PERSONAL ACCOUNT: Steve Goldstein's story

Steve Goldstein, The Wall Street Journal's chief spokesman and Dow

Jones VP of corporate communications, gave Jim Edwards a firsthand

account of the tragic events of Tuesday, September 11.



"Normally, I would take a subway to work, arriving around 9am, but that

morning I decided to take a spinning class on the Upper East Side, so I

ended up downtown at about 8:15am.



I was going over to the World Trade Center to pick something up. When I

got down to the lobby, a woman came into the World Financial Center

screaming, 'There's been a bomb! There's been a bomb!' I immediately ran

back upstairs.



We were on the 12th floor when everyone was evacuated, and moved west

toward the Hudson River. At that point, I saw Paul Steiger, WSJ managing

editor. He was with several reporters already assigning stories. We

looked up and saw these bodies, people jumping to their deaths. It was

so horrific.



We went to Harborside in Jersey City where Dow Jones Newswires is. They

wouldn't let us in, as it was being evacuated.



Our first thought was to make sure Dow Jones kept going, that the paper

got out, and that we got something on the web right away. Mobile phones

wouldn't work, but the Blackberry pagers did. For that, I will be

forever loyal to the company.



(Goldstein and a reporter commandeered a Lincoln Town Car to drive them

to Dow Jones' South Brunswick campus.) I went right up to the executive

offices and checked my home voice-mail messages. There were 32, mostly

from reporters. They wanted to know if we were okay, if everyone got out

alive, and if we were going to publish the Journal the next day. I

started getting e-mail, in overwhelming numbers, mostly from reporters

and family.



I started messaging company officers to try and figure out what we were

doing and make sure that my own staff was safe. I didn't know until

about three hours later that everyone had made it.



Early on, I thought that the best messages for Dow Jones were that we

were the closest news organization to the event, that our reporters

witnessed firsthand this carnage and yet had to suppress this to do

their jobs, and how difficult that was.



The first day's questions centered on safety, but the first few hours

were just so startling you didn't know what to say. (Journal staff)

started calling in, and we tried to keep a log of everyone. I tried

handling it, but I was overwhelmed with calls. On the second day, I

asked Patti Walsh, our internal comms director, to handle it.



On Wednesday, we got about 70 press calls from around the world. The

media knew we'd evacuated, but a list was put out saying we had space in

the World Trade Center, which we did not. We called the wire services,

asking them to correct this. We had no reports of death or injury, and

no family members had called in.



That afternoon, the focus of the calls shifted. They were primarily

about how we put out a newspaper. On a side note, I had a number of

calls from PR agencies asking me if I needed help. I found it somewhat

disconcerting.



Prior to this job, I worked at the Insurance Information Institute and

dealt with a number of natural disasters. Obviously, the difference here

is that I witnessed this. The hardest part for me was just going back to

the hotel (in South Brunswick) at night, alone, and revisiting this

again on TV, over and over.



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