Two major news networks have decreased their coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on this year’s 11th anniversary. Is it possible that other networks will follow suit?
The New York Times, stationed a mere three miles from ground zero, kept the front-page headlines current on September 11, 2012. The New York Times ran “Teacher’s Strike in Chicago Tests Mayor and Union” on the front page while the article pertaining to the anniversary of 9/11 was printed in Section A, Page 17.
Has the time come for journalists to step back from the obvious anniversary article? Margaret Sullivan, public editor of the New York Times, thinks so.
In a blog post about the New York Time’s decision, Sullivan wrote: “The pain, the outrage, the loss – these never fade. The amount of journalism, however, must.”
Poynter.org has helped beginning journalists develop their skills online, as well as providing breaking news stories. Poynter.org held a live twitter chat with journalists discussing the New York Times’ decision and the reactions of its readers. The responses were diverse.
Among the responses was Paul Wallen, a writer for Kerrville, Texas, Daily Times. “Good call. We remember, but time to move past annual A1 story,” tweeted Wallen.
Others seem to agree with Wallen. In a Poynter.org poll readers were asked, “Is it time to move 9/11 remembrances off the front page on the anniversary of the attacks?” fourty-four percent of the respondents said yes, it’s time to move Sept. 11 off the front page. Another fourty-four percent said it is not OK.
Like the New York Times, NBC’s “The Daily Show” chose to air other content rather than participating in a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. to observe when the first plane crashed into the North Tower 11 years ago. NBC has been facing criticism for airing Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s mother, and the interview about her new breast implants.
Many networks devoted sufficient time for the remembrance of 9/11 while others did not. “Often, other than the local events surrounding an anniversary, there isn’t always much to say that is original,” Sullivan wrote.
Opinions vary on whether the anniversary of 9/11 is still front-page news. Can journalists find a new angle for the 12th anniversary of 9/11? There are only 350 days until the nation finds out.