After Schiavo’s Death, Papers in Florida Plan Major Coverage

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By: Joe Strupp

The death of Terri Schiavo this morning is prompting Florida newspapers to boost coverage on their Web sites and in tomorrow’s editions. While none of the Sunshine State dailies reached by E&P published extra editions today, most were expanding coverage of the woman’s death, which has been anticipated and hotly debated for weeks.

The Tampa Tribune, one of two major dailies near Pinellas Park, where Schiavo died, will run six open pages of coverage on Friday related to the story, according to Managing Editor Duke Maas. He also said most of Page One will relate to the story.

“Because her death occurred at about 9 a.m., it enabled us to give our readers a lot,” Maas told E&P. “We have picked up a little bit of a fatigue factor among our readers on this story, but the stories we generated today we felt were important.”

Editors at the St. Petersburg Times, the other major paper in the area, did not return calls seeking comment.

The Miami Herald will add two pages to its regular Friday edition, which will allow three-and-a-half pages of coverage, according to Editor Tom Fiedler. “One of the questions to ask ourselves is what would we add to this” beyond what has already been reported on television and the Internet, he said.

In a surprise move, The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., used the story to offer its first-ever electronic extra, according to Editor Jim Willse. A year-old electronic edition provides an online replica of the paper each day to about 1,000 subscribers, he said, and the Ledger produced a special electronic edition this afternoon with the banner headline, “Schiavo dies at hospice.”

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