In 2001, I ran the production desk for the Life & Arts and Entertainment sections, supervising the work of about 10 editors and designers. The events of 9/11 called on everyone in the newsroom to do whatever they could whenever they could. Many of us worked on an Extra Edition, finished something as mundane as a Food section and went back to work on the next Special Edition.
I was getting ready for work when I saw the first report of a plane striking the World Trade Center.
… In the car on my way to the office when I heard that the Pentagon was hit.
By the time I reached the office, editors had decided to produce an Extra Edition of the newspaper. Those of us in the office scrambled to handle whatever duties we could. The Books editor designed a front page, features copy editors wrote headlines and redrew pages, the Metro editor pulled wire stories.
We published an early report that hit the streets by noon. Then, we did it again. The second street edition was larger and by then more staff had arrived to work on it. Local reporters chased Austin angles and we responded to a false report that another plane was headed for the Texas Capitol.
For the next morning, we published a Special Report with as much content as we could muster.
I had no starring role on this day, this night or the days to come. I was worker bee who helped direct traffic so that some of the most important newspapers of my lifetime were the best they could be.
I’m proud to have contributed.