What is this weird stuff in my newspaper?
May 16, 2011 4:46 PM   Subscribe

What is this weird looking tape-like stuff in the middle of the business section of my New York Times?

I was reading through some old papers today, and in the April 27th, business section there is a piece of what looks like "paper tape" running from one side of the page to the other with text and photos printed over it (see first photo). Additionally, there are what appear to be two shiny stickers on the same page with text/photo printed over it, albeit not as well (see second photo.) I get the paper delivered to me here in Oregon every day, I believe it is printed in Seattle or Portland... Any newspaper people out there know what might have happened at the printer to cause needing to do this to my paper?
posted by pwb503 to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's called splicing tape. Newsprint comes on big rolls that gets fed through the printing presses. When one roll runs out, the tail end is spliced to the start of a new roll.
posted by zombiedance at 4:58 PM on May 16, 2011

Response by poster: The thing is, the tape doesn't completely go from side to side (see first photo where you can see that it ends before the end of the page...) Is is possible there was a tear in the middle of the roll and this is how they fixed it?
posted by pwb503 at 5:14 PM on May 16, 2011

But it goes all the way to one edge, right (on your right as you hold the paper)?

Is there a tear on the other side of the page-- the side not facing the camera, where the tape is?
posted by herbplarfegan at 5:37 PM on May 16, 2011

Response by poster: It doesn't go to either edge. See this photo I just uploaded which shows where the other end of the tape ends.
posted by pwb503 at 5:44 PM on May 16, 2011

First one is probably just be a stray trimming. Second one is odd. I haven't seen clear splicing tape, but I haven't worked at a newspaper either. (I've done similar work, though.)

Third one is similar to first.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:46 PM on May 16, 2011

The second is most likely tape placed over a tear in the paper to keep the web from snapping.
posted by MikeMc at 6:35 PM on May 16, 2011

To be clear: "The web" is the stretch of paper from the roll (of paper, like a cable roll) through the press. It needs to be kept taught as it travels through the press, even as you change rolls.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:48 PM on May 16, 2011

Could it be splicing tape that accidentally fell into the press (or some other part of the paper's life before printing)?
posted by hattifattener at 8:56 PM on May 16, 2011

« Older Help me be more communicative and considerate.   |   Put the ball in her court, nothing happened. Keep... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.