Obama effect prompts surge in demand for US papers

So great was the demand for newspapers reporting the election victory of Barack Obama that copies of the New York Times – which quickly sold out – were being offered on eBay at $100 each.

“Own a piece of history” – called out one street corner vendor who hawked 90 copies of the Baltimore Sun in a matter of minutes Both the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune decided to reprint their election editions when they heard of the demand. The Times printed an additional 75,000 copies, The Tribune printed 200,000. The Washington Post printed 250,000 copies of a special slimmed-down commemorative edition.

Newspapers all across America had crowds outside their offices clamoring for copies. At one news store in Washington customers after The Post and Times sold out snapped up copies of out-of-town papers Even foreign papers. And in Miami one news dealer, who was late opening his shop, feared customers were about to break down his door.

One news store in North Carolina reported that customers actually came to blows over its last copy of the local paper.

Some American newspapers devoted their entire front page to a blown-up picture of Obama. The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, which was one of them, went one better than most. It offered high-quality reprints of its front page for $50 (the equivalent of more than 25 pounds).

USA Today, one of America’s biggest selling papers, had a different twist. It is planning to sell computer reprints of its front page online.

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