Power outage forces Harvard Crimson to produce paper out of dining hall

“Thank you all for refusing to let our incapacitated building get in the way of getting out a newspaper,” Harvard Crimson managing editor Rebecca Robbins tells her staff after dealing with a power outage. “We went from having no inDesign files at approximately 8 p.m. to distributing a meaty nine-story paper by morning, power outage be damned.”

Her memo:

From: Rebecca Robbins
Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Subject: [News-l] A big thank you
To: News , biz-l@googlegroups.com, Sportstalk , EdTalk

Hey everyone,

If you picked up today’s paper, you might have noticed that it looked a little different than usual. If you proceeded to read the paper, you might have spotted the telltale sign that something was up — the rare Crimson tradition of reporting on ourselves.

CRIMSON

“Hampden was not the only building affected, as adjacent buildings, including a handful of Harvard Square businesses and the offices of The Crimson at 14 Plympton Street, plunged into darkness. With the newsroom darkened and the presses at a standstill, production of Tuesday’s Crimson shifted next door to the Adams House dining hall, where a skeleton staff worked past 2 a.m. to edit and design the paper. Turley Publications, Inc. of Palmer, Mass., printed Tuesday’s paper.”

Daily designers Kerry and Shree had just sat down to design the paper yesterday afternoon when the lights went out at The Crimson. We all expected the power to come back on quickly, but it didn’t. As the night wore on, we started to confront the reality that we wouldn’t be producing or printing a paper at 14 Plympton St.

But none of you were daunted. We went from having no inDesign files at approximately 8 p.m. to distributing a meaty nine-story paper by morning, power outage be damned./CONTINUES

A huge thank you to everyone who stepped up to make our Adams Dining Hall production go smoothly last night. Minji resourcefully dug up as many InDesign files as she could from her email, and Shree designed a beautiful Page Two from scratch when we couldn’t find an old one. Ariane came in at the drop of a hat to help solve our many and varied design challenges. Multimedia compers John Wang and Christophe Van helped edit and shoot photos, and Soto took a beautifully eerie photo of the darkness. Nikhil and Dominic were wonderfully patient as they waited for their pages to come into being.

Nick and Sam wrote two stories apiece, including one each that was pitched to them after 11 p.m. Dev and Steve also contributed intrepid late-night reporting and writing. Quinn, Marco, Nikita, Matt, Irfan, and Brian all wrote strong, well-reported stories that were cleanly edited on laptops in dining halls across campus by Akua, Kevin, and Hana. A committee of editors–including Hana, Justin, Radhika, Kevin, and Caroline–all helped out with proofing. Rockstar ANEs Steven and Nikki diligently transferred stories via flash drive from internet-powered laptops to the unconnected desktop design computer. Bobby rallied the troops, and Creamer stuck around all night transporting computers to Adams Dining Hall, communicating with NSTAR, and making arrangements to get our paper printed off-site. And Kerry, the MVP of the night, cannot be praised enough. She arrived in Adams dhall before 9 p.m. to start designing the paper from the odds and ends we could scrounge up and stayed until the very end to solve every design emergency that arose.

In sum: thank you all for refusing to let our incapacitated building get in the way of getting out a newspaper. All of you make what we do everyday worth it.

Much love,
Rebecca

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