The People and the Photos

The St. Petersburg Times, which is owned by Poynter, kicked off its 9/11 anniversary coverage in this morning’s paper. A three-column centerpiece (see PDF version here) dominates the page and focuses on the family of flight attendant CeeCee Lyles, who died on United Airlines Flight 93. Inside, page 6A is devoted mostly to three pairs of then-and-now photographs depicting the Manhattan sklyline, an apartment 350 feet from ground zero and the Sarasota classroom that President Bush was visiting when the planes hit the buildings.

What works for me: The story on the Lyles family is well and briefly told, just under 1,000 words. Short enough that I can read it before work as opposed to piling on a stack never to be read later.

The smartly selected and edited photos, especially the photos of the apartment on Cedar Street, reconnected me to the events of the day.

Online, The Times set up a Share Your Memories area. I visited fairly early this morning so not surprising that no comments had been posted yet, but I liked the feature that showed me how many readers (43) had visited by the time I did around 7 a.m.

What could use some work: I was surprised not to find the photos from 6a. Maybe there were rights issues — or maybe they actually are online and I failed to find them — but I was looking for some reference to them on the launch page for the package. (As a newspaper reader who often encounters the same paper in print and online, I appreciate editing that takes such dual-platform usage into account. I’m sure there’s research showing how common or unusual such usage is these days, but can’t recall it off-hand.)

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