Most of the editors who were in the newsroom Sunday as President Barack Obama declared to the nation that Osama bin Laden had been killed were in junior high when we first heard that odd-sounding name. Others were still in elementary school.
Regardless of where we were Sept. 11, 2001, all of us knew Sunday’s events were about to change our country.
The death of the man who made “terrorism” a dinner-table topic of conversation sent students across campus out to the streets, to the bars and into Mirror Lake.
The Lantern staff hit the streets as well. We sought you out, asked for your opinions and photographed your celebrations.
We documented your story.
Other editors spent the entire night researching, and started making phone calls as soon as the sun came up to make sense of what was happening. We reported on experts saying the war on terrorism is not over. We quoted a former army major on how this will affect the United States’ relationship with Pakistan and other countries in the Middle East. We asked Ohio State experts — your professors — to chime in as well.
Not only did we share news gathered from the experts, but expanded our Student Voice section and ran columns of what you all thought.
As journalists, it is not our job to pass judgment on the death of any man. But, regardless of the way any of us felt about bin Laden or his acts of terrorism, the weight of Sunday’s events was undeniable. We knew that whether you, our readers, viewed him as Public Enemy No. 1, we owed you fair and comprehensive coverage.
Bin Laden’s death marks the end of an era in which Americans have been fascinated with the rise to prominence of the son of a Middle Eastern oil tycoon. But it marks the beginning of an era in which we have more questions than answers.
Who is going to be the next household name of terrorism?
How are gas prices going to be affected by an even more tumultuous Middle East?
Is al-Qaida going to strike back?
Will our men and women in the armed forces come home?
Will the forces of terror in Asia, Africa and South America move into the forefront of the anti-terrorism fight?
The next weeks, months and years are going to paint a new picture of terrorism, but a picture of terrorism nonetheless.
The Lantern will be here telling the story.