My interview with Dan Barkin, conducted by e-mail, offers a look at The News & Observer’s decision to publish a special afternoon edition after Barack Obama is sworn in as president. Barkin is a senior editor at the Raleigh paper who also writes columns on occasion.
Q. Why is the N&O publishing an afternoon edition on Inauguration Day?
A. We’re publishing an afternoon edition because we think that there will be demand for it as a keepsake. There will be lots of gatherings around the Triangle where people will be watching the inaugural activities, and we will be distributing to these sites. We will also be distributing at selected single-copy locations.
Q. What can readers expect to see in this edition?
A. We hope they will see the first images coming out of the inaugural, plus a story and highlights of Obama’s speech. If AP moves the speech in advance, we may be able to get the whole speech.
Q. How will the afternoon edition be coordinated with coverage on the N&O Web site?
A. The coverage on the Web site will be substantially more than we can get in the extra. We will be doing a live video feed of the speech, live blogging from the inaugural and continuously updating photo galleries throughout the afternoon and evening, as well as updating stories and reporting on any actions that Obama takes on his first day, such as executive orders.
Q. Can readers expect to see more afternoon editions on special occasions?
A. The last afternoon edition that we published was on 9/11. Typically, it has to be that level of event or an event that would produce an edition people would want to save. So I think this will be rare.
UPDATE: See some of the afternoon editions from several newpapers, including the N&O, at Visual Editors.