Inside New York Times’ Massive Printing Plant in Queens

I’ve been a New York Times subscriber for as long as I remember — like magic, every Saturday morning a hefty stack of freshly printed newsprint sheets arrive at my doorstep. I settle in the most comfortable chair in the house (my Muji bean bag) and flip through the sections of the paper — accompanied by a double espresso. Magic aside, I have often wondered how each and every section of the paper comes about in such coordination, when are the last edits sent to print, and how does the paper arrive to each subscriber’s doorstep, rain or shine.

On a Thursday evening, instead of popping into a gallery afterparty, I found myself in in front of a large lit warehouse in Flushing, Queens — it was 10 p.m. and the presses at The New York Times’ printing facility had just begun printing tomorrow’s paper.

Production happens on two levels. Here, on the lower level, machines pull the newsprint roll up to the presses

Operator’s favorite section

To print that many newspapers a day massive amounts of ink are stored in large containers and transported to each printing press in metal pipes

At press check, a proofing table with a special ruler marks the position of columns on each page
The plates that the presses use need to be custom made in a special room. The yellow lighting protects them from getting struck
Plates that are ready to go to press are stored on the wall
The daily papers are then packed to be delivered the same night, just before sunrise
High tech control room that tracks and manages the entire operation from plating to printing, to collating, and packing

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