Types of Newsprint

by Sienna Condy; Updated September 26, 2017
A traditional newspaper is printed on standard newsprint paper.

If you've ever picked up a newspaper or a coupon insert, you've handled a type of newsprint paper. Made from either recycled paper or wood pulp, newsprint paper comes in large rolls and is an inexpensive, thin paper used to print a variety of publications from traditional newspapers to common tabloids.

Standard Newsprint

The most common type and grade of newsprint paper, standard newsprint paper is used in the printing of most major U.S. newspapers, including The New York Times and USA Today. It is the thinnest type of newsprint paper, making it one of the most inexpensive. Due to the paper's thinness and the process by which it is made, standard newsprint paper is also one of the weakest types of paper and is prone to deterioration.

Improved Newsprint

If you've ever read a local community paper, you've probably held a piece of improved newsprint paper in your hands. Improved newsprint paper is often easier for smaller publishers to acquire than standard newsprint. Improved newsprint paper is slightly thicker and brighter in color than standard newsprint paper, and the surface of the paper is typically better. Because of this, improved newsprint paper is often used when printing the outside pages of major newspapers.

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Specialty Newsprint

One of the thickest types of newsprint paper, specialty newsprint paper is used to create the advertising inserts you find in your weekend newspaper. Due to the thickness of the paper, specialty newsprint is often used in full-color and four-color processing. Specialty newsprint is typically coated due to the color print process.

Other Types of Newsprint

Other types of specialty newsprint are available on the market today. Colored newsprint comes in a range of pastel colors and is used for special sections of some newspapers. Thinner grade, yellow newsprint paper, often called directory newsprint, is used to create phone books and other items.

About the Author

Sienna Condy began writing professionally in 2001 while attending the University of Cincinnati, and she's been at it ever since. Since graduating, she's written everything from marketing materials to articles on removing stains. Today, she enjoys writing about weddings, legal issues, science, health and parenting.

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