“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”
Until the late 1940s newspapers were the primary method of delivering the news. In addition to normal daily papers Extra’s were published when something big happened. These were sold on the street by newsboys.
Today (as well as in 2001) radio, television and internet have become the primary methods of delivering the news. Extra’s are only printed in case of major unexpected events. 9/11 was such a major news event. The first jet flew into the Twin Towers at 8:46 a.m, which gave newspapers enough time to issue Extra’s.
9/11 Newspaper headlines
The images above are from newspaper Extra’s published on september 11, 2001, the images below from september 12. It’s an experiment. I was just curious how each newspaper brought the news that day. How big their headlines were in comparison to the size of the pages. How objective the content would be.
I expected to find huge headlines that would cover the entire page. Instead, most newspaper decided to use large images to tell the story. Their headlines are not very descriptive though. Most newspapers assumed readers already knew what the story was about, hence the “TERROR” and “ATTACK” headlines.
The Wall Street Journal did a better job at informing their readers. The newspaper published their first 6-column-wide headline since the attack on Pearl Harbor, which read:“TERRORISTS DESTROY WORLD TRADE CENTER, HIT PENTAGON IN RAID WITH HIJACKED JETS.”
The Examiner was critized for using “BASTARDS!” on their front page.
Ten years later other newspapers did the same thing, when covering the news of Bin Laden’s death, like the Daily News: “ROT IN HELL!” and the New York Post:
“GOT HIM! Vengeance at last! US nails the bastard”
Related: “Is this really necessary? Or is this New York Daily News cover just a ploy to get a few more customers?” Steve Heller discusses the New York Daily News “screamer” headline that, according to him “is guaranteed to telegraph and instill terror:” “9/11 TERROR THREAT – N.Y.C. & D.C. in cross hairs of ‘car bomb plot’”