Monday, June 22, 2009

Paper’s Report on Killing Was Seen Only Online

It was a two-part story of homicide and intrigue, wrapped in salaciousness and sexual innuendo, nearly 7,000 words long — the sort of long-form reporting that newspaper editors say still justifies print in the digital age.

But the article of the unsolved slaying in 2006 of Robert Wone, a young lawyer who was found stabbed to death in a luxurious townhouse in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington where a “polyamorous family” of three men lived, was written for The Washington Post’s Web readers only, published on May 31 and June 1.

The decision to keep the article out of the print edition angered many readers who still pay for the newspaper. It also highlighted the thorny issues newspaper editors still face in serving both print and online audiences.

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