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The information cycle

Next day: Newspapers

The next day of the event, newspapers published longer stories. The New York Times is an example of a newspaper which dedicated the larger part of their September 12 issue on the September 11 attacks. The banner headlines of the newspaper informed the general public about the event using a few words only.

Click the image to browse and read the New York Times archived issue published on September 12, 2001.

Image showing New York Times first page

Information dissemination

The day that followed the event, the information continued flowing in short written form. Articles in newspapers tried to capture the chronological series of events, the reactions of the federal government, the president, testimonies of civilians who witnessed the crash and how it affected airports, hospitals, and other infrastructures. Additionally, it provided background information on similar past terrorist attacks. 

Newspaper attributes

Reading articles online, can be trickier than when you are looking at a print version of a source. Computer screens impose us with the impression that all information sources are the same or that they offer the same kind of information.

Check the table that follows with the newspaper attributes that will help you determine the type of source you are viewing.

 Attributes   Hints
Name of source

Newspaper names are usually broad and do not target a particular topic. They also include words like Times, Chronicle, Daily which implies that they offer current information. Major national and regional newspapers also use names of cities like The New York Times or Washington Post.
Author of information

Newspaper articles may or may not list their authors. Sometimes articles are obtained from the various national and international wire services such as Reuters and reference no other sources. Feature stories usually provide their authors names who are journalists or a staff writers without revealing their credentials.
Date of information
Newspapers are published daily. Major national and regional newspapers may provide extended coverage on weekends. The date appears in the form of Day, Month, Year.
Length of information
Newspaper articles are not very long ranging from a few paragraphs to a few pages.
Language used
Headlines of newspaper articles often use very short words to make an impact. In general, the language used in newspaper articles tries to cause great public interest and excitement.
Subject focus
Newspaper articles typically report news on a wide variety of topics from business and politics to technology, sports, food, travel, health and arts.
Additional elements
Newspapers make extensive use of photographs and include advertisements. May also include special inserts or supplements.
Layout & arrangement
Newspapers in print or on the web arrange articles in columns. The most important news articles on events typically appear on the front page of the first section of the newspaper. Most newspapers are divided into sections.
Purpose & audience

The purpose of newspaper articles is to provide more detailed information like facts and a deeper investigation into the immediate context of the event compared to tv and radio news. They may also offer chronology of events, quotes from experts and/or government officials, statistics and local perspectives. They intend to inform the general public.
Database Icons

Library databases often provide icons which indicate the type of source like  or