It is a day written in gold for all citizens of India. An Indian shooter has reached the finals of the Olympics. Every Indian is eagerly awaiting the finals to begin, to encourage, to share, the joy of watching an Indian winning Olympic gold medal for the first time in history. His success will be the headline news in India.
It will probably make the front-page of all Indian newspapers both regional and national. The editors have a choice on how to cover the match. They can rely on various new-agencies and/or they can send their own sports reporter and a staff photographer to cover the event live. The editors decide to fly out their own team.
The reporters and photographers arrive in Beijing well ahead of the event. This enables them to prepare reports on the finalists to build-up interest in the competition.
The match is due to start. The results will be out soon. The reporters and photographers have to send their reports and photographs within the deadline prescribed.
The press box is busy. The reporters can type their copy into their portable word processor. Their laptop is a remote terminal of their papers main computer. When their stories are complete, the reporters simply attaches the audio coupler or adapter to the telephones, key the number of their newspaper, and the text is sent along the wires directly into their computers thousands of kilometers away. A 2000-word article is sent in less than a minute.
The final of the shooting competition ends in a brilliant and sensational victory for the Indian. In addition to their reports already sent, the reporters will now interview the winner.
The photographers request other international news agencies for picture-transmission equipment. The photographers processes their films and then feeds the best negative into a transmitter. This dispatches the image along a telephone line which emerges as high-quality duplicate negatives back in their respective newspaper computers.
After interviewing the shooter, the reporters prepare their final copy, rearranging and correcting the text on the laptop visual display unit screen and transmits their follow-up article. This gives more details and visuals than is found in the news-breaking television, radio, and print reports. This final report contains additional information about his future prospects, his family background, his other interests, and an account of his lifestyle.
The respective sports editors at various newspaper offices access the report on their desktop screen. As per their discussions earlier at an editorial meeting, the report will be the sports page lead. There will also be a front-page news item adapted from the main article which also the editor can access on his own screen.
The subeditor then checks, corrects, and adjusts it to fit the space allocated on the page by the sports editor. The subeditor can access on his screen an image of the whole page showing all the other stories, headlines, and pictures plus advertisements that have already been set.
The subeditor knows exactly what space there is, as the editor has already chosen the picture that will illustrate the article.
The draft is now finally edited on screen to fit the space and an apt headline written to fit the picture and article. If needed, a picture caption is also written by the subeditor.
Now all copy for the first edition must be set in type to meet the deadline. This is done up with all the other copy for conversion into type by a high-speed phototypesetting machine. A 2000-word article is typeset in less than a minute.
The typesetter produces a ‘bromide’ (a print of the type on photographic paper) for positioning on the page according to the approved layout. This can be done by using the computer.
There are many newspapers that still prefer to physically cut up the bromides and paste them into position on a page-size card. The subeditor rechecks the article and picture and makes sure that no mistakes have happened before or during typesetting.
When all is set and ready (text, headlines, pictures, layout, and design) the complete page is photographed and a film negative (a large black and white film) generated from which the printing plates (plastic-coated zinc or aluminium printing plates) for the presses are made.
The drafts are circulated by the sports editor and the editor. Once the pages have been approved, and checked by the proofreaders, they are taken to the printing department.
Now, the final reports are ready to be photographically transferred to plastic-coated zinc or aluminium printing plates. The plates pickup the images in ink and transfer them to the paper.
The papers are now ready for distribution. The papers should reach the customers well in time. The success here is determined by the speed at which the newspapers distribute their copies to their readers. To help them achieve this, they first distribute the first edition to the far-flung areas and then to the nearer areas. These latter editions may look a bit different from the earlier editions as a result of fresh news breaking out which may in turn claim space on the front page.
All the newspapers in India are sold out the next morning. As all citizens of India are enjoying and discussing this first Olympic gold medal, quoting from various newspaper articles and pictures, the sports reporters and photographers are awaiting their next assignment from their editors. For these reporters and photographers their day is yet to begin.