First big test

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Nothing like a major, worldwide news event to test a news staff -- and a new website! When the news broke last night that Osama bin Laden had been killed, editors at The Texan, like editors around the world, tore up the front page and went back to work, despite the late hour.

The result of that effort, including reporting, graphics and photos from Austin, is in readers' hands this morning. Our effort in print easily outshone the Statesman. Our images were picked up by AP and are appearing all over the world. I saw one of our shots on "Good Morning America" today. Equally impressive is the work  that went into getting the news up on The Texan's new website. We went from a "breaking news" banner to a full-fledged story with staff art -- and an accompanying video and slideshow -- in a very short period of time. The website and the staff responded in a truly professional manner.

A shout out to managing editor Claire Cardona, design editor Veronica Rosalez, news editor Lena Price, multimedia editor Josh Barajas, Sydney Fitzgerald and Ashley Morgan of the copy desk, Audrey White and Will Alsdorf of the news desk, lensers Erika Rich, Corey Leamon, Trent Lesikar, Andrew Edmonson and the rest of the photo staff and Web angel Michael Redding for all their hard work last night. It's one you one won't forget, trust me.

Bin Laden's death brings back memories of 9/11 for everyone who was alive at that time. I remember it as my day off, a warm, sunny Tuesday, as I watched the planes crash into the Twin Towers. Those planes came from Boston, where I worked at The Boston Globe. I drove into the office and left my family at home, where I barely returned for the rest of the week. Intense work, intense emotion -- that's what I remember. I still find it hard to squeeze any joy out of this.

I urge you to follow coverage of the media and this event on romenesko:

http://www.poynter.org/category/latest-news/romenesko/

there you'll find this note of interest to copy editors everywhere:

New York Times staffers received this memo early Monday morning:

From: Jolly, Tom 

Date: May 2, 2011 4:15:37 AM EDT

To: 

Subject: Two style decisions

At Jill and Bill’s request, we dropped the honorific for Bin Laden.

Without a “Mr.” in front of his name, it was decided that we should capitalize the “B” in Bin Laden on second references.

Thanks.

Tom Jolly

Associate Managing Editor / Night News

The New York Times