The Daily newsroom
(All photos were taken by Dan Wybrant)

With the release of the iPad, newspaper technology changed radically after being relatively static for almost a century.  These photos show how the digital revolution hit The Daily's newsroom and the "back shop."


Like most newspapers, The Daily relies on a wire service that delivers state, national and world news over a teletype machine hooked to a phone line that processes data at 110 or 300 baud.  Jim Benson looks over the day's wire news to determine if anything on the wire is important enough to displace LOLcats in the day's news budget.

As a first step in producing The Daily, an editor (Gail Rhea) makes up an assignment sheet.  A marvel of mechanical engineering, this gadget is a true EPA Energy Star:  it uses no electricity whatever.  A skilled journalist can write a story at a rate of perhaps 60 words per minute.  Its only downside is that none of the original keystrokes can be preserved:  someone has to retype the story again when transferring it to the iPad app, inevitably introducing new typographic errors in the process.

The editor gives an assignment to a reporter (Susan Truberg), specifying the scope and length of the story.

The reporter then makes arrangements for interviews or actually conducts interviews using a telephone, using a network run by AT&T.

Sometimes a reporter uses an ultra-compact portable tape recorder to tape an interview and then checks the tape to assure accurate quotes.  Here Ray Estrada double-checks his notes.

Once the story has been written, the reporter, in this case Jeannette Montgomery, prepares the initial draft for editing...


...and takes the first edit pass with a pencil.

Once the reporter turns in the story, the assigning editor looks it over to be sure it covers all of the desired angles and is of a suitable length to fit into two iPad pages in The Daily's app. 

A page editor then adds the story to a dummy of the page, estimating its length according to a traditional and usually reliable formula!

Next, the "slotman," Lynn O'Dell, working at the traditional U-shaped copy desk, either assigns a copy reader to go over the story or does it herself.  A good copy desk is a crucial part of the editorial quality control process at any newspaper, and The Daily is no exception.

Meanwhile, photo editor Michael Salas picks up his assignments...

...and goes out to shoot pictures with a Nikon DSLR.

The photographer gets names and other information from everyone visible in his photos, of course.


Back in the office, cartoonist Tom Haygood completes his work.


Next: The Daily's production facility turns out iPad app-ready pages.