What goes on behind the scenes at a community newspaper?

Kailey Mgrdichian

Kailey Mgrdichian


By Kailey Mgrdichian
Northeast News
August 6, 2014

You read the newspaper every week, but do you know what it takes to make one?

There are the emails, the stories, the proofreading, the layout, the printing and finally the packaging. I learned today how the Northeast News is made. I first took a tour of the building, and learned about the morgue upstairs. This one isn’t for bodies; instead, this one is for newspapers. Newspapers from 1964 to the present week filled the second level. There are also advertiser insert pieces ads upstairs, to be inserted in to the newspaper. Paid advertisements are a newspaper’s life blood, in both the printed product and the online edition. The rest of the work is on computers and journals. It all starts with an ongoing review of local news stories, emails – 200-300 a day on average – and a review of online blogs about local events.

Today I shadowed Joe Jarosz to see what a Managing Editor at a weekly community paper does on a day-to-day basis. We interviewed Meghan Jansen, Public Information Manager for KC Streetcar Constructors, at a construction site near Third and Holmes Streets, where a planned streetcar maintenance and administrative facility is to be built. The next part of the day, we attended city hall for a meeting on the 10th floor where the City Council Business session was updated about the Kansas City Homeless Task Force, which was a team working to solve the homeless problem in Kansas City.

Now came the hard part: deciding on an angle or point to focus on and write about. If you just write out your notes and print it, it’s not very interesting. The point of good news writing is to make the subject matter interesting and cover the topic thoroughly and objectively.

When the contents are done, the newspaper is ready to be laid out. Kirstie Mulligan, the Art and Creative Director, lays out everything on a computer and decides how each edition of The Northeast News going to look. A draft is printed and everyone proofreads and initials each page as it is completed. Final edits are done by both Mulligan and Managing Editor Joe Jarosz to ensure each page of the paper is grammatically, mechanically and factually correct before uploading each page to a dropbox at the Sedalia Democrat, the company used to print each edition. The printed papers are delivered back to the Northeast News where they are assembled, rolled, bagged, and finally delivered to the you, the reader.

Community journalism for many might be a dying field. Today, however, I learned about how community news and the day to day operation of a community newspaper is a daily part of our lives. The newspaper is a large part of the community, and you don’t see a lot of the stories the Northeast News covers on TV or in the major weekly newspaper. I visited city hall and saw different aspects of the events covered there in the newspaper. These are experiences that I would never have been afforded otherwise. I extended my knowledge and explored my future options in the writing career today. What will you do tomorrow?

Comments are closed.

  • KC Renaissance Festival to open this weekend

    August 30th, 2016

    Festival. The 40th annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival will open for the season on Saturday, September 3, from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. in Bonner Springs (633 N.

    Back to School 2016: Literacy program leads way to better reading

    August 3rd, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – According to the literacy organization Lead to Read KC, only 49% of students in Kansas City are reading at grade-level by third grade.

    Back to School 2016: KCPS to host Summerfest Back-to-School Event

    August 3rd, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Kansas City Public Schools plans to give away 6,500 backpacks at their first annual Summerfest back to school festival this weekend.
    The event is scheduled on

    Back to School 2016: Northeast High School looking for mentors

    August 3rd, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Northeast High School is always striving to help their students as much as possible.

    Back to School: KIPP Endeavor expanding services, vision

    August 3rd, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Starting August 9th KIPP Endeavor will be expanding their grade levels and serving Kindergarten to 8th grade.

  • Back to School 2016: Job Corps program provides free employment training

    August 3rd, 2016

    Northeast News The Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center has an exceptional offer to the Kansas City area that you – or your young scholar – won’t be able to refuse.

    Back to School 2016: Memories of Manchester School

    August 3rd, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – After spending years as a pillar of blight in the community, the former Manchester School has now officially said goodbye to the Northeast.

    New playground coming to Scarritt Renaissance

    August 2nd, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – By the end of July 2017, Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood’s Kessler Park will take yet another major step forward.
    For the second time in the last

    Service organization is steering locals toward independence

    July 19th, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri – What would a reliable vehicle mean to you?
    Drive KC to Work is a program operated by Bishop Sullivan Center (6435 Truman Road, KCMO 64126)

    KC Museum’s opening summer concert to partner amateur musicians with the pros

    June 21st, 2016

    Northeast News Are you excited to start moving to the music this summer?
    Harmony Project KC will be kicking off the Kansas City Museum’s summer concert series along with the Kansas

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    City fast-tracking plans to look at incentives, CID policy

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News October 20, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The KCMO City Council may soon spend as […]

    Car chase ends at Budd Park

    Northeast News October 19, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Two suspects were arrested after a brief chase up Hardesty and […]

    Heroic Northeast teens honored by Jackson County Legislature

    Northeast News October 19, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Brothers Michael and Matt Rich, 16 and 19 respectively, were joined […]