ATEX workflow memo from Paul Bentham -
Managing Director, South Yorkshire Newspapers Ltd
As a result of investigations into the Atex system issues since its introduction, the following workflow must be followed in order to ensure the system works to best effect. These steps will be followed in all North Division Newspapers and have been put in place to help everyone achieve the full system benefits. (We need to produce a page flow chart to cover point 12.)1. I agree with you on a weekly basis the exact page plan for the coming week including the publication size, the positioning of all advertising and editorial content along with a timed page flow schedule (see point 12). The book (that weeks or days newspaper) needs to have an agreed number of fixed advertising pages as well as guidelines as to the ad shapes on other relevant pages. Graeme also covers off Thorne, Epworth and Goole
We need to agree the actual time and day that best suits as this may vary by operation but I would guess SYT,DFP,ST,EB,GC Thurs am WG Fri/Mon
Please let me know what suits you best but it will need to be timed after you have liaised with your ad manager on the coming weeks volumes.
2. Together we will review the format of each newspaper (by looking at previous editions and seeing the editors preferred style) and then determine the number of templated and bespoke pages. Best practice is for all pages to be templated – those requiring bespoke layouts should be processed through the central hub.
3. All requests to change the size of any publication needs to be authorised by me.
4. The designated hub will prepare the bespoke pages and, where agreed, pages requiring the subbing of submitted copy. (e.g. ad features, special supplements, Motors and property supplements.) All submitted copy must be supplied to the hub as electronic text. Complete pages should be sent with text and pictures assigned; multiple page products should use the ATEX package function.
5. Where possible similar pages across multiple titles should be standardised, eg national news, weather, puzzles, motors.
6. All other pages must be created locally using pre prepared templates or as complete pages supplied by an outside source. Editors are not permitted to change the templates 'on the fly' and all templates should have been tested before being placed in the library. All news page templates, unless otherwise agreed, should have 3 variations to cater for differing ad shapes. The number of appropriate templates should be reviewed on an ongoing basis and additional one created as needed.
7. All locally written stories must be ordered out to reporters and written using Incopy to fit the requested page shape. The number of staff authorised to 'order out' pages should be kept to a minimum and Editors need to ensure that the policy of "right first time" is embedded in the newsroom culture. They should not however continue with the old practise of reading every story. Editors should evaluate the risk for each story based on content and the seniority of the journalist and act accordingly.
8. Editors are responsible for evaluating the work of all journalists and ensuring that they have sufficient training to create headlines and to write copy which is correct first time.
9. InDesign is a tool that uses a large system resource and should only be opened and used by the minimum number of staff who need to work in it. Where possible changes should be made to text and headlines using InCopy. Reporters should return stories to layout where page managers can use InDesign to position and crop pictures and make critical changes to headlines and copy.
10. All photographs must be entered into the system using the correct workflow and it is not permitted to cut and paste photographs directly onto the page under any circumstances.
11. Page proofs including solus ad pages may be viewed as PDFs by the editor as a final check. Pages should only be viewed in Indesign for the purposes of manipulating photographs. As the printing of pages creates a further strain on network speed this practice is discouraged.
12. Editors, working with the MD/Ad Director, should ensure that there is a constant flow of pages with pages being output to the press as soon as is possible. A minimum schedule of page completion times should be formally agreed for each title and reviewed from time to time. E.g.: 25% of pages completed 5 working days before the press deadline, 50% - 3 working days etc, 75% - 2 working days, 90% - 4 hours before deadline. This schedule should acknowledge the most likely pages to be released with in each time sector based on the likely availability of editorial matter and advertising copy.
13. The Ad dept should, where possible, make bookings of Ads within the page deadlines noted above. This will help to secure and even flow of completed pages. The principle should be established within ad teams to place all known bookings onto Futureproof at the time of confirmation rather than weekly admin cycles'. This in turn helps stimulate a focus on series bookings and endorses a further principle that the earlier a commitment is given, the better the positioning
14. Pages completed within the deadlines in paragraph 10 should not be changed thereafter and requests to change the shape or size of an ad on a completed page should not be made. House ads should be pre prepared to fill the shapes (or part of them) in case the ad is cancelled or the copy is not delivered on time. The facility to accept ads on deadline should be allowed for in the plan.
15. The Ad dept are wholly responsible for delivering the completed local ad within the agreed ad deadlines for a publication. Editorial teams are responsible for ensuring the final pages sent include the advertisements. Pages excluded from this principle are full page advertisements or classified pages which will be sent by the Planning teams.
16. The Ad dept are responsible for ensuring that all ads are booked into the system and allocated to pages as soon as is possible and for placing them on the page within the correct deadlines.
17. The decision of the MD is final in all of these matters.
South Yorkshire Newspapers Ltd