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Inside the newsroom on 9/11

Inside the newsroom on 9/11

Update: 2021-09-101
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Watching the chaotic end of America’s longest war, we’ve been thinking a lot about the terrorist attack that set it in motion. We interviewed colleagues who covered 9/11 to try to make sense of how that day changed the country and the world.


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“Where were you on September 11th?” Most Americans over a certain age have a 9/11 story — of the moment they heard the news of the terrorist attacks, or of anxiously calling family members to make sure they were okay. 


In the 20 years since the attacks, that day for some may feel like a slowly fading memory. But the direct consequences of that Tuesday in 2001 are still playing out in the news in front of us every day.


Today on Post Reports, we’re telling the story of 9/11 through the eyes of our newsroom. We spoke with Post colleagues who covered it — from senior editors, to reporters at the Pentagon, to an intern.


“It changed everyone's lives,” says Post reporter Juliet Eilperin, who was covering Congress that day, “not only in terms of those who lost people that they cared about that day, but what it meant for the commitment of our military and what it meant for people living in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Middle East.”


As the Afghanistan war comes to a harrowing close, we look at how the 9/11 terrorist attacks shaped our world and how the consequences of that day are still with us. 


This story was produced by Ariel Plotnick and Emma Talkoff. It was edited by Maggie Penman, Renita Jablonski and Martine Powers.


It was scored and mixed by Ted Muldoon, who wrote original music for this show. 


Reena Flores and Rennie Svirnovskiy were also a huge help with this story.

In this story, you’ll hear the voices of Leonard Downie, Arthur Santana, Juliet Eilperin, Valerie Strauss, Amy Goldstein, Amy Argetsinger, Marc Fisher, Katie Shaver, Karen DeYoung, Mike Allen, Rosalind S. Helderman, Chuck Lane, Debbi Wilgoren and Matt Vita. 


Thank you to WTOP News for sharing its 9/11 archive.


We talked to so many people for this story who helped shape our understanding of that day, including Tracy Grant, Freddy Kunkle, Dana Milbank, Ellen Nakashima, Ann Gerhart and Dudley Brooks. 


And a big thank-you to Joe Heim, who pitched this idea to our show.

The Post has many other stories reflecting on the anniversary of 9/11 and how our country has changed 20 years later.


Listen to “America’s Song,” a special podcast series from The Post about how a singing police officer comforted a grieving nation after 9/11 — and why the moment couldn’t last.


9/11 was a test. Carlos Lozada writes that the books of the past two decades show how America failed.

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Inside the newsroom on 9/11

Inside the newsroom on 9/11

The Washington Post