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
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
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
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
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.