Virginia Tech Tragedy: Crisis unfolding on the website homepage

April 17th, 2007 Karine Joly 5 Comments

Yesterday I posted a screenshot of the homepage of the university website when I heard the news — only early in the afternoon as I was working on deadlines far away from any news sources.

This morning I was able to retrieve an early version time stamped at 9:58 AM from Google’s cache.

I’ll try to post more screenshots in this post as they become available, thus trying to provide a record that could help study how this terrible tragedy was handled on the website.

April 16 – 9:58 AM (Google cache – the announcement – on the black background – reads “Emergency. Gunman on Campus, Stay Indoors and Away from Windows. See details.”
VT crisis homepage 0

April 16 – 12:40 PM
VT crisis homepage

April 16 – 4:45 PM (sent by reader Lori Parker)
VT crisis homepage - 16 4:45pm

April 16 – 10:00 PM
VT crisis homepage 10pm

April 17 – 9:30 AM (Gunman identified by name)
VT crisis homepage 9:30am

April 17 – 3:25 PM (timestamped from the news section – the quote is from VT president and reads: “I want to extend my deepest, sincerest, and most profound sympathies to the families of these victims …”

VT crisis homepage memorial top
VT crisis homepage memorial bottom

April 19 – 9:40 AM (timestamped from the news section – the right column titled “We Remember” lists the names of the victims whose families have been notified at this time)
VT Homepage April 19

April 23 – 7:45 AM (Classes resume at VT)
VT homepage - Classes resume

Here’s the event timeline provided by Virginia Tech.