Bear Essential puts the news right into the hands of kids and families all over Arizona! The newspaper lets you know about what’s going on and fun things to do, and also gives kids like you a voice through its Young Reporters Program!
Each month, a new issue of Bear Essential News rolls off the press and is delivered to kids all over Tucson and Phoenix. To reach most of the kids in these areas, the publishers print A LOT of newspapers. In fact, Bear enjoys one of the largest circulations of any newspaper in the state!
It takes a lot of teamwork to create a newspaper. In fact, it’s a fascinating process that starts with kids who are third-graders on up—Bear’s Young Reporters.
#1 Getting the Scoop
Every month, kids just like you write news stories for Bear Essential News. We actually have hundreds of Young Reporters across the state who are part of this free journalism program.
The very first step in making Bear Essential News starts with our Young Reporters, who need to come up with a story idea to cover! From year-end celebrations at their schools to interviews with famous people like the president, Steven Spielberg or Danica Patrick—our Young Reporters get to pick the news they want to cover.
Like all good reporters, they gather the facts—the 5W’s & H of their story (Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?). This can be through research at the library or online, by keeping up with the news regularly, attending an event, going someplace special, and/or by interviewing someone in the know.
#2 Writing & Editing
After you’ve gathered the 5W’s & H for your story, you’ve accomplished about 80 percent of your job. Now all that’s left is incorporating ’em into your news story!
Reporters start with their strongest, most interesting fact. This first paragraph is called your lead and should be short and hard-hitting (just one or two sentences). Use your lead to reach out and grab your reader’s attention.
The next paragraph should have other important facts or quotes. And the third graph has less important facts and details. Try to make your story four to six short paragraphs. Your last paragraph should include details you want your reader to know, but ones that aren’t essential to your story.
Young Reporters or their teachers submit stories to Bear Essential editors for publication (to be printed). Using Microsoft Word, the editors review each story, select which ones will be printed that month, and then make corrections and check facts.
#3 Design & Production
While Young Reporter stories are being worked on, Bear’s art director is busy illustrating Boomer Bear for the front cover seek ’n find. He scans the illustration and using a program called InDesign, places other design elements like the newspaper’s nameplate, list of hidden pictures to find and the rest of the front cover type with his illustration.
Photos and Young Reporter news stories are carefully placed to make up the Get the Scoop! page. The main feature and other regular columns like the News Highlights page also need to be designed. All the ads need to be produced, approved by the advertiser and then placed electronically onto the proper page. Editors look over all the pages, which are then made into PDFs to send to the printer!
#4 Printing Process
All of the PDF pages of this month’s Bear Essential News are sent to the printer. Aluminum plates coated with a special blue chemical are loaded into what’s called a plate burner, where a very fine laser duplicates every letter and every piece of artwork of the newspaper. Where the laser hits, the blue coating fuses the designs to the aluminum. A processor washes away portions of the chemical that weren’t fused (burned) to the metal plate.
The printing press used to make this newspaper is gigantic—three stories tall and two-thirds the length of a football field. But it’s only about 8 feet wide, so it’s long, tall and skinny.
The burned plates are clamped onto cylinders of the press. As they turn, they dip into ink wells. The ink only sticks to the blue chemical (which make up the letters and photos). Since you can mix two ink colors to make up a third (e.g., blue + yellow = green), the printing process uses just four ink colors—cyan (blue), magenta (a pinky red), yellow and black. All other colors are just a combination of those!
One color at a time, the inked plates then transfer their information onto a rubber cylinder called a blanket. This blanket is no more than a giant rubber stamp, which transfers its ink to a continuous roll of partly recycled newsprint. The paper comes in 1,000-pound rolls that look like the biggest rolls of toilet paper you’ve ever seen.
From there, the paper is cut into pages and folded in half to make this newspaper!
A sorter/stacker neatly piles the newspapers 100 at a time, which are then strapped to make a bundle.
#5 Distribution to You!
The bundles are stacked neatly onto wooden pallets and shrink-wrapped so the stacks don’t tip over during transport. A fork-lift operator loads the pallets into a delivery truck. Depending on the edition, the truck either heads to Phoenix or to the Tucson distributor for Bear Essential News.
Drivers for the distributor load up their smaller trucks and take the bundles and Bear newstands to where they’re supposed to go—schools, public libraries, youth rec centers, family friendly businesses...
A big THANK YOU to Bear’s advertisers and sponsors for helping to provide thousands of free newspapers to Arizona schools! You also can find this award-winning newspaper online at BearEssentialNews.com. It takes a lot of team effort to make Bear Essential News!