Thursday, April 13, 2006

Problem solved

Our problem has been solved: Pan de sal, sardinas sa lata, mumurahing keso, mamahaling liver spread.

Tapos na ang pagkain. Trabaho na naman. Sabi nga ng isang column sa Poynter, "It's a 24/7 World." Teka, ito nga yon o. Read on...

Posted by Alan Abbey

When I began as director of the Jerusalem Post site more than four years ago, we posted a few articles on the site every Friday afternoon and resumed again only after sundown Saturday, the end of the Jewish Sabbath.

Similarly, we took a break during the major Jewish holidays. So, four years ago on this day (by the Jewish calendar) we posted a "Happy Passover" note on the site and went off to be with our families and friends for the annual Passover seder.

The next morning I heard the awful news: On March 27, 2002, a suicide bomber walked into a hotel in the northern Israeli city of Netanya and detonated himself in the middle of a crowded communal seder, killing 30 Israelis and injuring 140, 20 seriously. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The eventual Israeli military response, called Operation Defensive Shield by the IDF, was to re-enter the Palestinian territories with military force to crush the terrorists' capabilities.

This terror attack was a turning point in the second Palestinian intifada -- but the Jerusalem Post site had nothing on it for 25 hours while the entire world was focused on the tragedy, and sites from here to Timbuktu covered it wall to wall.

It was a wakeup call in more ways than one. We realized that we had to staff our site as close to 24/7 as budgets would allow. Even the sacred days of the Jewish calendar, for Jewish workers in the Jewish state, would have to be addressed in a modern way.

Today, there isn't a major news site in Israel that does not run 24/7, even on the Sabbath and Holy Days, when work is traditionally prohibited.

In a better, more peaceful world, journalists (unlike police and hospital emergency room personnel) would be able to take a break here and there. But we don't live in a peaceful world.

Happy Passover and happy Easter.

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