Breaking the news: bin Laden dead

The paper was done, and we were sending the PDFs to the printer. That’s when we got the news that Osama bin Laden was dead.

I didn’t exactly yell “STOP THE PRESSES!” (though I’ve always wanted to), but we called the printer back and asked them not to print the files we sent. We needed more time.

Then Managing Editor Zien and I rearranged the news pages and scrambled to pull a photo off our news wire and put some copy together. I transcribed the president’s speech. We plugged in quotes. I tried my best not to mess up any bylines or jumps in the madness. The printer called back and we said “15 minutes!”

And here’s how it turned out:

A rare appropriate occasion for all-caps font, here’s the story. Updates to come.

Whew, adrenaline rush! It’s so exciting to be collaborating in a newsroom when big news breaks. And it’s impossible to sleep after. There’s little hope for being functional in my morning economics class without at least a gallon of coffee.

But it’s bigger than that: breaking news always serves as an intense reminder that journalists are providing a service to the public.


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