A Tour of the Observer-Dispatch, by Sniffy

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My youngest son, Sniffy, was so inspired by our recent tour of the Observer-Dispatch newspaper organization in Utica, that he penned an essay. Looks like I am in for some heavy competition-- he's got the markings of a great travel blogger! I proudly present his essay for your reading enjoyment, and without editing from his mom.

Tour of the O.D.

We just took a tour of the O.D. today, and I enjoyed it very much. The "guide" was a lady named Michelle. First they took us to the news room where we met Bill Cannon. He was very friendly and talkative. He showed us all the different sections of the news room and what they did there. There were three parts: the sports department, the copy department, and the media department. In the sports department, they gathered information about sports events. They weren't there at the time, because they come at night, when the events happen. There wasn't very much to see or talk about there.

Next was the media department, where they gathered other important news and events besides sports, such as a fire or car accident. They also come at night.

And then there was the copy department. Here, they organize what the paper will look like. This was where we met Fran. He was the person who edits to O.D. website. He even showed us the idea of the new website that will come out in about a week! We also saw how they did video clips, like making the background, the on-screen text, etc. It was a great experience.

Next we saw how they put advertisements on the paper. They simply "copy and paste" the picture to the page. There wasn't much to this.

After that, we saw the room where they stacked, organized, and folded the newspapers. The room looked like a factory, and the machines were very loud.

Next Michelle showed us the printing machine. It was HUGE! We were on a balcony, so we couldn't touch the machines (they were dirty anyway), and we didn't stay long.

After that we went to the room where a machines makes plates, which are light-weight sheets of metal with ink arranged for the pictures and words. It was interesting watching as the guy showed us how it worked.

Next we took a quick peek at the customer service area. There wasn't much to this.

After that we wrapped things up, said good-bye to Michelle. When we went out, Mom took a picture of the building, and headed for home. It had been a great trip.

My favorite part was about making the website. It is interesting seeing how they edit things, put things up, and take things down. It was neat seeing what the website will look like in a week, too! It was a wonderful experience.

I shot a brief video of what I could of the machinery that collated and sorted the printed papers. It was fascinating and I wish I could have spent more time watching it!

I posted a full narrative with photos over at my New York Traveler.net blog. You can read it here.

1 remarks
Mrs. W said...

What a great narrative--well written!

An interesting idea to tour a newspaper... I have friends that work at the Sentinel. I should ask for a visit, eh?

9:35 PM  

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