It’s 7 pm on a Thursday night and the editorial staff of Kazakhstan’s Respublika weekly newspaper has been designing pages for most of the day. As they deliver the approved and copy edited pages, printer Sabit Imanbayev fires up the two Risograph machines, wipes off excess ink and gets the cool printers rolling.
Spitting out pages at about one per second, the washing-machine-sized printers make the A3-size newspaper come to life. As the stacks of printed sheets reach several dozen high, he delivers the fresh pages to five ladies, who spend the next 12 hours hand-collating, stapling and stacking complete newspapers, staining their hands with semi-dry ink.
The entire process – reporting, designing, printing and assembling – takes place in the newspaper’s six-room editorial offices in Almaty. By early Friday morning, deliveryman Alexander Pylayev and delivery manager Irina Vyedzizheva are dropping wrapped and bound stacks of the weekly newspaper around the city for sale at street kiosks.
Dean C.K. Cox is the photo editor for Eurasianet. Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.