Print's charming, say visitors on tour of Straits Times presses

50 readers went on a tour of Singapore Press Holdings Print Centre in Jurong Port Road on April 6, 2018.
50 readers went on a tour of Singapore Press Holdings Print Centre in Jurong Port Road on April 6, 2018.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
50 readers went on a tour of Singapore Press Holdings Print Centre in Jurong Port Road on April 6, 2018.
50 readers went on a tour of Singapore Press Holdings Print Centre in Jurong Port Road on April 6, 2018.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
50 readers went on a tour of Singapore Press Holdings Print Centre in Jurong Port Road on April 6, 2018.
50 readers went on a tour of Singapore Press Holdings Print Centre in Jurong Port Road on April 6, 2018.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Reading the newspaper has always been a central part of Ms Chanel Lim's family life.

So when she got a chance to see the stories and headlines being printed for herself, the 40-year-old jumped at the chance.

She was among 50 readers who snapped up places on a tour of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Print Centre in Jurong Port Road on Friday (Apr 6).

They were shown each step of the process of printing a newspaper by Mr Willie Koo, the centre's senior production manager.

"I was curious to find out more about how what I read each day is produced," said Ms Lim, who likes to discuss the day's news with her parents and son. "Talking about the news and pictures in the papers is a good way for three generations to connect."

Business administration student Keegan Ng, 18, said his love of reading made him want to find out more about the printing process.

"I read (The Straits Times) because I want to know more about politics and business," he said. "I'm curious about what is happening around the world. I think it will help me with my studies."

For Mr Koo, the overwhelming response to the tour - which cost $5 a ticket - showed that there is still a strong interest in the print media.

"Ultimately, newspapers still have an important function to keep the community informed," he said. "My team and I are proud to fulfil this responsibility."

The tour was part of a series of events being organised for this year's Singapore Heritage Festival which starts this weekend and runs for the next two weekends.

One visitor on Friday's tour already had some inside knowledge of the industry. Robert, 81, is a retired printer from Canada.

He was impressed by the new technology used at the print centre and although he felt that the industry has transformed significantly over the past decades, he believes print newspapers are here to stay.

"It'll be a long time before they are phased out," he said. "People still like to feel things in print."