Sneak Peak: How are Newspapers and Magazines Digitized?

September 29, 2015

In our previous articles, we learned why magazines and newspapers are digitized as well as its advantages. The big question remains: How is it really processed?

The demand on newspaper and magazine digitization have grown since the entry of the Information Era; hence the growth of companies who offer such services.

Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format by capturing the image. A newspaper is either scanned, its picture captured or saved in a microfilm. After which it will be converted into text. Tagged accordingly which makes it searchable once it is indexed into an archive. A digitization service may differ depending on the company that is offering it.

Newspaper digitization, magazine digitization and article digitization are often outsourced to gain the end product without the need to invest in manpower, technology and architecture. Most companies offering such service have an in house technical team who builds their own solution in accordance to how they planned it. They consistently maintain and upgrade it, as it is the heart of their business.

In general, procedures are as follows:

  1. Receiving of files
    • Once a written agreement has been made, the client will send the file to the outsourcing company to be processed. It may arrive in either soft or hard copy. In most cases, the contents arrive as a soft copy provided by or in accordance to agreements with Media Monitoring Companies, Publishing Houses or Libraries.
    • Documents may also arrive in hard copy such as physical papers or microfilmed documents. Scanning the physical paper or capturing the image of the microfilmed document is optional. Clients may do it themselves if the documents are prohibited to leave their facility.
  2. Screening of irrelevant pages
    • Pages containing images, ads, such as pictures will be removed as it is no longer needed.
  3. Conversion into text files
    • Files will be converted once it runs through the system as the solution is built to convert files.
  4. Identify the number of articles
    • Most times 1 page contains more than 1 article. Identifying the number of articles will help hasten the process of the work load.
  5. Tagging of different article elements
    • The article will be segmented into different parts and will be tagged accordingly based on the requirements of the client
    • The following is the list of XML Tags where clients may choose from:
      XML Tags include:
      Language Pre-introduction
      Name Introduction
      ID Story
      Doc Date Blurp
      Physical Position Quote
      Logical Position Factbox
      Headline Teaser
      Sub-headline Byline
  6. Auto correction
    • The system is equipped with auto correction features which can pinpoint potential problems, after which will be manually checked. The final product will be automatically saved in a XML format.
  7. Quality control
    • A senior specialist will double check the quality of the product and assure that it is 100% correct. If not it will be processed again.
  8. Submission of the finished product
    • The finished product will be submitted to the client.

With this, universities or public libraries can provide online services to the public for free or for a price. Students, professors or archivists can now search through history conveniently. Not to mention, Media Monitoring companies can conduct a search in their archive conveniently whenever a search is needed. It’s fast, easy & efficient way to monitor media.


This article explains the general procedure of digitizing newspapers and magazines, converting it into structured and searchable text files.


Documents accepted include, but are not limited to: Daily Nationals, Tabloids, Regional Newspapers, Local Newspapers, Weekly Newspapers and Magazines such as Professional, Health, Fitness, Design, Youth, Hobby amongst others…

Institutions who may find the need for this service include, but are not limited to: Media Monitoring Companies, Media Owners, Libraries, Universities, Newspaper and Book Publishers, Department of Archives and Public Records, Historical Societies, Department of Tourism and other related institutions.


The author of this article belongs to Media Track Pte Ltd. Media Track Pte Ltd is an International Media Outsourcing Hub which is proud to serve the Media Industry at its best. Besides converting PDF Files, Physical Papers and Microfilmed Documents into Structured and Searchable Text Files, the company takes pride in covering a wide range of services including Media Management and Outsourcing of Analyst Work. Operational 24/7 – 365 days, Media Track Pte Ltd is capable of delivering a State of the Art Product at a Competitive Price.

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