Axel Springer Newsroom

A look behind the scenes: How are newspapers produced today?

With the Media Executive Pass for the IFRA and DCX exhibitions you can participate in an exclusive tour: to the Axel Springer printing plant and the newsroom of “Die Welt” group with its strong digital focus. This will give you an insight into one of Europe's largest publishing houses.

Fresh-off-the-press newspaper copies for the creative capital Berlin and adjacent federal German states are produced at the Axel Springer printing plant in Spandau. It is the city's biggest printing plant that impresses with its use of modern technology, highly-automated processes and enormous product quantities. “Web speeds of 13 metres per second are the ideal preconditions for best production times,” says Knud Kraft, head of production and technology.

See how headlines, articles and advertising messages are brought to paper

The production plant is designed for the classical, long-run newspaper printing business, but it is capable of a lot more: The capital's printing plant is a flexible service provider for individual customer ideas, well networked with various service providers and suppliers.

Production runs around the clock, every day. Once the concept development has been completed, the product parameters are forwarded to product planning. The production specialists decide the material, page count and length of run and reserve the corresponding material and personnel capacities. The production process in the printing plant begins with the transmission of the laid-out data. Highly modern computer-to-plate imagers transfer the data directly to the printing plates that subsequently bring the motifs to paper in the press.

From print to delivery

In the heart of the printing plant the ink is applied to the paper. Accompanied by constant quality checks and automated monitoring of all important process parameters, the various products go to print. In the finishing area, the newspaper copies are trimmed, have supplements inserted, stitched, and in some cases completed with add-ons or MemoSticks. Following imprinting of the delivery address, the machines tie the individual bundles – and in accordance with the customer's wishes, strapped, film-wrapped and addressed.

The bundles are directed via the ramp straight into the vehicles for delivery to the customers, or the suppliers collect the pallets at the ramp for delivery.

The newsroom of the “Die Welt” group: the permanent editorial conference

Equally impressive is the working environment of the editorial department in the newsroom of the “Die Welt” group. In the former events room of the Ullstein hall at the headquarters of the Axel Springer Corporation in Berlin the colleagues of all sections and all the group's titles work together in one room.

The some 120 editorial personnel moved into the new building in 2013 and made it the heart of the “Die Welt” editorial department. It is there that the editors create journalistic contents – under the leadership of the chief editor and in close cooperation with the specialised desks as well as the staff from the video, photo, information graphics and social media team.

Soundproof walls ensure that it does not get too loud in this lively room. The personnel also have the possibility to use separate conference rooms. Communication in the newsroom is quick and direct. This saves times that the journalists can use to plan and edit their reporting.

The “three speed” news

In accordance with the “Online-to-Print” principle, the focus of the editorial work is on the digital products. Time priority is given to the production of the online version of “Die Welt” and the mobile offerings, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The best contents appear in the printed news media, such as the daily newspapers “Die Welt”, “Die Welt Kompakt” and “Die Welt Aktuell”. In addition, once weekly there is the production of “Welt am Sonntag” and “Welt am Sonntag Kompakt”.

At present Axel Springer is constructing a new building in the immediate vicinity of the existing publishing house buildings on the site between Axel-Springer-, Schützen-, Zimmer- and Jerusalemer Street. The thirteen-storey office building for the digital working environment, featuring a spectacular design of the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, offers space for 3500 workplaces. Thus the adaptation of the working environment to the corporation's increasing drive towards digitisation continues apace.

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Come and take an inside look at the Axel Springer empire:

Join like-minded colleagues on Monday, 9 October, on the Axel Springer Tour:

·        Visit to the Spandau printing plant, 8.45 to 11.30 am

·         Visit to the newsroom of the “Die Welt” group, 130 to 4.30 pm

Get a Media Executive Pass for the IFRA and DCX exhibitions now and secure your seat in the tour bus. 

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