Herald improves printing process

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Herald, as part of its 120th anniversary celebration, has invested in equipment that streamlines its production process.

More importantly, the new technology has resulted in a sharper, brighter image for Herald readers.

The new equipment allows newsroom and advertising employees to send pages directly to the plate, skipping a process that previously involved chemicals and photographic film.

"The Albany Herald has been the major media company in this community for 120 years," said Mike Gebhart, executive vice president of Southern Community Newspapers Inc. and president and publisher of The Albany Herald.

"This substantial investment in new technology demonstrates our continued commitment to our readers, our advertisers, and our employees. We will continue to be the best source of local information in Southwest Georgia."

Lynn Ridder, director of operations for The Herald, said the computer-to-plate process has numerous advantages, mainly the transfer of a film image to a printing plate.

"This increases the sharpness and detail of the reproduction process," Ridder said. "Computer-to-plate eliminates the potential loss of quality that can occur during the processing of film, scratches and variations in exposure."

Previously, The Herald would create a full-page size negative image on film before sending it to the plate room to be "burned" onto a light-sensitive plate that would be placed on the press. That process carried a potential 5 percent loss in quality reproduction.

"With a CTP, the page is registered in the platesetter during imaging and does not rely on a separate page handle by an operator for registration of the pages through a pin grid system," Ridder said.

The new process eliminates the potential plate blemishes caused by scratches, dust or other materials.

"The biggest and most important step in this whole process is that it is a chemical-free process here at the newspaper," Ridder said. "No photographic film or chemicals are used, thus helping the environment. We have gone green."