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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Colton, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Apologies for the subject line, but it seems appropriate on a couple of fronts.

    Watched our presses through their final run after 43 years of service Thursday night and, in truth, it was so sad. Watching the guys dutifully go through their steps as usual and then finish and shut it down was heartbreaking. Shaking hands and exchanging hugs as we said what will surely be our final goodbyes was heartbreaking.

    Last night, I went and stood in the darkened pressroom several times. The realization of how many people have come through that department during my time there (26 of the 43 years of its existence), it was a bit haunting, almost as if I could hear the laughs we shared, etc. coming to life.

    As I walked out before heading home before the sun came up this morning, I saw my buddy's ink-stained ballcap hung on its nail... and, yes, I admit, I lost it.

    Wishing the 20 good people who lost their jobs to this outsourcing to a shop an hour away nothing but the best. They deserved so much better than this.

    Thanks for listening to me whine, everyone.
  2. Tucsondriver

    Tucsondriver Member

    I feel ya. Important to remember that people are the essence of what makes this business special. That we're people putting together a product about people for people. It's the part that gets lost when we worry about hyperlink this and tag that and UVs and page views and all that crap. And of course it all goes dark when the presses roll for the last time. RIP said shop.
  3. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    You're not whining, and don't think that way.

    I always loved seeing and hearing the presses, talking with the guys, watching them operate the knobs, ink, controls and whatever else. The first few come out, they look and start adjusting. The ink is fixed, the alignment jiggled, just a few imperceptible bumps of this or that by the guy at the controls.

    Before long it's perfect: crisp, new, heady with the aroma of ink, unsullied until you open the pages and turn them one by one, proofing everything from the date and page number to that head with the word "Public" you read three times and check again to make sure the "l" is in there. You laugh at the Dilbert strip, read tomorrow's Horoscope today and wonder how many people will do the same just a few hours after the mighty presses stop rolling, churning and singing.

    Then the Internet fucked up everything.
  4. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    A couple of years ago, a writer from a paper that had its press operations moved elsewhere as a cost-cutting move (Gannett) came down to our newsroom to file his story from a game he covered here. Our presses had been running sections for the Sunday paper when he arrived.

    When he walked in, he said it felt good to actually "smell the ink. I miss that."

    Our pressroom guys are great to deal with. They love my department because we (usually) get done on time. So they're always accommodating if we need to stop to re-plate because of a headline error or something like that.

    It's sad how many people I know who work at papers that print at another newspaper, and how those changes have affected their deadlines and their sections.
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    When my last paper closed, I stayed in the building as a stringer for the competition, The other paper only made two hires -- both had their purpose, neither was loved by their peers.
    Tho I had been there for just over a year, I used to walk to my part of the building, sit in a chair that had been mine for 54 weeks, but someone elses for 26 years and feel the same angst and pain you did.
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    When classes of school kids or members of community groups showed up for tours of newspapers, what, invariably, used to be the highlight, whether at a small paper or a major metro?

    That's right: watching the presses run.

    This isn't whining, Colton. It's giving the essence of our operation its due.
  7. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    We don't bring those classes in for tours anymore. The press is 25 miles away. The staff works mostly after school now. What is there to see? Hey, kids, take a look at the incredible world of 100-percent commission, non-salaried advertising sales?
  8. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Note that I said "used to be the highlight"...Yeah, as technology advances and the industry changes, there's no doubt that something is being lost.
  9. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Well-Known Member

    ughh...sorry man. We have a press on-site at our shop as well, and I hope all the hard-working people that work on it can stay for a long, long time. A huge photo greets us at work everyday of the first press that stood in that same spot more than 100 years ago.
  10. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    We do get the tour groups, usually 2-3 kids and some parents. Marketing magager pretty much has the routine down, and I usually try to have something to show them, like working on a photo in Photoshop, when they come by.

    One day, though, I'd like to get into a screaming match with a reporter over something in a story , then come to blows just as the group wanders by ... of course, the reporter is in on the gag!

    That said ... we shut down our press a few years ago. Every now and then, since they were temporarily storing the morgue in there, I'd go back and see it still threaded with that last run. (siiiiiggghhhh)
  11. I eavesdropped on one of those tours run by the marketing/advertising people in our shop. She ran the kids through every advertising office in the building, and when they got to the newsroom, I heard her say, "This is the newsroom. Not much happens in here."
  12. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    That's what I always told a former boss who liked to be surrounded by his reporters, instead of having them out, you know, covering stuff.

    But yeah, I hear ya.

    Sad news about the presses. I raise my glass (of coffee).

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