Newspapers all over the world are produced electronically. Why not bring the newspaper electronically to the readers, too?
All data needed to make a newspaper are available to the publisher at a specified time in the form of computer data. These data are to be transmitted via standard telephone lines. Tests to generate images from newspaper pages already began many years ago. These images existed in electronic form: as PDF-Format.
There were two obstacles, however: The low and at the same time expensive transmission capacity of the telephone lines on one hand, and the reader needed particular software on his computer to read the newspaper pages on the other hand: the Acrobat Reader.
Since the newspaper page is considerably larger than the monitor screen, reading of the articles requires repetitive zooming and scrolling of the screen page.
The internet as a new way of distribution
At the same time, a new technology and with it also a new way of distribution have been developed: the internet. Publishing houses have established own content-services on the internet. Among the first to proceed on this way was the Mittelrhein-Verlag with its online-service "Rhein-Zeitung Online". An online-service, however, hasn't much in common with the original idea to bring the newspaper to the reader digitally. It's an information media on its own.
E-Paper: The newspaper original as internet edition
Only few publishing houses have so far focused on the original idea of an electronic distribution of their primary product: the newspaper itself. Here the Rhein-Zeitung from Koblenz is playing a pioneer role. E-Paper of the Rhein-Zeitung ist the first internet newspaper to correspond to the printed edition in all its components (test, pictures, advertisments). The newspaper pages can be browsed through in overall views like the original.
Familiar newspaper reading - and not only this
E-Paper can be read with just a browser and it uses internet features like active links from the table of contents to the requested page, from the advertisement to the internet site of the advertiser or from a category to the data base. All internet addresses mentioned in the editorial texts are "clickable".
The advantage: Every newspaper reader is familiar with the "navigation" and knows what is placed on which pages and where it's positioned. So E-Paper combines the well-known structure and comprehensiveness of the newspaper issue with the locally independent and interactive use of the net.