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When pressmen could read

Right up to my last day as a newspaper editor, I trusted our pressmen to catch mistakes.

Sometimes, they caught headline errors, sometimes errors in captions, sometimes factual problems.

But, when the papers came down the line, they picked them up and looked at them and also read them, watching for those kinds of problems as well as how well the color was laying down or whether images were in register.

I guess at the U.S. government print shop in Washington, D.C., they just don't bother. Or didn't in the case of millions of dollars in $100 bills that were printed with mistakes that were so bad the bills have to be replaced.

There is some dispute about how much the printing error cost, according to a story on the Atlantic Wire by David Wolman.

But, some other folks have done some number-crunching and put the cost of the error at millions of dollars.

Heads should roll.

It's always been hard to find good pressmen.

But, the government needs to make a better effort at hiring the kind of people who work at many of today's newspapers.


0 #1 linda anderson 2013-08-16 01:10
Heads should roll, and the floggings should commence. But they will not, because it's "only" taxpayer dollars at risk. This is doubly lamentable, because as print newspapers dwindle due to migration to internet distribution, many good and experienced employees in the publishing industry are separated from their employment. Anyone wanting quality control technicians for the print industry would have a good pool to choose from. The whole country might be better off if government service offices (such as the printing office) were relocated from DC to cities in states that have been hardest hit by the under-regulatio n of banking and other enormous industries.

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