for retraining their men for new jobs... and retiring the other, to old to be retrained.

    That is what the negotiations are about... and it goes beyond the bargaining table. Most of New York's papers have not gotten back all the readers they had before the last strike.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment