Sept. 11 Anniversary Coverage Online

The Sept. 11 attacks marked a milestone for online news coverage. Like the death of Princess Diana and the 2000 presidential elections, users flocked online in record numbers and news organizations put unprecedented resources into their online coverage.

Online news sites' coverage of the attacks and their aftermath was some of the best work they've ever done, and the events gave new prominence to "do-it-yourself journalism" such as Web logs.

These same news sites spent months preparing for the Sept. 11 anniversary. With so much time to plan and produce -- and with very little fresh news -- the coverage is, naturally, very different. It tends to be more polished, prepackaged and in-depth.

Whether you are a print, broadcast or online journalist, studying this work can be a great way to get fresh ideas and learn how to tell stories in new ways. And to learn how to better use your news organization's Web site to reach readers. Most of these techniques can be used to tell just about any type of news story, from local political issues to horrific crimes.

Below is a list of some of the most interesting and outstanding online anniversary coverage (please send in more examples). For comparison's sake, here's a look back at some of the best coverage of the attacks published online one year ago.

Read, listen, watch, explore, interact. Study, and learn.

Jonathan Dube, CyberJournalist.net

Sept. 11 Anniversary Coverage:

NPR.org, Sonic Memorial.
NPR's Lost and Found Sound and the public broadcasting community collected sounds related to Sept. 11, in part through a phone line that hundreds of people from around the world have called. The Sonic Memorial project is an impressive
searchable audio archive of immediate, first-person accounts chronicling this historic event from almost every vantage point. T
he site's unique Sonic Browser interface enables users to zoom in and out on specific sounds while ambient audio plays in the background.
WashingtonPost.com, "Rebuilding a Fortress, Rebuilding a Life"
WashingtonPost.com videojournalist Travis Fox spent four months with a sheet metal worker who is helping rebuild the Pentagon after his son was killed in the Sept. 11 attack there. The documentary he produced, "Rebuilding a Fortress, Rebuilding a Life," is first-rate, but what makes it so noteworthy is that ABC News aired his piece Aug. 16, 2002, on "Nightline UpClose." This is the first time a nationally broadcast television news program was based entirely on a documentary produced by a news Web site, according to Poynter's Al Tompkins.
San Jose Mercury News/Knight Ridder, Voices: A series of portraits and audio interviews with New Yorkers, plus an audio interview with columnist Dave Barry and an audio reading by Leonard Pitts Jr. of a legendary column he wrote on Sept. 11.
WashingtonPost.com, A Year of Terror, Change and War: Video montage of the sights and sounds from the past year.
New York Times, "Above Lower Manhattan." Vincent Laforet describes how he shot The New York Times "A Nation Challenged" cover photo for Sept. 11, 2002.

Reader reactions/feedback
CNN.com, World Trade Center: Your Proposals: CNN.com asked readers to send in their proposals on how to rebuild the World Trade Center site, got more than 1,900 submissions, and published them online in a fascinating gallery.
MSNBC.com, Touched By Terror: In audio and text, readers tell their stories of how Sept. 11 affected them.
Washington Post, In Their Own Words:
Washington-area residents share their thoughts on the terrorist attacks and how they've change their lives.

Times Herald-Record, A Day in September. The Middletown, N.Y., newspaper interviewed dozens of local people about their 9/11 experiences and published the audio and transcripts from them on this site, arranged in order to tell a chronological story.
CNN.com, Faces of Sept. 11: CNN.com asked readers to send in stories of people who were unsung heros of Sept. 11 and published some of their words, plus additional information about them, online.

Associated Press, Uneasy Anniversary: Day-by-day calendar look at all the Sept. 11-related news in the past year.
MSNBC.com, Moment by Moment: An interactive timeline that incorporates video and details everything of significance that happened on Sept. 11 hour-by-hour.

CNN.com, Fighting Terror: From airport security to anthrax, am interactive timeline of the nation's war against terrorism.
New York Times, A Year of War, Anxiety and Questions
: Separate, simple timelines on the past year in NYC, anthrax, the war abroad and domestic defense.
Sept. 11 And Since: A simple look at the sequence of events on Sept. 11 and the days that followed, plus other interactives.
NBC4.TV, Since 9/11, The Events of the Past Year:  Day-by-day calendar look at all the Sept. 11-related news in the past year.
ABCNEWS.com, Diary of Death: Day-by-day calender look at all the Sept. 11-related news in the past year.

Photo essays and interactive features
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New York, Then and Now: This slide show rotates between Sept. 11 photos and present-day images from the same scene, providing an interesting comparison.
Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 10, Then and Now: A statistical look at how American has changed in the past year, presented in an interactive format.
The New York Times, The Faces of 9/11: New York Times photographers narrate slide shows of the photos they took on Sept. 11, 2001, describing the scenes and their memories.
Newsday, New Yorkers' Spirit in a Year of Recovery: Powerful, narrated slide show with commentary by columnist Ellis Henican.
MSNBC.com and Newsweek.com, Ground Zero, One Year Later: Using IPIX 360-degree photo technology, users can zoom in on various locations around Ground Zero.
USA Today, Four hours of fear: Interactive documentary, incorporating video, that looks at what happened inside the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
WashingtonPost.com: The Aftermath: Photo essay, with commentary by Henry Allen
MSNBC.com, Images of an American Tragedy: Multimedia gallery of slide shows that blend photos, audio and video about the aftermath of the attacks.

