Newspaper production process. Newspaper production is an act that actually starts from the gathering of news stories, articles, opinions, advertorials and advertisements to the printing out of these materials in a meaningful copy called “Hard Copy”. However, this whole process can be divided into four parts, they are: News/Story gathering, Pre Press, Press and Post Press.
News production starts with the reporters going out to their respective beat to gather stories and cover events and also the marketing department getting advertisement into the newspaper on daily basis. It starts with reporters getting their stories ready daily and sending their stories in electronically through their mails to the editor. Each reporter work with a particular desk in the newsroom, some of these desks are: Metro desk, Sport desk, Business desk, Political desk, Education desk and others. News gathering and dissemination is paramount to every newspaper as this is the responsibility of the newspaper house to the people and this can determine their level of advertiser’s patronage. After stories are gathered, the Sub Editors are saddled with the responsibility of editing copies submitted by the reporter using a red pen or red font color, the Chief Sub Editor uses blue while the Editor uses green. This tells that each of the editing done on a particular story is still subjected to the final editing done by either the Chief Sub Editor or the Editor.
Technology as said earlier has taken over almost all the industry and of course, any industry that wants to survive must be up-to-date with the technological trends.
The pre press is where the pages of the newspapers are well laid-out and designed. After stories have been edited, the editor and other sub editors will sit in an editorial conference to determine what goes inside the paper for the day. Then, each sub editor is expected to plan their pages if possible. The marketing department also will forward the advertisements that have been paid for with specification of the pages allotted to the advert, all these will be forwarded to editorial department so as to add these pages in their planning process. The newspaper planning is done on a dummy sheet to give a prototype of the final outlook of each pages, this is called page planning. After the planning, the editorial department forwards the already planned pages to the graphic section where the dummy sheets are transformed the a meaningful digital form. At the pre press, text, pictures, cutline, graphics, and graphical illustrations as well as color are put together to form the newspaper. The newspaper which contains six columns, depending on the in-house-policy of the newspaper, is designed at the beginning on the computer, using particular software such as Corel draw, Adobe page maker, Adobe-In-Design, Quark-Xpress and other graphic design software. This software enables the graphic designer to transform the planned pages on the dummy sheet into meaningful copy and printed out in A4, the 77% of the original copy which is A3 (100%). This is actually done to see how perfect the pages are after the planning and the designing and final correction is done on the A3. At the pre press, the compilation of the stories and advert to be printed are done before they are printed out on the newsprint paper.
The press stage is however divided into two parts, they are: Lithographic Stage and the Impression stage. Depending of the technology in use in the newspaper house, more sophisticated newspapers use a technology called CTP (Computer To Plate), some uses CTM (Computer to Machine), while some newspaper still make use of old technology that involve the use of film before the making of plate.
After all the stories and the advert are designed by the graphic designers at the graphics section, as explained at the pre press, the designed pages are taken to the lithographic section where the stories and the advert are registered on the plate. The plate is an aluminum-like iron sheet in the size of the newspaper (A3) that is used to run the printing of the newspaper on the printing machine after the information has been registered on the plate. A CTP machine (Computer to Plate) registers the already designed information at the pre press on the plate. It is the plate at the lithographic section that is fixed on the machine to run impression.
This is where the final product of the designed work comes out. The impression stage is where the printing are run in thousands of copies to be circulated all over the newspapers’ covered areas. At this stage, the plates are hung on the printing machine and the numerous copies are printed out to be circulated and sold to readers. It is very important to note that newspaper to be produced tomorrow are designed and produced a day before the publishing day, both the current pages and advanced pages. To carry out this, all hands are always on the current pages carries the major news of the day while the advance pages carries feature articles, editorial, letters to editor, opinions, advertisements etc. .
The post press is the circulation of the printed copies all over the nation and to different distribution centers across the country.