Lowveld Media publishes a variety of publications within the traditional Lowveld area. These include provincial, regional and various town publications and a cross border newspaper with emphasis on local news and content.
The production of all Lowveld Media publications are centralised and this includes subbing, layout and in most instances advert designs. But, the company’s printing press also prints a variety of outside publications and advertisements.
For more information on getting your newspaper or advertisement printed here, contact Lowveld Media on 013 754 1600.
How Lowveld Media gets the news to you
The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenburg around 1440 is regarded by many as one of the greatest events in the second millennium, and forms the foundation of the modern printing process, opening the world to the quick and efficient spread of knowledge and ideas.
However, printing is merely one step in the publishing process. The industry is evolving constantly, and so is Lowveld Media. To keep up, the company installed its Goss printing press in 2006 and switched to the computer-to-plate process in 2011 and upgraded its offices.
Whether a book, magazine, insert or newspaper is published, there’s usually a whole editorial process behind it and a lot of factors that play a role. But how does it work?
Lowveld Media’s editorial process:
With an editorial staff of more than 30, Lowveld Media boasts about 17 publications. Journalists and editors meet on a daily basis to discuss and commission stories and photographs, and plan following editions.
Each story handed in by deadline is approved by an editor and checked for style and language errors by subeditors, after which the news editor assigns each story to a page in the newspaper or magazine by means of a “dummy” depicting the advertisements and pagination for the specific edition.
The layout team then places the content onto the pages, after which the hard copy is proofread again by the subeditors for the correction of any remaining mistakes.
Each newspaper consists of various editorial sections such as hard news, community, entertainment, letters, features and sport.
After each page has been signed off by the news editor, the graphics department takes over to prepare the plates for printing.
The number of pages of the publication is determined by the amount of advertisements sold by a specific deadline. Lowvelder’s size is usually calculated according to a 50% editorial-advertisement ratio (loading), keeping in mind printing restrictions (the number of pages can only be increased in increments of four).
With editorial content and advertisements, there are also a classifieds section and inserts.
The advertising and classifieds departments sell ads and classifieds, while the graphics department is responsible for designing house and client advertisements (optional).
It recently switched to the computer-to-plate printing process, eliminating an additional step of creating a film and transferring it to a plate.
Layout to CTP:
Computer to plate (CTP) is an imaging technology used in modern printing. An image created on a desktop publishing programme by the layout team is converted to a pdf document and output directly to a printing plate, subsequently increasing sharpness, efficiency and preventing possible loss of quality.
Lowveld Media’s two AGFA CTP systems plays out 133 plates per hour. Then the plates goes to the Goss press which enables us to print a 32 page full colour section at 37 000 copies per hour.
The factory literally runs like a well-oiled machine and employs about 30 workers. Lowveld Media does not only print its own publications, but the press runs continuously, also to print various other newspapers and advertisements. Certain time slots are allocated for each task, hence the importance of deadlines.
In 2006 Lowveld Media became the first community newspaper to install a Goss community printing press that was imported from Japan.
It is still in use today, and prints up to 32 full-colour tabloid pages at a time, delivering 37 000 copies per hour and is fully computerised. Should any edition be larger than 32 pages, two or more runs are printed.
The plates are positioned on the cylinders after which the paper is printed. The colour, registration and water are controlled by a touch screen.
Spot checks on the colour and registration are also done continuously to ensure sharp print quality.
Lowveld Media’s printing press also prints a multitude of independent publications.
– Spar Lowveld
– Spar Malalane
– Numbi Tiles
– Nkomazi Observer
– Nkomazi Minutes
– Jornal CBE
– Swazi Shopping
– Swazi Minor
-Swazi Golf Week
• Lowveld Media forms part of the Caxton group.
• Collating – inserting loose advertisements or flyers (inserts) in newspapers – is still done by hand, providing additional jobs for about 15 employees.
• The distribution area includes mainly the Lowveld region, but some publications are distributed throughout the province. This is done by the the company’s distribution department.
• Printing ink is imported and manufactured by Solchem, also a Caxton/CTP company. Coldset ink is manufactured specially for the newspaper factories.
• Unsold papers are returned to Lowveld Media and recycled.
• It uses 114 tons of paper on average per month.
• Approximately 1 800 plates are burned each month.
• About 3 070 litres of ink are used each month.
• Lowveld Media also owns a special press that is used to print marketing posters seen on lamp poles on the street on publication days.
And that’s how Lowveld Media brings residents in the area their news!