Printing press tour connects reporter to big production picture

Daily Monitor employee Apolo Edson Arinaitwe points out a pressroom feature to Media School student Madeline Dippel. (Gwynneth Hurley | The Media School)

On Thursday, we started our jobs at the Daily Monitor. After two days of tourism and two days of classes from the African Centre for Media Excellence, or ACME, I was ready to begin our internship.

It’s intimidating to be in a newsroom, especially one in a foreign country where you don’t understand all the cultural norms. Many members of staff came to introduce themselves as we settled in, and we greatly appreciated that. We were able to meet some of the journalists and editors we will be working closely with.

Before we left on Friday, we had a special treat when one of the printing press staff at the Monitor gave us a tour of the press. The whole process takes place in the same building as the newsroom.

The ink is stored in huge vats. When the press runs, the paper is sorted and moves extremely fast through the machine as the ink dries. After that, workers in another room put the pages in the right order. It was impressive how quickly their hands moved.

I am grateful we had the opportunity to tour the printing press because I have never seen one. It’s easy to forget about the rest of the work that goes into making a newspaper after you send in the final version of your story. Seeing the process of how the paper is physically put together and meeting the people involved was really interesting.

I feel as though I am learning so much every day during my time here. I am continually grateful I have been able to come to this country and interact with so many people, all of whom are eager to share their culture and lives with us.