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Newsprint

Newsprint

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Encyclopedia
Newsprint is a low-cost, non-archival
Preservation (library and archival science)
Preservation is a branch of library and information science concerned with maintaining or restoring access to artifacts, documents and records through the study, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of decay and damage....

 paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 most commonly used to print newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s, and other publications and advertising material. It usually has an off-white
Off White
Off White is a 1979 No Wave album by James White, also known as James Chance.-Side one:# "Contort Yourself" – 6:15 # "Stained Sheets" – 5:51# " Heat Wave" – 3:55...

 cast and distinctive feel. It is designed for use in printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 presses that employ a long web of paper (web offset
Offset printing
Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface...

, letterpress
Letterpress printing
Letterpress printing is relief printing of text and image using a press with a "type-high bed" printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image...

 and flexographic
Flexography
Flexography is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is basically an updated version of letterpress that can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper...

) rather than individual sheets of paper. Newsprint mainly consists of wood pulp.

Newsprint is favored by publishers
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

 and printers
Printer (publisher)
In publishing, printers are both companies providing printing services and individuals who directly operate printing presses. With the invention of the moveable type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg around 1450, printing—and printers—proliferated throughout Europe.Today, printers are found...

 for its combination of being relatively low cost (compared with paper grades used to print such products as glossy magazine
Magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...

s or sales brochure
Brochure
A brochure is a type of leaflet. Brochures are most commonly found at places that tourists frequently visit, such as museums, major shops, and tourist information. Brochure racks or stands may suggest visits to amusement parks and other points of interest...

s), high strength (to run through modern high-speed web printing presses) and the ability to accept four-color printing
Color printing
Color printing or Colour printing is the reproduction of an image or text in color...

 at qualities that meet the needs of typical newspaper advertisers.

Use


The web of paper is placed on the press in the form of a roll delivered from a paper mill
Paper mill
A paper mill is a factory devoted to making paper from vegetable fibres such as wood pulp, old rags and other ingredients using a Fourdrinier machine or other type of paper machine.- History :...

 (surplus newsprint can also be cut into individual sheets by a processor for use in a variety of other applications such as wrapping or commercial printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

).
World demand
Demand curve
In economics, the demand curve is the graph depicting the relationship between the price of a certain commodity, and the amount of it that consumers are willing and able to purchase at that given price. It is a graphic representation of a demand schedule...

 of newsprint in 2006 totaled about 37.2 million metric tonnes, according to the Montreal-based Pulp & Paper Products Council (PPPC). This was about 1.6% less than in 2000. Between 2000 and 2006, the biggest changes were in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

—which saw newsprint demand grow by about 20%—and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, where demand fell by about 25%. Demand in China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 virtually doubled during the period, to about 3.2 million metric tonnes.

About 35% of global newsprint usage in 2006 was in Asia, with approximately 26% being in North America and about 25% in Western Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 and Eastern Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 each represented about 5% of world demand in 2006, according to PPPC, with smaller shares going to Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

 and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

.

Among the biggest factors depressing
Depression (economics)
In economics, a depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe downturn than a recession, which is seen by some economists as part of the modern business cycle....

 demand for newsprint in North America have been the decline in newspaper readership among many sectors of the population—particularly young adults—along with increasing competition for advertising business from the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 and other media. According to Newspaper Association of America
Newspaper Association of America
The Newspaper Association of America is a trade association representing approximately 2000 newspapers in the United States and Canada. Member newspapers represented by the NAA include large daily papers, non-daily and small-market publications, as well as digital and multiplatform...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 U.S. newspaper trade group, average U.S. daily circulation in 2006 on a typical weekday was 52.3 million (53.2 million on Sundays), compared with 62.5 million in 1986 (58.9 million on Sundays) and 57.0 million in 1996 (60.8 million on Sundays). According to NAA, daily ad
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 revenue
Revenue
In business, revenue is income that a company receives from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers. In many countries, such as the United Kingdom, revenue is referred to as turnover....

s (not adjusted for inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

) reached their all-time peak in 2000, and by 2007 had fallen by 13%. Newsprint demand has also been affected by attempts on the part of newspaper publishers
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

 to reduce marginal printing costs through various conservation measures
Conservation movement
The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future....

 intended to cut newsprint usage.

While demand has been trending down in North America in recent years, the rapid economic expansion of such Asian countries as China and India greatly benefited the print newspaper, and thus their newsprint suppliers. According to the World Association of Newspapers, in 2007 Asia was the home to 74 of the world’s 100 highest-circulation dailies. With millions of Chinese and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

ns entering the ranks of those with disposable income
Income
Income is the consumption and savings opportunity gained by an entity within a specified time frame, which is generally expressed in monetary terms. However, for households and individuals, "income is the sum of all the wages, salaries, profits, interests payments, rents and other forms of earnings...

, newspapers have gained readers along with other news media.

Newsprint is used worldwide in the printing of newspapers, flyers, and other printed material intended for mass distribution. In the U.S., about 80% of all newsprint that is consumed is purchased by daily newspaper publishers, according to PPPC. Dailies use a large majority of total demand in most other regions as well.

Typically in North America, newsprint is purchased by a daily newspaper publisher and is shipped from the mill to the publisher’s pressroom or pressrooms, where it is used to print the main body of the newspaper (called the run-of-press, or ROP, sections). The daily newspaper publisher may also be hired by outside companies such as advertisers or publishers of weekly newspapers or other daily newspapers to produce printed products for those companies using its presses. In such cases the press owner might also purchase newsprint from the mill for such contract printing jobs.

