Posted by: Tony Brown | November 23, 2010

Suprising facts about the business of NEWSPAPERS

Our journalism class took a tour of the Albany Democrat Herald this Wednesday to see how the news room and paper operate. The production of a newspaper can be very stressful but rewarding. The demands placed on reporters to get the story and finish it can at times be unnerving as deadlines draw near.

In the newsroom at the Democrat Herald this didn’t seem the case now that the paper has switch to a morning edition. Reporters and editor where still busy at work to write and edit stories but the demand to finish before going to press was more relaxed.

The Democrat Herald has two editions of the paper, one being of course the printed copy and the other is online. With the exception of breaking news, the online edition takes more of a back seat. Stories are posted online after the printed edition has been edited and gone to press.

“The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is post the online edition,” said Steve Lundeberg, one of the editors at the paper and our tour guide.

It suprised me to hear that the online edition was not taken more serious as the business of reporting news has made a shift to more electronic copy. “I feel that there will always be a need for local papers,” said Lundeberg.

The Democrat Herald also prints sales circulars for inserts and mail and the paper also prints the Gazette Times which corvers the news in Corvallis. The D.H. and the G.T. are owned by Lee Enterprises out of Davenport, IA.

In today’s economic standing, the main costs for newspaper are the newsprint and employees. A roll of paper can weight 900 lbs and the printing press can go through a lot of paper each day. Advertisements is the main resource to offset the costs of production. What used to be the biggest ads where car sales, real estate and career, have now dwindled with the start of web sites such as Craigslist.

The Democrat Herald has on a staff of approximately 100 employees which includes reporters, photographers, editors, printers, marketing, and other production staff. Some of the staff members are also responsible for covering events for the Gazette Times. What surprised me was that there are only two photographers at the paper and some times they have to cover for both papers. This makes for a very busy schedule.


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