Stop The Press. No, Stop It. Those Guys are Taking It!
A piece of my past left Hanover today. The printing press from The Evening Sun left town.
This pretty much had to happen because they don’t use it anymore. The printing plant up in York has printed the paper for a while now. Because of my relationships with the papers (I write my Evening Sun column pro bono and freelance for the Daily Record), I don’t want to get into a detailed analysis of the consolidation of services. That’s another discussion for another time that will probably only get me in trouble with someone.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel wistful about the dismantling of the press, the same one which former editor Stan Hough had to halt because I accidentally wrote a headline when I was working alone overnight in sports once (and the morning folks missed it in the proofing process) that said Greg Norman had a three-shit lead in a golf tournament.
Or something like that. I only remember the one word which almost spelled the end of my career, at least in my head when Stan showed me the offending header, only to let me know he had fixed it and I owed him – after a few seconds of letting me freak out, of course. I still regret not keeping one of the few hundred papers which printed before he saw the error and righted my wrong.
That’s the press we used to BS around some mornings or late Friday or Saturday night with the guys who worked down there, a great mingling of different parts of the paper. The press which i would walk by sometimes just for the hell of it instead of heading straight up to the newsroom.
Some think that print is dead, that moves like the Patriot News to limit the number of the days it prints signal a bold new future (a future that has their most recognizable reporter jumping ship to CNN the first chance she gets). Others think online news is just a fad and you can only truly practice the craft with ink on your hands and a proportion wheel in your desk.
Neither are right. To spread news, you need to embrace both sides of the equation, in my opinion. Getting rid of a printing press doesn’t merit a celebration or a funeral. It doesn’t mean one side in this debate won or lost. It’s really just the admission of a fiscal reality in the existing ownership structure of the paper. And a little piece of my past gone forever. I’m gonna miss that big, orange bastard.