CBSNews.com, The Heart of the Tragedy:
CBS News' John Roberts reports on the grim task of determining terror's toll in this interactive documentary.
Associated Press, The Missing:
Documentary-style photo essay incorporating audio.
Savannah Morning News, How We Changed: Flash slide show incorporating audio.
Seattle Times, Crossing America: In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, Seattle Times reporter Alex Tizon and photographer Alan Berner crossed the nation to gauge the mood of the people. As the anniversary of the attacks approaches, they hit the road again, building online slide shows to complement their stories.
USA Today, Rebuilding the Pentagon: Interactive documentary on the rebuilding of the Pentagon.
Poynter.org, September 11 Gallery: This collection of images of newspaper front pages compares Sept. 11, 2002, front pages to those of a year ago.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Sept. 11, One Year On: T
he day that changed history as seen through the eyes of the Herald's correspondents who were on the spot in New York and Washington. A Flash multimedia presentation using pictures, graphics and audio.

Victim Databases/Memorials
Tribune Publishing Company newspapers, Remembering the Lost: A number of sites have put databases of the victims online, but this one, compiled by 11 Tribune newspapers, is the most comprehensive. It combines the powerful information delivery of a database with an online memorial to the victims, including photos and descriptions of many of the victims.
New York Times, Portraits of Grief: Here you can search and read all of The Times Portraits of Grief series about Sept. 11 victims, hear Times' editors discuss the series and even read and add to a collection of tributes to the victims.
CNN.com, Sept. 11: A Memorial: Database of victims, including memorial tributes for some.
NBC10.com (Philadelphia), Virtual Memorial: Messages from individuals across America, categorized by state and an interactive map of the U.S. Users can "light" their own "virtual candle."
Remember.Yahoo.com: Online memorial site from Yahoo that incorporates news stories and lets readers create memorial tiles.

Web logs
Poynter.org, Sept. 11, 2002: Chronicling the Coverage: Poynter faculty and readers list anniversary coverage they find interesting.
San Jose Mercury News, 9.11 Blog: Good Morning Silicon Valley Web logger John Paczkowski culled together this list of coverage across the Web.
Christian Science Monitor, Reflections on Sept. 11: Reporters filed dispatches about 9/11 throughout the day to a Web log.
Courier-journal.com, How the Web Covered 9/11:
The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal Web site's staff sifted through Sept. 11 content on other Web sites and posted reports and links in its public forums.

Other interesting online stories/packages
New York Times, Thinking Big: A plan for Ground Zero and Beyond: Over the last three months, some of the world's most accomplished architects collaborated on a far-ranging scheme to rebuild not only Ground Zero, but to reimagine much of Lower Manhattan. The New York Times Magazine's Sept. 8 cover story explored their work, but since by nature much of the story was visual, the Magazine wisely supplemented it with a nice online interactive presentation that lets readers view the designs and listen to the architects discuss their ideas.
CNN.com: How prepared is your city? A look at how secure the nation's 30 largest cities are and what steps they've taken since Sept. 11, including "report cards" for each of the cities.  
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, How our culture is responding: From the arts to religion.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, After math:
A statistical survey of the United States a year after the attacks.
L.A. Daily News Remembers 9-11
: The Los Angeles Newspaper Group replaced the home page of its eight newspapers with a memorial, a scrolling presentation of the names of those lost on Sept. 11 against a black blackground with the Twin Towers in silhouette.

Complete coverage sections
Associated Press
The New York Times
Washington Post  
USA Today
Christian Science Monitor

Australian Broadcasting Company

WNBC (New York)
L.A. Daily News
NBC4.com (DC)

Orange County Register

Savannah Morning News
(Chicago) Daily Herald
The Sydney Morning Herald



3 comments about 'Sept. 11 Anniversary Coverage Online'

I have a poem i wrote about 9 11 since it was and still is my birthday. I am looking for someplace to submit it and went to this site but not sure where I should write it so it will be read by lots of people. I have shared this poem with many and they suggested I get it published. Please tell me where the best place to get it published would be.


Holley A. Kinnear

Posted by Holley kinnear at August 25, 2004 2:48 PM

I have a poem i wrote about 9 11 since it was and still is my birthday. I am looking for someplace to submit it and went to this site but not sure where I should write it so it will be read by lots of people. I have shared this poem with many and they suggested I get it published. Please tell me where the best place to get it published would be.


Holley A. Kinnear

Posted by Holley kinnear at August 25, 2004 2:49 PM

Nice site.

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