Guide to The Bee

Printing The Newspaper

Published: Wednesday, May. 23, 2007
Updated: Thursday, May. 24, 2007 - 2:11 pm

Our newspaper is printed through a process known as offset lithography. The information is formatted by an editor on a computer and the completed page is sent to another computer where a same size photographic negative is created. The negative is then used to create multiple printing plates through another photographic process we need multiple plates, as we use multiple presses.

The printing plates are mounted on a cylinder, where rollers carrying ink and water come in contact with the plate. The water and ink are transferred to the printing plate: the ink sticks to the image area of the plate, and the non-imaged area is kept clean by the water (in a nutshell, this is the process of lithography). The inked image from the plate is pressed on (literally "off-set") to another cylinder that is wrapped in rubber. The image from the rubber cylinder is offset again to the paper as it passes by the imaged cylinder.

Pages are printed on large webs of paper, with up to four pages across, front and back, with the same page repeating every 22" of web length. By printing multiple pages, on multiple webs of paper at the same time, these printed ribbons of newsprint are overlaid together, then are folded, cut free from the web of paper, and then folded again. The complete paper is then sent to the packaging center.

In the packaging center, advertising supplements can be inserted into the paper, along with other pre-printed sections, to reduce the number of parts that are delivered to the carrier. The papers are loaded onto large machines, where they are opened to the middle of the paper, and the preprints are automatically dropped into the "jacket" created when the paper is opened. The inserted paper is counted and stacked on special equipment, and then strapped in a bundle. The bundle of papers are loaded on a cart, then on to a delivery truck, and sent to the distribution centers where the carriers pick them up. The next stop for the paper is on the customer's front porch, a long night's journey into day.

Commitment to the environment

More than 75% of the newsprint used by The Sacramento Bee contains recycled fiber. At least 50% of fiber content is from recycled, post-consumer waste.

In addition, The Sacramento Bee donates money and in-kind services to area non-profit organizations whose mission is protect the environment and promote conservation and recycling.

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