When to yell, “Stop the presses!”

If you are The New York Times and you find out that Osama bin Laden has been found and killed, that might be a good time to tell the presses to stop running:

It fell to David Geary, the late editor on the news desk, to call the press guys — Robert Barnes, in charge of the National Edition network of 26 print sites, and Scott Morrison, assistant plant manager at the print facility in College Point, Queens — telling each of them: “Osama Bin Laden is dead. We need to stop the presses.”

Oh, and to post something to the Web:

Ms. Cooper then composed a two-paragraph news story saying Bin Laden had been “apprehended,” but she didn’t hit the send button. She thought of someone else who might confirm the report, called him at 10:34 and said, “I hear they caught Bin Laden.”

“Killed,” he responded. “Not caught.”

She changed “apprehended” to “killed” and sent the story to the desk, writing in the subject line, “URGENT POST ASAP.”

Times have changed, but when people want to know what’s happened, they still go to The New York Times – in enough numbers to make even its servers “gasp for air.”

I like that.

One Response to When to yell, “Stop the presses!”

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