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How The New York Times Works

The growing universe of digital news outlets includes a great many amalgamators, recyclers of other people’s reporting. Some report their own stories, but it is the Times that provides by far the most coverage of the most subjects in the most reliable way. The Times is a monster, a sprawling organization, the most influential print newspaper and digital news site in the world.

But it still makes most of its money by selling paper, and the paper on which tonight’s edition is being printed arrived, as it does each week, from four different paper mills—two in Quebec, one in Ontario, and one in Tennessee—where it was packaged into rolls large enough to serve as the business end of a steamroller: 2,200 pounds each and fifty inches in diameter. Eighteen-wheelers carried them to a Times storage facility in the Bronx, where more trucks took twenty rolls each from there to the plant in Queens, where manned forklifts deposited each one in a four-story warehouse that can hold 2,231 just like it. The rolls now sit stocked in eight rows on nine shelves, four deep, like soup cans in a grocery store for giants.

A fascinating look at how one of the world’s largest (and oldest) news organizations adapts and runs over time.