September 11, 2001
By the time this issue of PrintMedia hits desks everywhere, nearly two months will have passed since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 occurred. That mere mention of the date carries weight indicates its grave significance. In the hours that followed the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a plane over Pennsylvania, the country wanted—and needed—information. People everywhere looked to television, radio and the Internet as the events unfolded, but sought out print media in order to gain more insight. Time and Newsweek responded accordingly with special issues that hit newsstands less than two days after the attacks. The issues included photo essays and special reports, but were without advertisements. Time's production director, Nancy Mynio, oversaw the Herculean production efforts at the magazine. "Within 48 hours of when the event occurred, magazines were on-sale in New York," states Mynio. "The issue was essentially written and imaged within a 12-hour period of time."
Focus on the task at hand
For those who gained word of the initial attack shortly before 9:00 a.m., work at once became unthinkable and impossible. Imagine then how difficult the task of producing a special issue must have been, both logistically and emotionally. John Nallen, director of manufacturing for Newsweek, was in Virginia when he heard the news. In just a few hours, the decision was made to produce a special issue and Nallen was in a car headed to the magazine's production facilities in New Jersey. He describes how he focused on the task at hand: "My thoughts were on both the tragic events and the need to produce the magazine. The entire drive back I was worried about what was going on, but this is the business we're in. We've been in these situations before. You need to respond. This is what we do best. Our job is to inform people. They're looking to have information." Obviously, time was of the essence. Whereas Newsweek usually closes in stages Tuesday through Saturday, he says "with the special issue, everything closed at one time."