Without a newsroom, Wall Street Journal scrambles to report
By WENDY STUECK, The Globe and Mail
Friday, September 14, 2001
If the twin towers of World Trade Center symbolized high finance, global deals and the way money shapes the world, then the Wall Street Journal puts that universe into words.
And it did so Wednesday morning, when the paper hit the streets even after its newsroom had been evacuated, its employees scattered and many communication networks wiped out.
The two-section, 32-page paper went to the printer at about 9 p.m. on Tuesday night -- past normal deadlines, but early enough to ensure that about 90 per cent of the Journal's regular subscribers received their paper the next day.
The feat reflected remarkable efforts from Journal employees, including a team of senior editors who co-ordinated coverage from an apartment in midtown Manhattan and technical staff who co-ordinated stories and graphics in a makeshift newsroom in New Jersey.
"We couldn't be more proud of our staff," Dow Jones & Co. spokeswoman Vickee Adams said yesterday. "Everyone has risen to the occasion and served the needs of our readers in a way that is pure Wall Street Journal."
The Journal's newsroom, with about 400 employees, is in the World Financial Center, across the street from the World Trade Center.
When two planes hit the World Trade Center on Tuesday morning, many Journal staffers were either already at work or on their way.
Managing editor Paul Steiger was watching the disaster from his office, as was assistant managing editor Jim Pensiero. By the time the second tower was hit, Mr. Steiger had dispatched Mr. Pensiero to New Jersey, where Dow Jones had been testing backup systems. Mr. Steiger stayed behind to make sure people were safely out of the building, said deputy managing editor Joanne Lipman. As well, he was trying to contact key editorial and technical people who could help put a paper out.
Foreign editor John Bussey stayed in the building for some time after the planes crashed into the World Trade Center. His firsthand account ran on the front page of Tuesday's edition.