Late last night, much of the digitally connected and cable-wired world learned of the death of Osama Bin Laden. The nation learned through Facebook, Twitter, text messages, CNN, NBC, and pretty much any medium that required some form of electricity. Many of us were engaged on multiple platforms simultaneously, tweeting the President’s remarks as we tuned in to our news stations of choice.
In addition to retweets, emotional reactions and smart-alecky remarks, I noticed another sentiment in my feeds: “I wonder how many editors are ripping up the front pages of tomorrow’s paper at this very moment.” I admit, I was among the curious. However, I figured that the death of the mastermind behind 9/11 was newsworthy enough for those in journalism to pull a frenzied all-nighter.
Either my qualifications for what constitutes “Stop the presses!” are way off-base, or sometimes even the most breaking of news is no match for print media deadlines. While some publications such as The New York Times managed to keep up with the news, others, including USA Today and METRO, did not. Still others, namely The Wall Street Journal, decided not to waste trees, and printed copies with and without the headline news.
It’s not uncommon for me to read about news in Monday morning’s paper that I’d already heard about on Twitter Sunday afternoon, but this will be the first instance where my Tuesday morning paper will likely be featuring Sunday evening’s news. I’m curious to see if and how the editors will address the lag in news time.