US papers rush to document attack

Newspapers across the United States rolled out extra editions on Tuesday to accommodate news of the boldest terrorist attack ever on US soil.

Presses were running overtime by the afternoon as papers from New York to Texas marked an event that earned the same treatment as President Kennedy's assassination or the Cuban missile crisis (for images of front pages, see www.poynter.org/Terrorism/PDF1.htm).

The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville published an eight-page special edition, distributing 20,000 copies on the street shortly after noon with the six-column headline "TERROR."

"This incident has shocked people," said editor Pat Yack. "There's nothing in people's lifetimes, with the possible exception of Pearl Harbor and President Kennedy's assassination, that matches it."

Neil Brown, managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, said his paper put out a special edition. "It's mostly photos at this point," he said. "It's a stunning experience that we're all sharing together."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's extra was its sixth in recent years. The others came after the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder case in 1996; Mark McGwire's 61st and 62nd home runs in 1998; the plane crash that killed Gov. Mel Carnahan in October 2000; and the presidential election in November 2000. Before the Simpson case, the paper had not produced an extra since World War II.

For The Kansas City Star, this was the first special edition since July 21, 1969, when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. The Morning Star of Wilmington, N.C., put out its first extra since Kennedy's assassination Nov. 22, 1963.

The headline "ATTACK ON U.S." topped an extra edition of the Austin American-Statesman in Texas. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was one of many papers that used "Terror" as its headline, with the subhead, "Attacks rip Trade Center, Pentagon, America's Soul."

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