Post only regional to fly team to New York

   The Yorkshire Post was unique among the regional press in sending a team of three staffers to cover the aftermath of the World Trade Center horror.

The three, chief reporter Andrew Vine, feature writer John Woodcock and photographer Bruce Rollinson, now back home, were among the first journalists to reach New York from Britain as transatlantic flights were restored on the weekend after the tragedy.

By flying to New York via Toronto, they arrived in Manhattan on Sunday evening, 16 September, ahead of most of the nationals, and were in place to file from the scene on Monday.

Editor Tony Watson said: "It would have been easier and cheaper to rely on television and the agencies who were already providing top-quality coverage out of New York.

"But this was the biggest story any of us were likely to cover in the course of a career and somehow it felt right to be there in amongst it, not least because among the British victims were people from our patch.

"We looked for added value from our own people and they delivered. Colour pieces from Andrew Vine and John Woodcock stood comparison with the best from the national titles and their groundwork ahead of Blair’s visit to New York meant we were the only regional paper to have a staff writer present at the service for the relatives of British victims. Bruce Rollinson’s pictures from Blair’s visit were better than anything on offer from the wires."

Vine said: "At Toronto, we had a hire car on standby to drive the 500 miles from Canada to New York. We were lucky. A flight to New York was operating, and we caught it with five minutes to spare, landing just before midnight after a journey of 16 hours from Britain.

"Because New York is five hours behind Britain, it meant we had a very narrow window of time in which to send copy and pictures every day.

"But we managed it, and within 10 hours of landing – and after only a couple of hours’ sleep – words and pictures from the three of us were back in Leeds."

By Jean Morgan

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