Valentine’s Day at The Plant


This was fun. I was invited by the Los Angeles Times to read my LA Affairs column at the recent Valentine’s Day at The Plant event. Yes, a newspaper printing plant–just where every wife wants to spend the most romantic day of the year. Look honey, these giant paper rolls are imported from Canada, Oregon AND Washington. Click. Nights like this remind me how glad I am to be married to such a cool, supportive woman.

If you’re a newspaper nerd, or a big fan of loud industrial machines in general, I highly recommend taking a tour of the Los Angeles Times plant. There’s something beautiful about the Times’ newspaper production process. I think it’s the papers flying through the air on their way to getting packaged. They fly through the air here. And later they’ll fly through the air again on the way to people’s doorsteps.

Newspapers ought to do more of this–letting people see the process. The readers asked great questions, and even though these are readers who value what the LAT does, most of them don’t know the first thing about how the news is reported (answer: with coffee and yelling) or how a newspaper is made (on cool Willy Wonka machines.)

Here are the papers flying through the air.



I’d like to thank Alice Short, Carole Stein, Marilyn Ruiz, Craig Nakano, Darrell Kunitomi, the staff at the plant, all of the readers who attended and my fellow panelists Michelle Maltais (left) and Jessica Gelt (center) for such an enjoyable evening. They were both hilarious. You should definitely read their columns.


Photos from the Los Angeles Times Events staff. More photos from the event are available here.

Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles
  • How fun! Love the photos. Love seeing the inner workings of the paper.

  • Thanks, Jane. I just posted a link at the end of the piece with more photos from the event.


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