OLD Media Moves

Des Moines biz section's bad luck

November 15, 2006

The business section of the Des Moines Register ran a story on the front of its Tuesday business section that featured local company Two Rivers Marketing and its founder Tom Dunphy.

Des Moines RegisterThe only problem, according to an Editor & Publisher story, was that the front page of the paper had a story about a plane crash that it was later determined killed Dunphy and other company employees on Monday evening. The victims were not identified by the time the paper went to press.

E&P’s Joe Strupp wrote, “‘What are the odds?’ Register Business Editor Lynn Hicks said Tuesday. ‘When I heard this morning, I thought this is not a company we do much coverage of. This was a feature that could have run any day.’ â€?Hicks said the business section closed at about 11 p.m. Monday night, about four hours after the plane crash occurred. But he said when editors received the first AP reports of the crash, there was no indication the occupants were linked to the feature story.“‘If there was, nobody contacted me,’ Hicks told E&P. ‘I went home close to 8 p.m. and I didn’t hear anything about it.’ Editor Carolyn Washburn could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

Night City Editor Audrey Burgs said she received a tip at about 11:30 p.m. that the plane had possibly been leased to Two Rivers Marketing, but could not confirm it before the 11:55 p.m. front page deadline. ‘I did everything I could to try to nail it down,’ she said.

“Throughout the day Tuesday, the Register has been updating its Web site with new information on the plane crash, while also posting a link to the feature story. The Web version of the feature story does not appear to have been changed in reaction to the crash. But an editor’s note with the Web version explaining what happened has been posted.” Read more here.

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