Caracas, June 17th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The Official Gazette, the official newspaper of the Venezuelan government which publishes new laws, agreements, appointments and other acts, will become completely digitalized and undergo a redesign, Director-General of the National Printing Service and the Official Gazette Wuilian Mundaraín announced yesterday.
Published daily, The Gazette can only be purchased legally at its headquarters in downtown Caracas or at the city’s National Library, which makes photocopies of certified editions. According to Mundaraín, this limitation has given rise to its sale in the street, often at a much higher price.
“A nationalized citizen often needs to present the gazette from when they registered their nationalization for various purposes, including to graduate or to marry. We’ve had cases of people who have paid too much for an issue, and often the one they bought is a photocopy that isn’t valid,” he said.
He emphasized that the facsimiles that will be digitalized and made available online will have security controls to guarantee its legitimacy.
Mundaraín said that the digitalization would also address the paper’s outdated printing process, which involves the cutting and pasting of documents from the Council of Ministers onto folios to form page folios.
“This process, aside from being archaic, is unreliable because someone can make a mistake and cut out a word, for example. It also forces you to review and compare the product against the original more than once before printing, and that takes time,” he said.
The final issue that the changes to the Gazette will address is its layout, which has not changed significantly since the newspaper’s founding under President Antonio Guzmán Blanco in 1872. In order to differentiate between the types of issues and administrative bodies, Mundaraín explained that the new design would be more legible and make use of colors.
In addition to the digitalization of future issues of The Gazette, the newspaper will work together with the General Archive of the Nation to digitally restore its older copies.
“This archive is an important source for any research study,” Mundaraín said. “There, online, will be registered a part of the historical memory of the country, of political and fiscal history, and there is much that can be drawn from the sources.”
This digitalization follows several projects undertaken by the General Archive of the Nation to increase access to historical documents, including the online publication of the collected writings of independence figures Francisco de Miranda and Simón Bolívar.