Archive for November, 2013

4 editions and John F. Kennedy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Today I got a visit from Ray and Conni Lewis of Kanawha City. They brought in a box with yellowed newspapers of the past — tangible history of the day John F. Kennedy was shot.


This is the fourth and final edition of the Nov. 22, 1963, Charleston Daily Mail

The newspapers were the four editions of the Charleston Daily Mail from Nov. 22, 1963. As an afternoon newspaper at the time, the Daily Mail first printed a suburban edition that had no sign of a national tragedy — just a front page picture of some people protesting the president’s Texas visit.  With each edition after that, the horrible story unfolded with greater detail and certainty.

Ray, then 16, was in chemistry class at Charleston Catholic.  That’s where he first heard Kennedy had been shot.

“Within half an hour, we knew he was dead.”

Because his high school was downtown, Ray had immediate access to the newspaper bins that kept receiving updated edition after updated edition.

“I walked past the newspaper rack and there was one marked ‘Extra,'” he recalled. He put in a nickel and got a copy.

“Shortly after that, another one came out.”

By the end of the day, he had four editions of the paper, which he kept for 50 years.

Conni marveled at the newspaper staff’s ability to provide update after update.

“Think what it would have taken to put out 4 front pages with jumps.”

This is the "Suburban" edition that came out before news of the assassination.

This is the “Suburban” edition that came out before news of the assassination.


This is the first “Extra” edition when Kennedy’s fate still wasn’t clear.

In this second "Extra" edition, it was clear that Kennedy had died.

In this second “Extra” edition, it was clear that Kennedy had died.

Kennedy and Thanksgiving dinners gone awry: Ways readers can help us out

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Readers are obviously a big part of what we do. And now and then there are opportunities for you to help us directly.

The Daily Mail is looking for reader participation for a couple of upcoming projects.

John_F_Kennedy_Official_Portrait-202x300The first is a look back at the death of President John F. Kennedy.

A few weeks ago, we asked readers to submit memories of Nov. 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Dozens responded with emails, calls and letters.

The Daily Mail has collected those remembrances on a special website, We’ll update the site all week, adding new stories each day, leading up to the anniversary date. We’re also planning related coverage in our print edition on Friday.

Are you a West Virginian with a memory you’d still like to submit? Send an email to or Write as long or as short as you’d like, but be sure to include your contact information in case we need to reach you.

If you want to give Zack a call, his number is  304-348-7939.

The other reader participation project has a bit of a lighter tone.

Have you ever had a Thanksgiving dinner disaster?

The Charleston Daily Mail is looking for tales of Thanksgiving cooking gone awry. The time the turkey slid right off the platter onto the floor. The year you forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie. Send your fateful, fearful, less-than-fun tales to Monica Orosz —

We’ll publish the results of this project in the paper the day before Thanksgiving so it’ll serve as either a warning or as comic relief.


The Charelstn Dialy Mail reely needs a copy edtr

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Haha. Sort of kidding.

I could have edited that headline myself. But I need help. My staff needs help. We need you! (If you are a copy editor.) (Admission: The first time I typed that sentence, I wrote “coy editor.”)

dailymaillogoWe have an opening for a copy editor coming up in late December/early January. That’s perfect if you are graduating during that time period. Or maybe you have a couple of years experience as a copy editor and you’re looking to make a change for the new year.

Our copy editors are MVPs, and they are rarely bored. Not only do they edit, but they also write headlines, lay out pages in a pleasing way, work with photographs and, more and more, are active with our website — posting materials in a timely manner, producing photo galleries and videos, writing headlines that are both accurate and potentially viral and working with social media. Shwew! No wonder we need somebody!

Here’s the ad we recently posted:

The Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia’s capital is seeking a copy editor/designer. Responsibilities include copy editing, designing inside and section front pages, and maintaining and optimizing the publication’s Web presence. We’re affiliated with Digital First Media.

Ideal candidates might be recent college graduates up to journalists with five years of newspaper experience, strong copy editing skills and a bachelor’s degree in journalism or related field. We have won multiple General Excellence Awards from the state press association, have a hard-working staff, foster a supportive work environment — and enjoy Saturday nights off. Please e-mail resume and design and writing samples to Daily Mail Editor Brad McElhinny at

Think you’re exactly right for the job? Drop me a line!