Peter Canellos’ Monday morning began just like any other.
Canellos, a 1984 College graduate and former Daily Pennsylvanian executive editor, arrived in The Boston Globe’s newsroom at around 10 a.m., just in time to make the newspaper’s 10:15 a.m. editorial board meeting.
Three hours later, Canellos — the Globe’s editorial page editor — found himself in the middle of what he calls “the most important story” during his time in Boston.
Canellos was among a handful of Penn alumni who covered Monday’s explosion for local and national media outlets, doing his part to combat misinformation and bring a city together during a time of panic.
“I think people understood right away that this was a major story and a major event,” Canellos said. “As a big city newspaper, you want to speak for the community. That’s what we’re supposed do.”
Canellos first saw reports of the explosion — which reportedly killed three and injured at least 140 more — on Twitter. It took about 10 minutes before the newsroom began to receive any official confirmation.
As the Globe’s editorial page editor, Canellos’ first instinct was to begin working with his staff to plan out the day’s opinion content.
Five of his columnists “immediately sprang into action,” he said, heading out to the marathon route to begin gathering information for their pieces later that night.
Canellos stayed in the office for most of the day, thinking about how he would go about writing the newspaper’s editorial in the evening.
“I’ve waited until the latest possible hour to write it so I have the best possible information,” Canellos said at around 7 p.m. “It’s going to be a very difficult piece to write.”
A few miles away from Canellos, Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz — a 2001 College graduate and former DP sports editor — was standing just blocks from the marathon’s finish line, trying to piece together what had happened hours ago.
Moskowitz spent much of his day calling into the newsroom, providing his editors with accounts of different stories he had seen and heard.
In one case, Moskowitz ran into a 33-year-old woman who had finished the marathon just minutes before the explosion. The woman’s parents were standing on opposite ends of the finish line, and her mother had been injured when the bomb went off.
Her mother was taken to a nearby hospital.
“On occasion, you would see people crying, understandably, and other times people seemed clueless — drinking from red Solo cups like a regular Boston Marathon day,” Moskowitz said of the scene.
Throughout the day, “I probably saw at least eight different Globe reporters I knew at the scene,” he added. “You sort of can’t throw too many people at this story.”
When some of the confusion started to die down later in the evening and runners began returning home, Moskowitz described the feeling in the city as “eerie.”
While misinformation about what was happening flew around social media throughout the afternoon, Moskowitz said he intentionally avoided posting updates on Twitter.
“I felt that my first priority was to gather news then to relay that back to the desk,” he said. “I wasn’t sure how much benefit there would be in Tweeting a half quote from someone who was terrified. I thought things needed a bit more context — I didn’t want to add noise without context.”
As Moskowitz wrapped up his reporting for the day, he paused for a second to look ahead to the next few hours.
“There’s a long night ahead of us,” he said, putting down the phone as he began to walk back to the newsroom.Comments powered by Disqus
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