By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
A newspaper is a 24/7 operation from the time a story is written and advertisements are placed to the printing and delivering of the newspaper.
There are several departments that come together every day to provide the news to the community. Each phase of creating a daily newspaper is vital.
“Here at the Times West Virginian we are a 24/7 paper,” publisher of the Times West Virginian Chuck Jessup said. “We are always open; someone is always here.”
The day starts when the sales staff and the business and circulation departments get to work around 8 a.m.
“Our circulation department comes in to answer any misses because sometimes papers are missed,” Jessup said.
The advertising department gets to work on selling ads for the paper. Every day the department starts with a blank page; they place ads on those pages and then they hand them off to the newsroom where stories are placed.
Misty Poe, managing editor of the Times West Virginian, said the newsroom’s job is to create the content of the newspaper.
“The articles within the newspaper are essentially the product that’s getting out to our readers,” she said.
The newspaper content contains breaking news, planned content, feature stories and sports reporting, along with commentary.
“The kind of information that people need and want is what we provide in the newspaper each day,” Poe said.
To create the content, most reporters start around 10 a.m. Each reporter has a specific beat that they write for. One reporter may write about schools in Marion County, while another writes about businesses.
Reporters attend several council, planning, and commission meetings throughout the county. By attending these meetings, reporters can get information for future stories.
“City council might discuss an issue that might not make it into the next day’s paper but gives (reporters) an idea for a story,” Poe said.
Some of the stories come from readers and people in the community. The newsroom also receives press releases on events going on around the community.
“We get emails from sources about events coming up or issues that are happening,” Poe said.
Throughout the day, reporters are interviewing and photographers are taking photos and video. When the interviews are over, reporters come back to the office to write the story.
“The process for writing a news story varies from reporter to reporter,” Poe said.
Around 3 p.m., while reporters are busy interviewing, transcribing notes and writing stories, copy editors are reviewing the next day’s stories and laying out which story goes where.
When a story is done, it is placed under “ready to edit.”
“That means that it goes to a copy editor or news editor who reads it for the first time,” Poe said.
The editor’s job is to look for grammatical errors and ensure the article is in Associated Press style. Editing the story is a crucial part of the newspaper process.
“Our editors are the first readers of the newspaper,” Poe said. “They’re reading the stories and asking themselves whether or not it’s going to translate to the readers that get it at their door each morning.”
In the evening around 6 p.m., after editors read the stories and make any corrections needed, they begin sending the stories to pagination. That’s where the newspaper is put together page by page.
Because the Times West Virginian is multi-media, readers can log onto www.timeswv.com throughout the day to find breaking news or just to catch up on the news during a break.
The newspaper uses Facebook and Twitter to get connect with readers and make the news more accessible for people.
During game nights, sports reporters are taking statistics and interviewing coaches and players. Photographers are at the games taking pictures of the action.
Pagination takes the copy editor’s layout, stories and pictures and designs the next day’s paper. When each page is done, it is sent to the pressroom, where an image of the page is placed on a metal plate that is put on the printing press.
At 10 p.m. the sports reporters are usually back at the office after the games, writing stories for the next day’s newspaper.
Around 11:30 p.m., Gene Goolie, a pressman at the Times West Virginian, said once the plates are printed they are placed onto rollers in the the press depending on what color they are for, yellow, red, blue or black.
Once the press is loaded and the plates are in place, the newspaper begins to physically form.
“We have to watch what the product looks like going out,” Goolie said. “The product has to be as perfect as we can get it.”
As the newspapers are formed and the press folds them, they are moved on a conveyor belt upstairs to the mail room. Employees in the mail room then stack the papers in carts and move them into trucks to take to the distribution center down the road.
Jim Smith, distribution center manager at the Times West Virginian, said the distribution center is where everything comes together.
“This is where all the ads and paper we print come together,” he said. “This is where we put the papers together.”
Around midnight, sections of the paper start being delivered to the distribution center. Employees start immediately putting the newspaper together.
“As soon as we get enough papers to bring down here, that’s when we start,” Smith said.
Here employees use a machine to insert advertisements, flyers and special sections into the daily newspaper.
“They feed the papers into the inserter machine,” Smith said.
Once the newspapers have all sections and advertisements inside, they get pushed over to employees that sort the paper into different routes.
The bundles of papers are then given to carriers starting around 1 a.m. so they can deliver by 6 a.m. Mac McCartney, circulation director at the Times West Virginian, said there are several routes for each carrier.
“We have city routes. We have routes on the East side of the river and North side,” McCartney said. “We cover areas from Clarksburg to Morgantown and from Grafton to Littleton.”
McCartney said right now the newspaper has about 38 carriers.
“It’s a considerable job delivering the papers,” he said.
Once the paper is delivered, the cycle starts over again. All departments make the newspaper possible.
Email Emily Gallagher at email@example.com of follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.