Stages of Newspaper Production
When you pick up the morning newspaper from your porch each day, you're likely wondering about the headlines rather than what went into the paper's production. Although every newspaper is slightly different, the stages of production are remarkably straightforward. Many people fulfill a variety of roles before the paper is in your hands.
Whether it's a daily, weekly or monthly newspaper, the first stage of production is news gathering. News gathering can take plenty of forms, including interviewing, reporting and writing, taking photos, gathering press releases and compiling letters to the editor. Every inclusion in the newspaper is gathered during this time, which may last a day or several days, depending on the production schedule of the newspaper. The news is gathered by a combination of reporters, photographers, editors and interns.
To make money, the newspaper is reliant on advertising revenue. Because some newspapers are free and others cost a nominal fee, significant revenue is derived from advertisers. Every newspaper has an advertising staff responsible for selling advertising space to businesses. Some ads may be local, while others may be statewide or national. Ads are sold in a variety of sizes and shapes and placed throughout the newspaper's pages.
A newspaper's composition stage is the process by which the editorial content and advertisements are placed in the paper, edited and finalized. In small companies, the editorial or advertising staff may do this work. At larger publications, a composing team is responsible for this stage. The pages are typically designed with a program such as Adobe InDesign or Quark XPress and then the content is proofread by editors and the advertisements are verified by an advertising manager.
Printing and Distribution
The final major step of a newspaper's production is the printing process. When the newspaper has been composed and proofed, it is sent electronically to a printing shop. For many newspapers, the printing facilities are in the same building as the newspaper's advertising and editorial staff. The images of the newspaper are loaded onto the press and the copies are printed, folded, stacked and bundled. From there, they're sent to or picked up by delivery people who take the newspapers door to door, fill boxes around the community and drop them off at stores.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.