The Trumpet, From Inception to Distribution

OKLAHOMA—Are you one of the subscribers who receives The Philadelphia Trumpet news magazine? Perhaps the cover caught your eye in an office waiting room. Perhaps a Key of David television program episode urged you to request your own copy. Each month, after over 3,000 hours of labor, the Philadelphia Church of God mails out 217,919 Trumpet magazines in four languages to readers around the globe. This afternoon, the April 2023 edition was released, scheduled to begin hitting mailboxes in two weeks. What did it take to produce the full-color, 40-page magazine soon to be on your coffee table?

From the first meeting to the final approval of pages four weeks later, your Trumpet magazine passed through the hands of about 30 writers, editors, artists, designers, proofreaders and fact-checkers. It went through two main rounds of editing in addition to proofreading, fact-checking and tweaking throughout the process. The publication’s four artists brainstormed, designed and sketched the drawings and images.

On Monday, January 23, Trumpet writers and editors met in the conference room of the Hall of Administration, located at the Philadelphia Church of God headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma. Connecting over video-conference with two other staff members located in Henley in Arden, United Kingdom, and Ontario, Canada, managing editor Joel Hilliker led a 40-minute discussion on the upcoming edition, and assigning the articles.

Over the following couple of weeks, fact-checkers and designers discussed the topic of the infographic, some writers finished drafts of their articles, the cover art was discussed, editors received the first draft and topics for the WorldWatch section were decided on.

Editorial held its regular Monday meeting on February 6. Authors received copy-edits for their articles. By the end of Tuesday, the edited articles were ready for a second round of editing, and the first drafts of other articles were in. Before the weekend, Mr. Hilliker read through the entire magazine to assess what changes needed to be made and delegate the tasks.

During the final week, the table of contents, infographic, WorldWatch and advertisements were set, and draft two was sent off to editors and factcheckers. Trumpet staff met at noon this past Monday for the final meeting of this edition. Mr. Hilliker had a discussion with editor in chief Gerald Flurry about changes that needed to be made. The magazine went through multiple rounds of proofreading, and the edits were set. On Thursday, February 16, Mr. Hilliker performed one last check, and the magazine was sent to designer and contributor Reese Zoellner for a series of checks to make sure it would print correctly, known as prepress. This included ensuring accuracy and placement for photo credits, photo resolution, text, coloring, titles and page references.

Zoellner transmitted the file over the Internet to Freeport Press in Ohio, where the printing company used their own software to run a series of checks on and preparations for the file. They sent back a “soft proof” which represented how the document would appear printed. Each page was approved, after which the printing process began, involving plates, separations, trimming and binding. Within the next couple of days, Trumpet copies will ship out from the post office located inside Freeport Press on their way to the homes of hundreds of thousands of people.