Dubai: Our newspaper is safe. Gulf News reaches each and every one of its subscribers with minimal human intervention. And we are the only newspaper in the country to do so.
We understand that the world is undergoing a crisis and empathise with our readers, especially their concerns.
Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of Publications, said: “We in Gulf News have taken all necessary measures to maintain the safety of our readers. We have invested in state-of-the-art technology to achieve that.
Read Gulf News editorial
“So, our readers can be assured that they have the safest newspaper in the country in their hands, because our reader has always been our most valuable asset. We understand their worries and are doing our best as a media organisation to support them in their battle against the coronavirus.
“We urge all our readers to stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy.”
We in Gulf News have taken all necessary measures to maintain the safety of our readers. We have invested in state-of-the-art technology to achieve that. So, our readers can be assured that they have the safest newspaper in the country in their hands, because our reader has always been our most valuable asset.
How do we achieve sanitised printing?
By having the only fully automated printing press in the region, along with a distribution system that follows the strictest sanitisation protocol. And we’ve been doing this for a while.
Gulf News has always delivered its best effort journalistically and nearly a decade ago, in 2012, we decided that we had to move into the next level of innovation in printing technology. The result, a fully computerised press manned by robots, delivering newspapers that meet the highest hygiene standards.
The actual process
Renyold Robert, Production Manager at the Gulf News Printing Press, explained: “The newsreel arrives sealed, which is placed on a conveyor using a forklift. The only human at that point is the forklift driver.
“After being placed on the conveyor, the newsreel is scanned and then taken by a robot and placed in a specific area of the warehouse, which is clean and sanitised.
“When printing is to start, the reels are called through an online assistant from the warehouse store. They are picked up by robots, placed onto the reel stand, then fed through the press automatically … the printing plates are put on automatically. The printing starts, newspaper gets printed, goes to the mailroom, and into the inserting drum where insertions are put in. From there it goes into the polybagging system, following which it goes to the stackers.”
Safe reading experience
From the stackers it goes into distribution vans, the first point of human intervention.
Thomas Mathew, Distribution Manager, said: “The first person to touch the pre-sealed copy would be the van driver who loads it onto his vehicle. We understand our readers’ concerns, but we ensure that the drivers and the vehicles have followed strict sanitisation processes. In addition, the drivers would be wearing gloves and have masks on.”
Gulf News is the only press in the region that has mechanical polybagging. It is not done manually, with people stuffing the paper in a cover and more than prone to transmit infections. So, you [subscribers] can read without any misgiving, because we care….
From there the hermetically sealed newspaper stacks are taken by the driver to individual distributors, who then deliver it to the houses of subscribers.
Rajeev Khanna, Commercial Director, explained that Gulf News is the only press in the region that has mechanical polybagging: “It is not done manually, with people stuffing the paper in a cover and more than prone to transmit infections. So, you can read without any misgiving, because we care….”
Mathew said: “Each distributor follows the sanitisation protocol, wears gloves and masks. And the polybag ensures a completely virus-free newspaper for the customer because of the automated process, and they can enjoy reading it without any concerns.”
This message was further reinforced by Nilesh Devadia, the Business Manager.
He added: “Given the current scenario we have encouraged a strict hygiene discipline amongst the delivery staff, providing them with masks, sanitisers and gloves while they undertake their distribution activity. Rest assured we will do our best to ensure our standards remain high as ever and to ensure the reader stays connected to their daily dose of trusted and verified news.”