Newspapers Honored For Production Solutions

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Several newspapers were honored in the sixth annual TechNews Best Practices Awards, to be presented at the Newspaper Association of America’s Newspaper Operations SuperConference in Phoenix next week.

Knight Ridder Digital of San Jose, Calif., won the new media award for creating a Java-powered conversion engine for moving printed words to the Web. The program, Xmultra, allows a non-programming production person to make changes in configuration files, freeing up porgrammers for other tasks.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution won the editorial award for its homegrown election-reporting solution. The Cox newspaper built an AppleScript-based application that allows newsroom staffers to run the system without considerable support from programmers. The system tabulates results from raw data, giving reporters preliminary results without having to conduct manual tallies.

The business award went to The Times of Munster, Ind., for its custom-made production reporting system, which compiles data from all departments and is designed to catch production glitches.

The pre-press award went to Newsday of Melville, N.Y., for a wide-ranging color-quality initiative.

The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer won the press & materials award for the building of a commercial printing operation that brings in $1.5 million annually.

The packaging & distribution honor was awarded to The New York Times Production Systems Group for the creation of an automated dial-in telephone system that tracks the work schedule for the mailroom. Before the phone system was built, messages about workers’ availability were manually transcribed and foremen spent hours verifying work schedules.

Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. won the environmental, health & safety award. The publisher was honored for its P2E2 programs, which are designed to generate less pollution while saving the company money.

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