News Agencies

For many years, virtually every daily newspaper in the United States subscribed to the news feed of the Associated Press, an association of newspapers or United Press International.

Both services had bureaus in every state and sometimes additional reporters in key cities. The Associated Press still exists and provides the local and national coverage. UPI, which was a favorite of smaller papers because of the less-expensive subscription rate, disappeared as a newspaper service because of declining revenues, a number of sales and other factors.

Many of the major national publications, like the New York Times, offer subscription services to individuals and other newspapers. Most daily papers today belong to a chain or group that owns several newspapers. They may exchange stories with each other and may even have a correspondent in Washington.

As a result of the Internet and the decreased in the number of daily newspapers, the dependence upon what were once called the “wire services,” is decreasing. The stories were transmitted over telephone lines to a device that produced a printed copy and a six-punch level computer tape. The tape ran through the generation of typesetters designed for that very purpose as the old-fashioned hot lead typesetters were replaced by new techniques.

Today, instead of having mammoth machines that could read the computer tape, most newspapers use a combination of desktop computers, laser printers and pagination software along with digital pictures to produce the daily editions.

About the only hold-over from past generations are the massive presses used to print newspapers. The presses have been upgraded and replaced over the years. They are extremely large machines that move newsprint through a series of rollers and other surfaces repeatedly transferring the image to the image of the page to the giant rolls of newsprint. The need for trained craftsman to handle the actual printing of the paper has not disappeared.

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