Heavy reading

In Latvia’s newspaper industry, the daily Diena may be the most popular and widely circulated, but the official government daily Latvijas Vēstnesis can claim to be the heaviest.

The paper on Sept. 5 produced a two-section, 416-page edition weighing in at 1,125 grams (that’s almost 2.5 pounds for those of you who are metrically challenged).

And the reason for the heavy news? The paper published, in Latvian and English, a document entitled “Par Eiropas valstu nolīgumu par bīstamo kravu pārvadājumiem ar autotransportu (ADR),” which lays out Europe’s rules for the road transport of dangerous materials.

The entire press run of the tabloid weighed more than four tons, according to a press release from the newspaper.

It’s not the first time the paper has printed such heavyweights. It produced a 96-page broadsheet in 1997 (that would be about 210 pages in the paper’s current tabloid format) and a 316-page tabloid edition in 2004.

The government’s paper of record began publication in 1993.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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