Magazine article Editor & Publisher

In the Wake of the Terrorist Attack

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

In the Wake of the Terrorist Attack

Article excerpt

'Virginian-Pilot' leads in 'Cole' coverage

Online and in print, Norfolk daily had all hands on deck as it reported disaster details

The attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, was an act of terrorism committed against the United States. Yet it was more than that in Norfolk, Va., the destroyer's home port, where families dealt with the deaths of some young sailors and the severe injuries of others.

"Why, God, why did this have to happen?" asked one lead story in The Virginian-Pilot, the Norfolk daily newspaper that is well versed in covering military tragedies. It provided the most detailed coverage of the attack on the Cole, beginning Oct. 13, the day after the attack, when about 10 stories ran. The paper picked up a few wire-service stories, but almost all of the coverage was done by its own staff, with a decidedly local bent.

In the Oct. 13 edition, Melissa Wood reported from the Norfolk Naval Station, where families waited to hear the status of their loved ones. "I'm not sure if I'm ready to know yet," one woman said about her missing husband.

Central to The Virginian-Pilot's coverage, said Editor Kay Tucker Addis, were its detailed portraits, in words and pictures, of the 17 sailors who died in the attack. …

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