Closer Look

Printing a newspaper deemed a ‘fascinating’ process

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Deena Bouknight

In preparation for the inaugural printing of Franklin’s newest newspaper Macon Sense, an assemblage of editorial staff and representatives from the publishing group visited Edwards Printing in Seneca, S.C., on Sept. 12 to learn the mechanics of the printing process.

While the editorial staff was somewhat familiar with the process, many others in the group were not, and the technology and hands-on attention to detail intrigued those present.

Casey Wilson, Macon Sense publisher and executive director of the nonprofit Kavod Family, learns about the printing process with board member Tom Miller and Edwards Printing’s General Manager Hal Welch.

Tom Miller, a Kavod Family board member and an assistant Franklin High School women’s tennis coach, accompanied the group to Seneca.

“I didn’t realize the technical difficulty,” commented Miller. “The speed in which papers are produced is just fascinating. Each individual color has to be dropped onto a page via an etched aluminum sheet.

“And the people at Edwards Printing were so informative to let the staff know what needs to be done on the layout and graphic design end to avoid registration issues. It was all so amazing to me.”

Edwards Printing presses have the capability to print 50,000 newspapers per hour.

Dozens of reams of newspaper print paper line the floors at Edwards Printing in preparation for being loaded onto the printer.

“Whoever designed the process of the modern-day printing assembly line had to be a genius,” added Miller. “The massive spools of paper go through the machine, and the machine doesn’t even stop for the new roll of paper to immediately follow the end of the previous roll. And then there are the giant vats of different color inks. It’s incredible.”

Miller said that by viewing the process firsthand, he has more appreciation of all that is involved in printing a newspaper.

Edwards Printing’s Operation Manager Brad Snyder discusses quality control issues with Macon Sense editor Teresa Tabor, and salesman Jay Baird.

“I never thought printing a newspaper was a big deal, but it is. It’s impressive. You look at a paper and you might not place much value in what it took to get it out there to consumers, not including all the writing, design and layout. It’s a meticulous process. Do we still use a newspaper to roll up and whack a bug or line the bottom of a bird cage? Of course, but a newspaper is invaluable in a community, and I’m now more grateful to whoever is involved in producing newspapers – from start to finish. It’s a service to the public.”