Everybody’s asking the question so I’ll share my story. I was managing editor of The Herald-Sun in Durham at the time and I was sitting in my car in my driveway about to head to work. I heard Don Imus say on his radio program that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. I phoned Assistant Managing Editor Rocky Rosen and told him about it and suggested one of our photographers take a photo of any coverage on TV and to put that on our Web page. That’s how we had an image of the smoking WTC on our Web site before almost any other newspaper site in the country, including CNN.

The next day our multimedia editor at the time, Joe Weiss, began working on a before-and-after of the World Trade Center site. He managed to find two photographs on the wires taken from the same vantage point across the river and he created a Flash presentation that faded in and out between the two, showing the incredible magnitude of the destruction. It was a chilling thing to watch. A few days later he did the same thing with two before-and-after satellite photographs of ground zero. It too was mesmerizing.

We did several other 9/11 tributes over the next few months and years and put them in a special archive that we featured every Sept. 11. Today, I went to heraldsun.com to try to look at these again but they are not linked. A search cannot find them so I assume they are no longer on paper’s servers. I understand that these were produced largely by people the Paxton folks felt needed to be shown the door in January 2005, but to not use them for that reason is just stupid.

Joe’s two before-and-after presentations were among the most trafficked things we had ever had on our Web site and the current management just threw those potential page views away.

UPDATE: A great multimedia presentation of what happened on 9/11, produced by MSNBC a few years ago.

UPDATE: Here’s The New York Times‘ first-anniversary multimedia presentation. Still photos with audio commentary.