Leadership Frankfort MEDIA Challenge Day Tours Frankfort’s State Journal; Newspaper Production Process Summarized in Pictures by Memories Photography Frankfort Kentucky

Leadership Frankfort MEDIA Challenge Day Tours Frankfort’s State Journal; Newspaper Production Process Summarized in Pictures by Memories Photography Frankfort Kentucky

The second stop in Leadership Frankfort’s Media Challenge Day 2011 was the Frankfort, Kentucky daily newspaper, The State Journal. Frankfort, Kentucky’s state capitol city, brings a wide variety of news to its citizenry. The State Journal covers local, state, national and international news within its daily pages.

Upon arrival to The State Journal’s facilities, Leadership Frankfort Class Members were welcomed immediately by two receptionists who stayed busy on their phones. We saw newspapers stacked for sale for fifty cents each, a bench decorated with a collage of Frankfort clippings from The State Journal, John Higginbotham our Media Challenge Day chairperson chatting about our day’s schedule details, and Ann Dix Maenza, The State Journal Publisher, waiting to be our official tour guide. Members of the class of 2010-2011 were able to spend a few minutes relaxing, laughing and sharing for just a few moments between the media presentations and demonstrations we enjoyed throughout our busy day.


Do you read or subscribe to The State Journal? Tee Shirts ‘U Read The State Journal’ are now available for 5.00. Other media published in house include the newspaper AdAdvantage and online MarketPlaceKentucky.com


Ann Maenza conducted our tour of The State Journal building, offices, departments and press room in action. Ann’s informative explanations of the daily newspaper production process and seeing the process in action were the most exciting part of our day. She explained that the Advertising and News Departments start the newspaper process. Staff work to create ads and begin the writing processes. Here she shows us how ads are placed in column inches of newsprint on computers individually before placing edited ads and stories together on large digital news pages within computer programs. The editors in the newsroom and ad department finalize the pages before the digital pages go to Graphics to have the image transferred to full page photographic negatives.


Here Jordan Morgan watches the full-page photographic negatives print, he records the time each page is printed, then cuts each negative and passes it on to Stephen Estes who uses the plate burner machine to make the aluminum plates that will be mounted on the printing press to print the newspaper.


Stephen Estes, Press Foreman, shows Leadership Frankfort members the full-page photographic negative before he places it on the plate burner machine to produce the aluminum plates for printing. This plate burner machine etches the image of each newspaper page onto thin aluminum plates. Pages with color photos or type require extra plates. The plates have a positive image of the page.


The next set of images shows the State Journal offset printing press room, with the huge web press and the staff printing the daily newspaper. This printing press is known as a web press because it uses streaming rolls of newsprint instead of individual sheets of newsprint.  The process is called offset because the positive-image, metal plates do not touch the paper going through the press. Instead, the plates transfer their inked image to a roller which prints the newspaper pages. The press is huge, as you can see in the pictures. The press itself is 2-3 stories high and fills the press room that looks to be the size of a football field. Offset printing presses use the giant newsprint paper rolls that we had just seen in the storage warehouse. It is amazing that this massive printing press did not tear nor damage the comparatively delicate newsprint as the process wound newsprint off the bulky rolls. The newsprint winds up and down, back and forth through the press. The web press prints black, white and color pages, cuts individual pages in the appropriate sequence, divides pages into separate sections of headline news, spectrum, sports and classifieds, and then finally folds completed newspapers with multiple sections ready to stack and disseminate and distribute appropriately.

The circulation of The State Journal is 9,000 on weekdays and 10, 000 on Sundays. Approximately 70% are home delivered, 30% are single copy sales on news racks and in convenience stores and 100 individual papers are mailed out to subscribers.


Ray Vangundy is bending one of the plates as the Leadership Frankfort class looks on. Each plate is bent so that it can be secured to the cylinder of printing press. 


Nathan Sanford receives the bent plate from Ray Vangundy and then secures the positive print aluminum plates to the printing cylinder of the press.


Publisher Ann Maenza answers questions while we wait for the printing presses to start the day’s printing. Here we are in the news print storage warehouse. The news print rolls in the warehouse, shown in these pictures, is approximately enough inventory to produce 45 days of The State Journal newspaper. Full tractor trailer loads of newsprint are purchased at one time in an effort to save fuel and shipping expense. Each State Journal daily paper requires 2 of these huge rolls of newsprint and a Sunday paper requires 3 rolls.


Along the way, papers are checked for print quality and adjustments can be made as needed.


The press room is huge! The printing press itself is massive, noisy, effective, efficient, productive, and amazing to those of us who had never seen one in action before!


Ann continues explaining to those close enough to hear through the roar of the printing press rolling off the daily newspapers.


The newsprint winds and turns through the press, more gently than you would think. No tears, no bends, no errors, just perfect newspapers roll out on the belt at the end.


HOT OFF THE PRESS newspapers bring smiles to the faces of Frankfort’s Leadership participants Lamar, Penny and Melanie.


Newspapers rolls off the press ready to be distributed city-wide.


As we leave the press room and head to the conference room for more Q & A with staffers, I spot another Kodak moment. The staff has the headlines pages for two consecutive weeks posted on the newsroom wall to keep the current events fresh on their minds.


The State Journal staff members Publisher Ann Maenza, Opinion Editor Ron Herron, Reporter Charlie Pearl,  Advertising Manager Lloyd Lynch, Spectrum Editor Phillip Case, and Reporter Katharine Wasson gather in front of the Leadership Frankfort Class Members to frankly discuss issues important to the community and the local newspaper process. The candid conversation was completely honest. Discussions twisted from laughter and smiles into more serious tones concerning the newspaper’s current obituary policy. Katherine Wasson, a young staff reporter was called in when the discussion turned to current social media and its effects on the newspaper industry. The State Journal can now be found on Facebook and Twitter.


The Leadership Frankfort Class of 2010 – 2011 listen and participate in discussions with The State Journal staff concerning our home, our community, Frankfort, Kentucky.


The Goal: READ READ READ is achieved immediately with class members, checking out The State Journal daily newspaper, first in print news for Frankfort, Kentucky.


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