For the roughly 20% of demand which is not purchased by a daily newspaper, common end-uses include the printing of weekly newspapers, advertising flyers and other printed products, generally by a commercial printer—a company whose business consists largely of printing products for other companies using its presses. In such a case, the newsprint may be purchased by the printer on behalf of a client such as an advertiser or a weekly newspaper publisher, or it may be purchased by the client and then ordered to be shipped to the printer’s location.

Economic issues


The biggest inputs to the newsprint manufacturing process are energy, fiber and labor. According to the Newsprint Producers Association, a North American trade group affiliated with the Pulp & Paper Products Council, the average North American newsprint mill in 2005 spent 31% of its mill-level budget in fiber and pulp, 24% on energy, 22% on labor and 19% on various other materials, with the balance including other raw materials and miscellaneous costs. Mill operating margins have been significantly affected in the 2006–2008 time-frame by rising energy costs. Many mills’ fiber costs have also been affected during the U.S. housing market slowdown of 2007–8 by the shutdown of many sawmills, particularly in Canada, since the virgin fiber used by mills generally comes from nearby sawmills in the form of wood chips produced as a residual product of the saw milling process.

Distribution


Another cost consideration in the newsprint business is delivery, which is affected by energy cost trends. Newsprint around the world may be delivered by rail or truck; or by barge, container or break-bulk shipment if a water delivery is appropriate. (Aside from delivery cost, another consideration in selecting freight mode may be the potential for avoiding damage to the product.) All things being equal, for domestic shipments in areas like North America or Europe where modern road and rail networks are readily available, trucks can be more economical than rail for short-haul deliveries (a day or less from the mill), while rail may be more economical for longer shipments. The cost-competitiveness of each freight mode for a specific mill’s business may depend on local infrastructure issues, as well as the degree of truck-vs-freight competition in the mill’s region. The appropriate freight mode for delivery from a mill to a specific pressroom can also depend on the press room ability to accept enough trucks or rail cars.

Web (width) downsizing


A newspaper roll's width is called its web width and is defined by how many front pages it can print. A full roll prints four front pages with four back pages behind it (two front and back on each of the two sections). Modern printing facilities most efficiently print newspapers in multiples of eight pages on a full newsprint roll in two sections of four pages each. The two sections are then cut in half.

Faced with dwindling revenue from competition with broadcast, cable, and internet outlets, U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 newspapers in the 21st century—particularly broadsheet
Broadsheet
Broadsheet is the largest of the various newspaper formats and is characterized by long vertical pages . The term derives from types of popular prints usually just of a single sheet, sold on the streets and containing various types of material, from ballads to political satire. The first broadsheet...

s—have begun a process of downsizing the width of their newsprint rolls to a standard size across the business.

The longtime standard 54-inch web (13½ inch front page) (metric: 137.16 cm web, 34.29 cm front page) has given way to smaller newspaper sizes. New broadsheet standards in the U.S. are 44, 46, and 48-inch webs (11, 11.5, and 12 inch newspaper page widths, respectively) (metric: 111.76 cm, 116.84 cm, 121.92 cm, page widths: 27.94 cm, 29.21 cm, 30.48 cm respectively). Newspapers such as USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

have already converted to new, narrower web width standards which are also easier to handle by readers, especially commuters. Interest in the reduced standard increased when The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

abandoned its iconic 60-inch web (15 inch page) format (metric: 152.4 cm, 38.1 cm page) in favor of the new 48" newspaper industry standard (metric: 121.92 cm) starting on January 2, 2007. The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

has also followed suit, abandoning its 54-inch web (13½ inch page) (metric: 137.16 cm, page 34.29 cm) on August 6, 2007.

In February 2009, The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times is a newspaper serving Seattle, Washington, US. It is the largest daily newspaper in the state of Washington. It has been, since the demise in 2009 of the printed version of the rival Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle's only major daily print newspaper.-History:The Seattle Times...

moved from a 50-inch web to a 46-inch web, producing an 11½ inch page width (metric: was 127 cm, became 116.84 cm, page 29.21 cm).

Newspapers in many other parts of the world, including The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

, The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

and The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, are also downsizing their broadsheets.

Manufacturing



Newsprint is generally made by a mechanical milling process, without the chemical processes that are often used to remove lignin
Lignin
Lignin or lignen is a complex chemical compound most commonly derived from wood, and an integral part of the secondary cell walls of plants and some algae. The term was introduced in 1819 by de Candolle and is derived from the Latin word lignum, meaning wood...

 from the pulp. The lignin causes the paper to rapidly become brittle and yellow when exposed to air and/or sunlight. Traditionally, newsprint was made from fibers extracted from various softwood species of trees (most commonly, spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

, fir
Fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

, balsam fir
Balsam Fir
The balsam fir is a North American fir, native to most of eastern and central Canada and the northeastern United States .-Growth:It is a small to medium-size evergreen tree typically tall, rarely to tall, with a narrow conic crown...

 or pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

). However, an increasing percentage of the world’s newsprint is made with recycled fibers.

Sustainability


There are upper limits on the percentage of the world’s newsprint that can be manufactured from recycled fiber. The most obvious upper limit is imposed by the nature of recycling itself. Some of the fiber that enters any recycled pulp mill is lost in pulping, due to inefficiencies inherent in the process. According to the web site of the U.K. chapter of Friends of the Earth wood fiber can normally only be recycled up to five times due to damage experienced to the fiber. Thus, unless the quantity of newsprint used each year worldwide declines to reflect the lost fiber, a certain amount of new (virgin) fiber is required each year globally, even if the individual newsprint mill may continue to use 100% recycled fiber.