The production department at any paper is the where all the information produced by the newsroom, advertising and all the others is made physically manifest. The design, layout and general “look” of the paper is made there.

Production lays out the information using design programs and usually prints what are called “dummies,” which are prints of the individual pages that allow the staff to see what paper will look like before its sent in for publishing.

Generally, papers print at night in order to hit the stands early in the morning. The actual printing of the paper is done either in-house if the paper is large enough to have a printing department or it is printed by a local company that has the necessary equipment.

Production is that last place a paper goes before it is printed, meaning that any and all discrepancies must be fixed before it leaves for the presses. But it also is the department that is closest to the deadline set by the publisher in order get the papers printed on time and missing that deadline can spell disaster for a newspaper.

The assistant production manager at the Independent Florida Alligator gives us a brief breakdown of what production actually does.

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