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BHS journalism students visit printing press

In an effort to take learning out of the classroom, Bassfield High School journalism teacher, Melissa Martin, organized a field trip on Wednesday to the Brookhaven Daily Leader to see how a newspaper is printed.

Prentiss Headlight President and Publisher Karen Sanford / The Prentiss Headlight—Otis Raybon holds out a paper hot off the press for BHS journalism teacher Melissa Martin to see.

Prentiss Headlight President and Publisher Karen Sanford / The Prentiss Headlight—Otis Raybon holds out a paper hot off the press for BHS journalism teacher Melissa Martin to see.

The small class of nine students were accompanied by Prentiss Headlight editor Karen Sanford. Once in Brookhaven, the group was greeted by Otis Raybon, president and publisher of the Leader and printer for The Prentiss Headlight. A broad overview of the newspaper industry was presented with students asking questions about the impact of social media and the future of the industry.

“The actual printed paper will not disappear in our lifetime,” said Raybon, “but the Internet has definitely changed how we get our news, and it will continue to change at a rapid pace as you graduate, go to college and enter the workforce.”

A tour was given of the sales, graphics and news departments with the final stop at the printing press. Press operator Malcolm Stewart was setting up to print the Daily Leader. (The Headlight is printed at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, so scheduling did not allow for them to see it printed.)

Karen Sanford / The Prentiss Headlight—Press operator Malcolm Stewart demonstrates to Bassfield journalism students the process for printing a newspaper.

Karen Sanford / The Prentiss Headlight—Press operator Malcolm Stewart demonstrates to Bassfield journalism students the process for printing a newspaper.

Stewart demonstrated how news copy arrives and is printed onto metal plates which are then inserted into the press where large rolls of paper is threaded through to receive the ink.

Once papers began rolling off the press, students were awestruck at the printed and folded product.

Karen Sanford / The Prentiss Headlight —Longtime friend of The Headlight and Daily Leader employee, Virgil Roberts, pulls papers off the press once printed.

Karen Sanford / The Prentiss Headlight —Longtime friend of The Headlight and Daily Leader employee, Virgil Roberts, pulls papers off the press once printed.

At the end of the tour, the inserting team led by Cindy Foster demonstrated the speed at which sales circulars can be inserted into thousands of newspapers.

Students were able to get a first-hand demonstration of folding, banding and bagging of The Prentiss Headlight home delivery papers by the Headlight’s new distribution manager, R.D. Polk.

After the tour bus driver, Lance Mancuso drove everyone to a restaurant for a hearty lunch before the trip back home.

“This was a great experience for the students,” said Martin. “Hands-on learning is the key to classroom instruction.

Bassfield High School journalism students toured the Brookhaven Daily Leader during a recent field trip. Pictured above, Shania Hosey, Shalea Copeland, Quashuna Parkman, Kiana Merritt, Prentiss Headlight editor Karen Sanford, Tedrina Hall, Prentiss Headlight President and Publisher Otis Raybon, BHS journalism teacher Melissa Martin, Tyler Thompson, Rebecca McNeese, Fred White, and Curtis Mikell.

Bassfield High School journalism students toured the Brookhaven Daily Leader during a recent field trip. Pictured above, Shania Hosey, Shalea Copeland, Quashuna Parkman, Kiana Merritt, Prentiss Headlight editor Karen Sanford, Tedrina Hall, Prentiss Headlight President and Publisher Otis Raybon, BHS journalism teacher Melissa Martin, Tyler Thompson, Rebecca McNeese, Fred White, and Curtis Mikell.