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The Post
Emma Ockerman

From The Editors Desk: Late nights not unusual to finish 'The Post'

Five nights a week, a team of copy editors works tirelessly to get the paper out and to the presses. 

If you were to watch a movie that prominently featured print journalists in its plot, you might see a newsroom portrayed as a den of fluorescent lighting, screaming telephones (actually on desks, not in pockets or purses) and attractively disheveled — but stressed — editors. If the movie is particularly inventive, a reporter might demand someone, somewhere, "stops the presses." 

Rarely would you see the portrayal of the team that actually puts the paper to bed: copy editors, page designers and the one editor that stays behind to make sure the gears are in place. That, at least, is how The Post operates each "late night." 

Frankly, it wouldn't make for great cinema. But, that's what truly makes for a great paper.

If you're a devoted reader (and I hope you are), you may have noticed that The Post issued "throwback" covers this week to celebrate Homecoming. We used front-page designs from the 1940s Monday and worked our way up to present-day by the end of the week. It wasn't easy to reinvent the front page completely each night, but it looked pretty good.

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For The Post to look good, though, we have designers in Baker 325 meticulously crafting pages until the early morning. Then, copy editors will read through each page to correct grammatical mistakes until they're ready to pass it on to the slot editor. That person has the final say on headlines and, again, reads through the entire paper looking for mistakes. Then another editor looks at it. Then the paper goes to the presses.

Sometimes the paper is done at midnight. Sometimes the paper is done at 3 a.m. On Sunday, when the power suddenly went out in Baker, the paper was done at 6:00 a.m. The late night editors sent the paper from a designer's apartment that night. Regardless, the paper always gets done. 

It's not the most glamorous part of The Post, but it's one of the most valued. 

Emma Ockerman is a junior studying journalism and editor-in-chief of The Post. Have a question for her? Send her an email at or Tweet her at @eockerman. 

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