The “Typical” Metropolitan
An imaginary, but typical metropolitan paper in New Zealand might have a circulation approaching 100,000. It would turn over more than £1 million a year. A quarter of this sum would come from 3d. sales, the rest from the sale of advertising space. The paper would employ 300 people and its wages bill would be over £300,000 a year. Production costs would be over £700,000. The paper would be printed on a six-unit rotary machine which cost £185,000. Each day the machine would print more than 25 tons of newsprint costing about £1,800. The rate of printing would be up to 70,000 copies an hour, compared with Samuel Revans's Columbia press capacity of about 200 copies an hour. In the bulk store of this imaginary newspaper there would be enough rolls – each weighing about 1,600 lb – put aside to provide for the printing of normal-sized (32 page) papers for eight months without replenishment. Literary staff – reporters, photographers, copy readers, proof readers, leader writers, and specialists — would number about 80 people. Another 40 people would be employed as part-time correspondents, sporting reporters, or critics and reviewers. The rest of the full-time staff would be office workers dealing with accounting, advertising, and subscription; or skilled mechanical labour involving over 12 trades – from electrical engineering to photoengraving.
Individual newspapers have installed their own wire-photo machines since the Second World War. These ingenious instruments work over an ordinary telephone toll circuit for the transmission and reception of news pictures. Transmitters are generally portable and can be used by photographers at any Post Office toll station to send illustrations back to their home offices. Some offices have introduced teletypesetting machines, mainly for classified advertisements. Some receive advertisements 24 hours a day by telephone through an automatic answering machine.