Now 'most sleep-deprived' news printers look to a long rest

Not just an endangered species, but newspaper printers are sleep-deprived into the bargain, according to a US survey.

Mattress review site Slumber Yard has protective services - such as firefighters and law enforcement officers - food industry staff, health care practitioners and support workers near the top of its list, and identifies all types of production as most likely to lead to sleep deprivation.

But it's those who put daily papers to bed who appear to get less of it themselves than all the other 22 occupations surveyed.

While 42.9 per cent of production workers as a whole reported that they received an average of less than seven hours of sleep, that figure was up to 50.9 per cent for newspaper printers .

"To get print newspapers and other materials to clients on time, production workers toil for long hours to meet their deadlines," says the report, quoting a New York Times story which explained the nightly ritual of "burning digital pages with lasers onto thin aluminium sheets each night... the start of an arduous 365-day process of printing the paper and getting it on newsstands before sunrise - that is unless breaking news happens and production workers are ordered to 'stop the presses!' sending the whole process into upheaval".

Put it like that, and you'd have Rupert Murdoch and others currently committing printed newspapers to history, as up for a humanitarian award.

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