I thought you might be curious to know why we had only a very brief item on the death of Steve Irwin ("The Crocodile Hunter") inside Monday’s paper, but then featured the story on the cover today.
It all comes down to timing. Because the Labor Day edition is one of the biggest weekday papers we do all year, we closed out the paper earlier than usual Sunday night. News of Irwin’s death came after that, around midnight, just as the presses were beginning to run. Information was very scarce, and we had only enough to compile what we call a "brief" â€” just a couple of paragraphs of information â€” and not enough for a full story. We made the quickest possible substitution, putting that brief in an existing briefs column on Page 14A. The new page was sent to the pressroom, and the presses had to be stopped to put it on.
From time to time, you may notice a small star at the top of certain pages, near the page number and date. That star indicates the page was substituted during the press run, usually either to correct a mistake or to get in late news. If your paper on Monday had the Irwin brief on Page 14A, that page carried such a star. Because we were able to sub in that brief quickly, most readers’ papers carried the updated page.
We were sorry, though, not to be able to offer readers a fuller story. So we went to work on that the next day, using information from the Associated Press and our own reporting at the Sedgwick County Zoo. That story is on today’s Page 1A.