By Steven Adamo
After 44 years in the business, News Publishers Press is closing down. According to Prepress Supervisor Joven Calingo, the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the printing business in general, affecting many printers locally. Rising costs also had a major impact.
East Los Angeles College Campus News began printing with News Publishers Press when the business was founded in 1978. The service was originally named News Type Services, Inc. Even though the Los Angeles Community College District thought the cost was high at the time, ELAC Campus News adviser Jean Stapleton said it was worth it. “They are such good printers,” Stapleton said. “They always tried to keep prices reasonable and they did good work.”
Before 1978, ELAC Campus News staff had to use a machine at LA City College called the Linotype. The machine used a way of setting type for newspapers using hot lead. Once the pages were set, a single set of pages was printed and transported to the printer. Unlike digital typesetting of today, Stapleton said an operator would input each line of type into the Linotype machine. If the article didn’t fit, Stapleton said that students would have to edit on-the-spot.
In 1988, the LACCD had urged Stapleton to switch to a printer that charged less than News Type Services. ELAC Campus News briefly printed with Rio Hondo Valley Publishers before they went out of business. Stapleton was able to renegotiate a contract with News Type and by April of 1991, Campus News was printing with the service again.
By this time, the ELAC Journalism Department was using computers to build newspaper pages, beginning with a 512k Apple Computer with MacWrite software. By the late 1990s, Stapleton won a copy of Microsoft Office at a trade show, making it easier for students to lay out pages.
Stapleton said that students constructed a chart on how to print headlines, which would have to be cut and pasted onto a piece of cardboard. After the page was all glued together, students would have to drop off the pages at the printer, oftentimes in the middle of the night.
When the ELAC Journalism Department moved to the E7 building in 2004, Stapleton said the school started investing more money into the Journalism department. New Apple Macintosh computers and desktop publishing software like Aldus Pagemaker started being used. This program would later be bought by Adobe and renamed InDesign.
Though Stapleton has seen many transformations within the newspaper business, it was the last ten years that ELAC Campus News has been able to digitally submit newspaper files. In 2010, News Type Services, Inc changed their name to News Publishers Press.