Friday, October 22, 2010

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same in the Newspaper Business

Photo by
Have you ever wondered what goes into printing a newpaper like the Albany Democrat Herald and how much technology has advanced the business of NEWS?

Technology has made it easy to report the news and publish papers and books but the process of printing hasn't changed much. Gone are the typesetters of the past, replaced by computer word processing programs and page designers.  Each page is edited and designed so that the stories and ads fit the columns and pages and then sent to the print editor for print processing.

Typesetter lays out pages.
Photo provided by
Each page is then transferred to thin metal plates which are covered in a light sensitive  emulsion. These plates used to be made of precious metals such as silver and gold.

This is still the process used by newspapers and publishing company today like the Democrat Herald in Albany.

"We don't use plates with silver anymore" stated John Rehley, the commercial press and pre-print supervisor at the Democrat Herald in Albany.

The plates are exposed using a laser and the put through the developing process.The images on the plate are seen as reverse images until they are printed.
The Linotype Model 3. Photo provided by

The plates are then put on the printers drum and transferred to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. This technique is called offset printing. According to Wikipedia, the first rotary offset lithographic printing press was created in England and patented in 1875 by Robert Barclay. This process was later developed in the 19th century to a printing press process called offset lithograph very much like the presses used in today's publishing.

Page Editor at the Democrat Herald work to insure that the pages are ready for publication.

Page editors look over each page on their computer screens for errors and to make sure that all the articles fit the page. Mike Henneke is responsible for editing the obituaries as well as other pages for the Democrat Herald. "I make sure that each obituary is easy for family and friends to cut them out", Henneke stated.

Printer technicians at the Democrat Herald inspect the newspaper for correct alignment.

Newspapers are stack and banded together ready for distribution.
 You would think that with the technology advances of today we could find a better way to publish books and newspapers but it goes back to the old adage of, "if it's not broke don't fix it".

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Three things I feel are the most important of the "100 Things a Reporter Should Not Do

The Golden Rule should be first and foremost in everybody's rule book so why can't we follow it. As a reporter, in any aspect we have a longer list of rules that must be followed, that is unless your a tabloid reporter.

Here are my top three picks from Poynter's "100 Things a Reporter Should Not Do."

#1. Journalists should never stop learning. Even 15 minutes a day helps; learn a new skill or sharpen an old one.

Confucius says,"I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there". In journalism, seeking knowledge and truth is paramount in writing the story. There is always something you can learn from others no matter how young or old they may be. Knowledge is golden.

#2. Journalists should be active community members. If you aren't of the people, you aren't by the people or for the people.

Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, a scientist, a signer of the constitution and a printer and publisher. Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1728 and in 1732 began the publication of Poor Richard's Almanac. Franklin set the bar high for a journalist as he was for the people and extremely active in his community and his country.

Report the news and you become part of something different but something that helped establish this the United States of America.

#3. Journalists should know when stories are best told using words, photos, graphics, video, audio, data or a combination.

What impact does the words on a page give a story? Now couple those words with a photo and your reader is held captive by an image that they will never forget. An example of this is a simple photos taken in 1963 of a young boy saluting his father's casket; that boy was John F. Kennedy, Jr.

September 11, 2001 photos of the World Trade Center attack where all over the front pages of newspapers all over the world, not to mention video of the attack by news agency's and amateur photographers and videographers. This was an event that changed the lives of many americans and those images tell the story.

This is my opinion but I know that there are many people that would agree with me. Remember to do the right thing and don't be evil. Tell the story!

Friday, October 8, 2010

LBCC Visual Arts Club

Art is all around us. It is in the architecture of the buildings we live and work in. It is in the books, magazines and newspapers we read. Art has been used to tell stories, ideas and laws. The artist's job is to communicate and interpret ideas to a visual median.

The graphic artist by definition is a professional who assembles together images to create a piece of design primarily for publications, prints and advertisements. Graphic Artist are often overlooked but their work is evident everywhere.

LBCC has a great Graphics Arts program that prepares students for a career in the arts. Students that are in the program also becomes members of the Visual Arts Club.

The visual arts club at LBCC was first suggested in 1985 by John Aikman who has been an instructor for the graphic design program for 30 years.

"The club has been sighted several times as the most active club on campus and has done many things for charity organizations," stated John Aikman.

The club is one of, if not the only club that will give zero interest signature loans of $100 to students of the graphics program to assist them if needed. Currently the club has approximately 25 members but fine arts major student as well as others are welcome to join.

Each year the graphic arts club holds events to help raise money for the graphic arts program such as valentine boxes, greeting card and post cards. Jasper Hostler, the current club President and his team have organized several events for the club. Coming up for October the club members and other volunteers will be painting pumpkins that will be sold in the courtyard in celebration of Halloween. Please come out and support them and buy a pumpkin.

Jasper Holstler asks, "We need all the help we can get from our club members, and we need our second year students to check in."

Club adviser John Aikman talks to club members about the club and upcoming events.

At a Glance 
The Visual Arts Club meets every Tuesday at 10:30
Location: Graphic Arts room.
General membership is students in the graphic art program but all art students are welcome to join.
Club President: Jasper Hostler
Contact the advisor: John Aikman, 541-917-4545