Thursday, November 09, 2000

Enquirer waited all night long for winner

By Ward Bushee
Editor, The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Cincinnati Enquirer produced an Election Extra edition of about 10,000 copies Wednesday morning for downtown locations as an update to the presidential election race between Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore.

        But unlike the Enquirer's Extra that proclaimed John F. Kennedy president over Vice President Richard Nixon in a close race 40 years before, there was no winner to declare in Wednesday's Extra.

        Headlined “IT'S NOT OVER”, the Extra went to press at about 6 a.m., after the Enquirer's regular home-delivery and single-copy editions had been printed and distributed. The Extra had news updates on the election stalemate as of 5:15 a.m. Wednesday.

        As with many daily newspapers, the Enquirer delayed going to press with its regular Wednesday morning editions while staff members tracked wire service, television network and Web site reports on the race. When the TV networks and some Web sites proclaimed Mr. Bush victorious based on a shifting count of Florida's electoral votes, Enquirer editors prepared and processed a front page that reflected the apparent winner. About 2,300 copies of the Enquirer actually were printed with the headline “Bush wins”, but none were distributed. Editors held back copies awaiting confirmation from its primary news service, the Associated Press. None came and TV networks and other news sources soon recanted their call of Mr. Bush's victory.


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