Rick Wright, Editor of the Helena-West Helena World newspaper, was the guest speaker at the Helena Arkansas Rotary Club Meeting held Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at UMAS East.
Club President Randy Butcher asked Rotarian Joe Howe to introduce the guest speaker. Howe gave a brief introduction about the speaker and told the Rotarians that he thought it was a good time to get to know the new editor at the Helena World.
“Newspaper have come a long way since I started in this business, writing articles on an Underwood typewriter,” said Wright. “We use to type our stories, cut around the text on the typing paper, paint the back of the document with hot wax and paste the story on the page, on a light table.:
“Then we used a very large black and white Polaroid camera, to take a photo of the finished page,” said Wright. “The negative was then used to burn the images and text onto thin metal plates, which in turn were attached to rollers on the press. When the press was activated the rollers, with the metal plates attached, picked up ink out of attached trays as they turned, transferring the images on the metal plates onto the newsprint paper.”
“One day, the Publisher carried a box of used computer components into my office and told me to put together a word processor and retire that Underwood typewriter,” said Wright. “So we began the move into the modern era and the technology has grown at an incredible pace since then.”
“I use to spend hours in the darkroom, loading and unloading film, developing the negatives and finally watching those images come to life in the photo trays,” said Wright. “Those days are long gone. The skills it took to create our newspaper photographs is outdated. Today, anyone who can afford a digital camera is an instant photographer. We take hundreds of photos using our digital cameras now days, where we had to get the shot using just a couple of frames in the past.”
“These days, we write the articles, take the digital photos and send everything to a company pagination department who builds our pages and sends them on to the press in Pine Bluff,” said Wright. “All to get copies of the Helena-West Helena World into your hands. You can also find our newspaper at www.helena-arkansas.com”
After a question and answer session, Wright thanked the Rotarians for the opportunity to talk to them about the Helena-West Helena World.