Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U's Week of Super Bowl Work Was 8 Days' Worth of 'Keepers'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U's Week of Super Bowl Work Was 8 Days' Worth of 'Keepers'

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Clark, Times-Union Reader Advocate

A newspaper that is worth saving is called a "keeper."

So let's just call the entire Super Bowl week a keeper.

There were special sections for eight straight days, a 3-D section that was mind-boggling to produce, a majestic front-page photo of fireworks over the skyline and so much coverage that it was difficult to read it all.

The image of a city is tied to its daily newspaper. It's a marriage. Times-Union executives knew this newspaper would be judged by its performance during the Super Bowl, just like city would be. Everyone in the newsroom did something special. Even newsroom retirees were recalled.

Response from the readers was gratifying.

-- Ann Wilson, Mandarin: "The coverage has just been so rewarding. I'm a new subscriber, I've only been taking the paper for two weeks. I took your editions into work each day and showed off those fantastic photographs and shared some of the articles with my co-workers."

-- Lynn Brady, Tallahassee: "Congratulations, Jacksonville! You 'done good!' You have a right to be pleased with the Super Bowl and yourselves. You put on one heck of a party! Let the naysaying, Waffle House-bashing, Yankee reporters wallow in their snobbery. Florida is proud of you!"

-- Neil Schindler, Orlando: "You didn't hide your city's shortcomings and didn't flout its attributes. You just covered it and reported the news. Even though your paper had a huge financial stake in the outcome of this event, I never saw a trace of any of that influencing your coverage."

Editor Patrick Yack summed up the effort this way: "Newspapers are really about building community. During Super Bowl week, the Times-Union gave the city its voice, capturing all the pageantry and spirit of one of the country's greatest sporting events. By reading the paper or going to you could feel the pulse of a city that was electrically charged."

Planning for the Super Bowl began in earnest over a year ago when Yack put Sports Editor Chet Fussman in charge. He was the conductor who pulled together all the resources of the newsroom.

"We wanted to produce something special, something people wouldn't get anywhere else," Fussman said. …

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