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Lost Connection Plagues Post Publication

Production problems at the Washington Post have been blamed on a lost connection between the newspaper and its data centre. The three-hour outage on September 5 prevented updates to about 40 per cent of its metropolitan delivery and single copy papers. The result was that a lead piece on Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention was omitted from those editions. Updates of the web edition of the paper were also limited as the website was down, as was the paper’s Lotus Notes software (and, presumably, its Lotus Notes Archive), as well as its Methode writing software. An email from Managing Editor John Temple to staff said a post mortem of the technical issues had been conducted and a plan had been developed to address them. Temple said the problems had begun after publication of the paper’s first edition. Staff had worked into the early morning trying to troubleshoot technical problems and devise workarounds to enable publication outside normal channels.


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